February 10, 2010

Debunking the V-Day Debacle

Valentines Day...We love it, or we love it not? Personally,I think many of us love, loving it not...Here's the scoop-

St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, young people. He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.-Wikipedia

Love it or loathe it...still like death, taxes and another failed romance via the Bachelor,it is an inevitability. There's no use trying to stop it from coming.

"Every shmoop down in shmoop-ville loved V-day a lot"...Seussy/Seinfeld/Sorta...

I for one, have an affinity for Valentines Day. Of course I am under no pressure whatsoever-so that may have something to do with my affection for this particular holiday. Also...I find ruby red and pretty paper,and rich, dark chocolate supremely delicious...so yeah, pretty much...V-Day's a win,win win...And yet I know it can be stressful for some of you. So out of l-o-v-e, I am going to dig down deep to the very bottom of my limited resources in an attempt to help de-vilify VD (aka Valentines Day) just for you..

1. Single is a status-not a death sentence-

So you're single. It is no different on the 14th of February than it is on the 13th or the 15th, or the 22nd of June...Why should it be? So embrace it...celebrate your independence. There is no expectation held for you on this day whatsoever.Insert your ridiculously giant sigh of relief here, because that poor defeated soul you see wandering the aisles of the supermarket puppy-like and glassy-eyed with a cardboard red heart full of non-delicious candies in one hand and the last cellophane suffocated wilted roses in the other? He would swap you spots in a heartbeat. This I promise you. V-Day is about love...so share the warm and fuzzies with the peeps you love. Drink a little wine, have a little fun, get down tonight-get down tonight. Being single is one tiny aspect of who you are, it doesn't define you. By no means should you try to change your single status in the name of V-Day. There is no conceivable way that will end positively...Remember the Valentine's Day Massacre? Actually was mob related and had more to do with swimming with fishes than pink hearts and winged cherubs-but you get the picture, right? Madness/broken hearts/machine guns...not pretty.

2.For the Real-

Girls, gurls, girlz...*Motioning with finger for you to come closer. Whispering*...I am sorry to say this, but when it comes to V-Day-you are going to have to get over it...not ALL of it-just the part with the inflated, outlandish, Austen-romance type expectations. You have to-or you WILL be disappointed. That is unless you are dating or married to Mr.Darcy...which you aren't. Men THAT spectacular only exist in fiction...and are written by women. We've been over this...Give up the ghost and give your poor guy a break...The kind of break that real live men deserve from the sometimes too real you...so don't go gettin haughty. You are no Elizabeth Bennet either.

It is okay for you to expect your beau to remember Valentine's Day...For heaven's sake you cannot turn on the radio or the television without being bombarded with adverts for chocolates, flowers...yadda, yadda, yadda. So unless he's Amish-(in which case, you have a whole other set of issues to deal with-going on dates in wagons, trying to get the horse smell out of your hair,etc) he knows. But beyond his acknowledgment in some form-any form (grunting and mumbling included)...surrender the silly dream. Admit to yourself that your Valentine expectations may be a pinch unrealistic. And? that some of your anxiety about whether he will "show up" for V-Day has more to do with cubicle competition, than anything else. You know as sure as you dress more for your friends, than you do for him-that our gender is all about comparison and competition. Whether we admit it or not...there is a small(hopefully minuscule)part of us that returns to our slightly insecure, somewhat catty high school self in honor of Valentine's Day. Some of us are, for just this one day secretly concerned with what our friends in the office will think of us if we close out Valentine's Day balloon-less, rose-less, cookie-less, singing telegram-less(has anyone actually gotten one of these? Anyone whose phone number doesn't start with a 444 prefix...aka outside of TV-Land? Reminds me of Carmine from Laverne and Shirley)...and thus, what? Loveless? Completely CARAZY as that is, many of us put exactly this kind of pressure on ourselves, on our significant others and on our relationships...All in the name of February the 14th. It is just one day...one that you share and celebrate with everybody else...keep it in perspective. Oh and P.S.- Lead by example. If you are a girl who loves a grand gesture, then you need to be mindful of the golden rule. Nowhere does it say that romance is the man's responsibility. It is okay- no...it is necessary for you to spread the love as well.

It Really Is The Thought That Counts:

Fellas, I can only speak for myself and for the girls that I know...and I know quite a few-but an ounce of thoughtfulness is worth a lifetime of grand gestures. What I mean is this, whatever you do for VD...or any day...do it with heart. Show attention to detail. Demonstrate that she is important to you by knowing what makes her smile. Whether it be making her coffee just the way she likes it (too much flavored creamer,dash of splenda) a post it that says "I love you" tucked away for her to find in the midst of the day's din, the smallest gesture is often felt the deepest. I know, it sounds funny- but I have yet to meet the girl that prefers two dozen red roses to a single orchid, sunflower,or Gerber daisy. Simply put, even on a commercial holiday celebrated by millions-we just want to know that we're unique...to you. So please get off your Anti V-Day Soap Box. Chances are, you don't shower your girl with affection and attention. You assume that she "just knows" the way that you feel about her. Yeah...she needs to be shown, and then reminded, later confirmed... and often reassured. There is no destination-this is an ongoing journey. Capisce? No need to break the bank, or to even spend a single cent. Seriously-never ever jewelry. Time and effort are both free and priceless simultaneously. So even if we say "Valentines Day is commercial and impersonal" we silently hope that this is one of the times you won't listen. And we won't tell you this-because while you were in Direct Boot Camp, we were at Mysterious School learning discretion. We were taught that frankness is unladylike, unbecoming even. And deep down, as difficult as this may be for you to comprehend, we believe that if you REALLY know us, if you TRULY love us...you have unspoken knowledge of what pleases us. As adults most of us have come to the harsh realization that this is not exactly the way relationships, or men operate...Still inside, we believe that they should. Hoping against hope-and logic that you really SEE us...

