Feb 12, 2010

A Hallmark Holiday- with Nail Polish

I am single and February 14th is two days away. Being that these are my circumstances, I’m sure many of you are expecting me to blog about how us singles are excluded and dejected on February 14th. Well that’s not going to happen.


I, in no way, feel compelled to throw myself a pity-party-parade. I am single by choice, because I do not want to be in a relationship that I don’t believe whole-heartedly in. I am single because I believe that you need to get yourself together and figure yourself out before you can share it with anyone else. I am single because “cute and fun” are no longer deciding factors of what makes a good relationship.


I don’t feel sorry for myself to admit that. I have bigger concerns than crying about how terribly sad it is to be alone on a “couples holiday”. Besides… I’m not alone ;) and this isn’t a couple’s holiday.


Valentine’s Day, what I fondly referred to in my last entry, is a “Woman’s Holiday.” There is nothing coupled, shared or equal about it. At best, women are expected to buy a card or maybe some lingerie. Meanwhile men should be sending floral arrangements to work and home, buying cards, going out to dinner, dessert, chocolates, stuffed animals holding some cheesy heart and in extreme cases - jewelry. This day pressures men to express and pressures women to participate, all in the name of Love.

Objectively it exemplifies that men care only about sex and women care only about the “stuff,” which they use to prove that “he must love me…look what he bought.” The whole concept is nauseating and insulting. I think that society has played off of our relationship insecurities. Relationships are hard for anyone, regardless of gender, because we are open and vulnerable. So, we feed right into this idea that love can be found, revived or cultivated on Valentine’s Day.

Well, guess what ladies…all the stuff is fluff! No matter how many THINGS you get on Valentine’s Day, it does not mean you’re in a lasting, loving relationship. And sorry, but Guys… even if she puts on that lingerie for you, doesn’t mean you’re the only one who has seen her in it. These are truths we don’t want to hear. These are the parts of Valentine’s Day that the media and society leaves out. These realities have no place with the pink and red hearts of Valentine’s Day. But I feel that I would be a fraud if I didn’t call them to our attention.

I want to preface that I in no way intend to sound bitter or scorn (both of which I can be at times). Rather, I intend to come off as realistic (a quality that seems foreign in the realm of Valentine’s Day) With that being said…

Valentine’s Day is the quintessence of a “Hallmark Holiday”. I say Hallmark because we use these cards, other people’s words, to represent our deepest feelings. This is the first problem I have with Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure what happened to love letters, maybe they died right along with chivalry, but somewhere along the way we have accepted the words of some stranger because they carry a card company’s insignia.

We give these cards as a token to encourage and somehow validate a day that’s over- emphasized, exaggerated, and hyped up. We have grown to accept the idea that true love will shine through on February 14th. If you truly love someone this is THE DAY, this is your opportunity to really show it.

Forget all the rest of the days during the year where, you or they, have acted like a colossal jerk. Those days don’t matter because February 14th is your Life-Time/Disney moment. This day has been sprinkled with fairy dust and hit by cupid’s arrow. All you have to do is believe, that you can be [or] you will have, Prince Charming and this magical day will end in pure romantic bliss. RIGHT?

WRONG! This is all bullshit that Walt Disney, the producers of Lifetime and the creative minds of Hallmark have planted in our brains. These ideas of romance fall right in line with our silly belief that all can change when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve (see previous blog about expectations).

Disney/ Lifetime/ Hallmark (among others) have led us to believe that exceptions and “once in a lifetimes” are the norm for Feb 14th. These delusional ideas are the reasons we feel compelled to spend money and make a big production to SHOW how much we care. But isn’t it all a show? Isn’t it all just a ridiculous façade, an act? So why, as advanced intelligent people do we continue to put on this SHOW….who is our audience?

Maybe it is friends or family- to prove your relationship is oh so perfect/good/worthy/healthy. But stop for a minute, what if the audience is ourselves? When you find that the “stuff and fluff” of Valentine’s Day makes you a little more confident about your relationship, yourself and where you are at in life?

Uh oh… If this is the case, go return your card, get your $5 back and re-think your situation.

Call me a romantic, but I believe that if you love someone, you treat them special every day. You make an effort to call them, you do things that are out of the ordinary, because you care about them. You don’t hang up on them when they’re venting about their problems, you practice tolerance when they occasionally act like a pain in the ass. This is called LOVE. It is not glamorous. There is no cupid arrow or bubbling pink hearts. LOVE is not contained to one cold day in February.

I saw real LOVE, (not the Valentine’s crap) first hand this week. I was standing in the checkout line at Staples and the clerk; a man, (about 65 years old) told me he liked my nail polish. I did find it odd that an older man noticed and commented on my polish, but people are “unique” so I just smiled and said “Thanks.” He went on to tell me “I only noticed because lately I’ve been polishing my wife’s nails, she has a vision problem and she can’t see well enough to do it. All these years I’ve never noticed nail polish, but now I do. And ya know, polishing them is more difficult than it looks, my wife always tells me I brush the wrong way. ”

It was just a small interaction between a stranger and myself, but as I walked to my car I was overcome with thoughts and emotions. That is real love I thought.

Having someone stand by you, love you, support you, through sickness and health. That is what wedding vows are made of. That is LOVE, in its most natural, uninhibited and unglamorous form. That is the stuff that never makes it into movies, greeting cards or romance books. It is just a small gesture that could be overlooked if you didn’t take a second to notice it. I felt lucky, in the midst of the Valentine frenzy, to have caught a glimpse of real LOVE.

SHORT AND SWEET…AKA…MORAL OF THE BLOG

Fellow Singles, don’t feel bad about Valentine’s Day, it’s just an exaggerated, overpriced façade. Plus, the people who should feel bad for are the ones who are putting on the SHOW trying to convince themselves how happy they are. <--These are the people who deserve the pity-party- parade, NOT US!

Personally, I would rather receive one rose on a random Tuesday, than a dozen on Feb 14th. I don’t think affection; appreciation or recognition should be forced. Things should happen in their own natural progression.


Xoxo

Lana


“I don't understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine's Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”- Unknown



5 comments:

  1. How cute is that....he polishes his wifes nails and she tells him he brushes the wrong way. That one really brought a tear to my eyes because...as in your words "that is true love". Lana, only you can have these situations happen to you or witness them with your own eyes (the hand holding on the train) and really put in them in to words. You were born a writer. Keep them coming!!

    Jenny Vergata

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  2. I absolutely fucking HATE Valentine's Day! And I'm married! (Booooo!) The husband always gets me some sappy ass card that make me want to hang myself from the shower rod...

    Why not get me a card that says how you really feel,

    'Hey babe, You're a real bitch, but I love you anyway."

    I could totally deal with that. Now all this other bullshit... You're my life, can't be without you... *gag* Thumbs up chick!

    *cry* about the old guy!!! :(

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  3. cheers to single-ness!

    http://jessicadruck.blogspot.com

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  4. Oh my Gosh!!! I love the old man! Do you think Kevin will paint my nails?? haha! Just kidding!!
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. Valentines Day really can turn into such a show that no one cares about watching. And "stuff" REALLY does not mean anything. I got a fortune cookie today that I saved (and I never do that) that kind of applies. It said "Minutes are worth mote than money. Spend them wisely".
    Keep it up! Love them!

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xoxo
Lana