Remember back in grade school? You make those little Valentine folders and you would decorate it and make hearts out of construction paper and then you’d tape it to your desk and then, on Valentine’s day, you would all pass out Valentine’s to everyone and some would have candy and some wouldn’t and some would have super-heroes and they were colorful and you looked through all of them and then that was it and Valentine’s day was fun and happy?
Why did we stop doing that?
Valentine’s day is a weird day for me. When I’m dating someone, it’s a manic search for a good gift, a good place to eat, a good place to take a date. When I’m not dating someone, it’s a day long reminder that I’m not dating someone and that I’m some sort of failure. This is a strange society that we’ve constructed. On the one hand, we want people to be independent, strong, and able to be on their on. On the other hand, we want people to be co-dependent, oddly weak, and barely able to spend a day without text messaging someone and then, because we are weird, analyzing why someone hasn’t texted us back or why it took them so long to text us back.
We’ll sit and talk to our friends about whether X likes us. If X likes us, why doesn’t X call? I called X last time. The least X could do is call me. And, I mean, I’ve been hanging out with X for months. Do you think X likes me? No, I mean LIKES me likes me. Do you think so?
We get on the internet and say things to people online and then organize blind dates and then get weird and wonder why it never worked out.
We date women that are like our mothers, even though our mothers get on our nerves and we date our fathers even though our fathers get on our nerves.
We see people get pregnant and have babies and, in the back recesses of our minds, we yarn for that. As we sit in a bar on a Tuesday, playing with our $500 phones, talking to our friends after we’ve worked a 12 hour day, we say at 2 am, “You know? I think I’m ready to have a baby!”
We have sex with people we barely know.
We don’t have sex with people because we know them too well.
We marry people even though we shouldn’t. We don’t get married even though we probably should have.
And, like magic, sometimes we fall in love. That makes everything ok.
I saw a couple today. They were sitting next to each other. One gave the other a section of the newspaper. That was the sweetest thing I’d ever seen.
Love can be all right. Happy Valentine’s day.