So...when VD rolls around this year, skip the hype and go for the heart. Whether you be male or female, single or in a relationship...Valentine's Day is about feeling and sharing and showing the love. What could be bad in that? So, don't sweat it, you've got this covered.

To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down.-Woody Allen

February 1, 2010

Spitefully Happy

“I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze”
D.H. Lawrence

Um...so according to Mr. Lawrence, this blog is my "sneeze" of sorts.I suppose writing is like sneezing...because sneezing and venting both serve as a terrific release, sort of like dancing it out. Okay-so here goes the illusive point...This is not the bubbling over with fiery red volcanic smokey, lava-like-spite I am addressing here. Rather than possessing full blown spite,in order to get the picture let's toss in just a pinch of stubborn...maybe a handful or twelve-full of hardheadedness (yes I know that is JUST like stubborn)...you catch my drift. So to call a spade a spade, a duck a duck, or a spite a spite-as the case may be...my MO is NOT vengeance but rather,to pull out all the stops to slyly, persuasively and if need be-ferociously prove my point of view when it is in regards to something I feel strongly about...or to disprove someone else's (only when absolutely necessary-as it is a bull in a china shop, stifling, maniacal point of view that attempts to stomp out all those in its oppressive path))...thus bringing the Napoleonic position to its' timely end with a Die-Hard style vengeance. Yippee ki-yay...you know the rest...tic-tic-tic-tic boom.

In this case, my obstinate nature is being applied to happiness and the spite that is created when I believe someone is trying to steal my happiness or the joy of someone else away. Optimism, or at least guarded optimism is crucial to me...and not always easily sought,found or maintained. Still, I believe that aside from extreme cases, "You're as happy as you decide to be".And I CHOOSE to be happy, giddy even (not in the in your face, "are you for real?" irritating sort of happy, but the subtly, quietly giddy extra foam, double shot in your latte brand of happy)-and I want you to be shiny with me...pretty please? Life is so much more deliciously worth the living that way,la vida dulce...as life was intended to be.

Unfortunately there are Gloomy Gus fun thieving-types (aka the previously mentioned dinnerware crushing oxen) out there who do not see things in quite the same sunny way that we do. They skulk and lurk around like ragey little storm clouds-thundering and rumbling. And they will not be satisfied to merely rain out their own pathetically sad parades, so they turn on yours. They derive immense pleasure (in the form of misery loves company) from raining on your pretty little parade as well. They view it as a petty victory of darkness over light. They want to get your goat...so don't let them have it. Hold tight to your goat and don't let go-so what if you get a little wet. You're wash and wear.

So as far as the sun robbing ways of the wet blankets go...I won't stand for it and neither should you. Put your stiletto strapped or work book clad tootsie down (your choice) and stand firm. But through the kind of action that silently screams volumes and/or razor sharp words if absolutely necessary, I tell them to "Pedal their pessimism elsewhere-I have no place to put it. Sulk and skulk don't go with my decor." Miserable doesn't fit between the beta bowl and the bust of Shakespeare.

*DISCLAIMER* This is not to claim that I never have dark,angst riddled Alanis-type moments where I want to lull around in despair while wearing too much black...but just for a few. That gets old lightning fast(ka-chow).

SO when those crabby clouds invade my space, they're forced to navigate my mile wide stubborn streak to get at my bliss-no one has ever made it across to the other side. You see, my day can find trouble all on it's own- I certainly don't need any assistance from the Oscar department.

And so we arrive at the destination spite. When there is the sense that someone is trying to tie their twelve ton attitude to my little red wagon-I revolt with unchecked, bubbly jubilation. Even if I "have to fake it til I make it"-which I often do. The more the monsters growl and snarl, the more I laugh and sing...maybe even toss in some *jazz hands*for flair. Nothing squashes doom and gloom like razzle dazzle. Eventually, though these trolls rarely change...they are sent packing...grumbling and rachus shmachus-ing to themselves, red faced and fuming. Try it-it really does work. And it is a win-win. You feel better and the nasty nay saying gnomes are sent packing. Sparkle is once again restored to pleasant-ville.

So there. My joy can beat up their glaring, unpleasant half empty and so can yours.

Heaps of coal, getting more bees with honey, what have you...Adios Angry Amos.


*Smiley Sigh* What do ya' know D.H.-I do feel better-thanks.