Monday, February 14, 2011

Suck It, Cupid

I've never really been a big fan of Valentine's Day. When I was married, my ex and I would always go to dinner a couple days before, to avoid the crowds, and then I'd cook a special meal at home on the actual day. Now that I'm not in a relationship, I don't really care about the holiday one way or the other. I'm not anti-Valentine's Day. I just don't want to hear or think about it, lest I be reminded once again that yes, I'm single. And 30. And my ovaries are shriveling up like sad little barren prunes right as we speak.

I also don't like questions from strangers that pry into my personal life, nor do I like indulging the people who ask them. Unfortunately, the Hallmark calendar collided with my personality and led to this little interaction with the bank teller, Jinger (yes, with a J), the other day:

Jinger: "What are you doing for Valentine's Day?"

Me (slowly looking up from endorsing my check): "Sitting at home and drinking a bottle of wine because I don't have a husband anymore."

Jinger (nodding slowly and doing a very good job of not looking horror-stricken): "Oh... me and my boyfriend are going to Pluckers!"*

Me (half smile): "That'll be nice."

Poor Jinger never saw me coming. Hopefully she learned an important lesson: don't assume that strangers will respond to your polite chit-chat in kind. Also: beware divorcées with an axe to grind.

(Just realized: those two lessons rhyme! We could make them into a little jingle to help all customer service workers avoid similarly awkward encounters. If anyone has any suggestions for music, let me know!)

The truth is that I will not be sitting at home and drinking a bottle of wine because I don't have a husband anymore. I will be sitting at home and drinking a bottle of wine because that's what I like to do on weeknights. Well, probably not an entire bottle - probably half a bottle. But that's beside the point. The point is that Valentine's Day is going to be like any other day for me, as it should be for every other single person out there. Instead of wallowing, I'm going to use the evening to appreciate how nice my everyday single girl life is, complete with wine, a bubble bath, my kitty, and a jar of Nutella. 

Because quite honestly, if celebrating Valentine's Day means making googly eyes at some guy 0ver a plate of hot wings and a pitcher of beer, then I want no part of it. None at all.

Note: I wrote this several days ago. I am feeling decidedly more curmudgeonly about Valentine's Day now that it has actually arrived.

*In Jinger's defense, it wasn't until I did some googling that I discovered that Plucker's is planning an Anti-Valentine's Day for that evening. So she might have been trying to relate to me, I don't know. Regardless, I'd avoid asking that question in the future, Jinger. But that's just me.


LT said...

Well, dumb on Jinger's part. Is she assuming everyone she asks is in relationships? Certain holidays might be "safe" to ask about- Valentine's is not one of them.
Have you ever heard of Sweetest Day? Ten times worse than V day, literally created by Hallmark, and people in Ohio actually celebrate it. I've never been a fan of V day from all my years in the restaurant biz, but Sweetest Day really pushed me over the line. Gag. Yet another reason why living in Cincinnati was the worst experience of my life!

Streetlights94 said...

I'm married and been "in a relationship" forever, and while I like Valentines Day and all, it's also a little silly. We shouldn't need a special day to tell the people in our lives we love them and we appreciate them. And by people, I mean all people. Significant others, our children, our friends... everybody. We should be sharing ourselves freely, not just one day a year.

Erin said...

@LT - And to think, I spent my whole life not celebrating Sweetest Day. Clearly, I've been missing out on a much-needed additional opportunity to be moody and depressed!

@Cristina - You're absolutely right. I think what makes this day so irritating for me this year is that it's simultaneously saccharine and insincere, and yet also so damn in-my-face. Big red helium-filled balloons, cheap teddy bears made in China and chalky-tasting boxes of chocolates are EVERYWHERE, reminding me that I don't even have someone who'll phone it in for me.

Rena said...

Pluckers sounds fake. Like it's from "Office Space," or something. That is all, my friend. And by friend, I mean, a friend with ripe, succulent, non-shrivelly ovaries.

And I haven't even been drinking tonight. :)

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