Be Mine, Be His, Be Hers, Be Yourself
How To Do Valentine’s Day Right
If the Bronte sisters were alive in 2013 they would have been writing a lot less about courting and a lot more about sexting…because really isn’t that the essence of the modern relationship? Not quite sex, but not quite texting…it illustrates the often not-quite situations we find ourselves in, in the world of modern love. No boyfriend, but not quite single, single but not quite alone.
Here’s a guide to spending Valentine’s Day 2013-style. This is not for people with serious boyfriends, girlfriends, or both, I assume you’ve got this holiday locked down. No, this is guide for you and that (somewhat) special someone who texts such sweet nothings to you as “Hey ;]”, “You up?” and the ever present staple “I’m not looking for a relationship”. These are activities that say “I have plans with other people that you don’t know later,” and gifts that say “I like you, but I don’t like you like you.”
Moreover though, it’s an optimistic examination of the boundless possibilities of a single-Valentine’s Day, and all that has to offer. Consider me your guru for a contemporary February 14th, so enjoy, and Happy Valentines Day.
The Zoo: Sure it’s romantic in theory, but one pooping monkey or mating bear and any iota of ambiance disappears as fast as the person your with at the mention of the word ‘commitment’.
Food Shopping: Or any kind of shopping really. Sure the activity sounds good in theory, and with someone you’re established with it can be an intimate way of engaging in a charmingly otherwise monotonous task. But with someone whom your familiarity with stems from something other than mutual affection, shopping is bound to bring out all those nitty-gritties about yourself that make you oh-so-not-charming, read: your affinity for sour cream and onion chips, which you buy in bulk. Shopping for clothes allows you to learn each other’s sizes, which for a girl should render any lingering mystique moot.
A family member’s house: There’s or yours; preferably the one with a higher conservative-headcount, because really, nothing sets the mood like trying to explain your, undefined, casual non-relationship to someone who thinks interracial marriage is unconstitutional.
Brunch: A buffet brunch, if you can swing it. People rarely even enjoy this contrived ritual with loved ones, never mind a companion for whom their feelings for leave room to be desired. A buffet enables a girl to eat in all the ways she wouldn’t on a real date, and gives the guy an excuse to get up from the table, should the conversation wander into uncharted territory. Dutch treat, mandatory.
“Coffee Makes Me Poop” Mug: If there is any whiff of touchy-feelyness, inserting bowel movements into the conversation should take care of that.
A movie you know they love…a you hate: Say’s “I listen to you, but let’s NOT watch this together and cuddle.”
A CD they love, but you hate: Essentially the same principle as the aforementioned gift, except the added twinge of disproval in someone’s music choice seems slightly more detaching…
So there you have it. Sometimes I wonder, if we were better off in days gone by…I wax nostalgic to the days (as if I was there), when you got pinned, then poked. But then, I think not. Modern times has certainly complicated the romantic relationships in our lives; it has taught us to resent commitment, formalities, and labels, and social media has allowed us to assess a prospect without even meeting them for coffee. But is this really all bad?
Our generation has the freedom to exercise our desires and aspirations void of constraints, and we have the tools, via social media in many cases to sidestep regrettable situations with people who appear agreeable, but who we can find out with a couple of clicks, are conservative homophobes…bullet dodged. Obviously for some, the lack of formalities bears more of an issue than a positive, and surely, not everyone expresses their most unattractive views on Facebook, but times have clearly changed, and we, with them.
The most advantageous prospect of our era should be the liberation of how we define love. This year, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be only for and about people with ‘significant others’. I’ve covered those of you in in-between situations above, but for all you out there without a member of the opposite, or same gender with whom you are involved with on some more-than-platonic-relationship, don’t fret, this modern world comes bearing gifts for you too.
Remember, Valentine’s Day is about love, above all else. Sure, I’ve had my myriad of romantic trysts, but for some reason, they’ve never lined up with February 14th. That does not, however change the fact that Valentine’s Day is and always has been my favorite holiday.
On this most sacred day, I divert my attention to the grander definition of love; spending the day with friends and family I love, handing out schoolyard ‘conversation hearts’ and valentines.
Should everyone you love have someone else to love, or should you have no one to love at all, remember on Valentine’s Day to love yourself. Treat yourself to dinner at a favorite restaurant, shopping at a favorite store, a marathon of your favorite show, etc. One year, I walked the length of Newbury Street alone, buying charming accouterments for not only my favorite loved ones, but for myself.
So for all of you people that turn your noses up at the Valentine’s Day, you are just doing it wrong. Move into the 21st century and realize that love is universal, so a holiday celebrating it… is too.