I’m not so intellectually evolved as to be able to entirely dismiss the hulking specter that is Valentine’s Day as a mere contrivance of capitalist marketing. It’s a day that makes a lot of people—single and paired-off alike—feel bad about things that they don’t feel quite as bad about on February 12th or 15th. I had written you a juicy, long post about my most over- and underwhelming Valentine’s Days of yore. It involved red Mylar heart-shaped balloons, a horse-and-carriage ride, a handful of supermarket bouquets, some Kundera books, and watching my date get stoned in the Whole Foods parking lot. I read it over this morning and realized that it is best left filed in the ever-growing stack of things I’ve labeled Overshare. It’s not that I’m really opposed to the practice of oversharing, as I’m sure you well know. But self-analysis can get dicey if you practice it too often, especially if you do it with the idea of producing a narrative arc. Sometimes I worry that I am beginning to be like Mrs. Witt in D. H. Lawrence’s novella St. Mawr. I think ole David Herbert got something really right about a personality type when he described her as such:
Lou shrank away. She was beginning to be afraid of her mother’s insatiable curiosity, that always looked for the snake under the flowers. Or rather, the maggots. Always this same morbid curiosity in other people and their doings, their privacies, their dirty linen. Always this air of alertness for personal happenings, personalities, personalities, personalities. Always this subtle criticism and appraisal of other people, this analysis of other people’s motives. If anatomy pre-supposes a corpse, then psychology pre-supposes a world of corpses. Personalities, which means personal criticism and analysis, pre-supposes a whole world-laboratory of human psyches waiting to be vivisected. If you cut a thing up, of course it will smell. Hence, nothing raises such an infernal stink, at last, as human psychology.
Yes, of course. When they are severed open, my past Valentine’s Days stink of corniness and mawkish expectations. But I realized this morning that all those poor gents that spent this silly holiday with yours truly deserve better than to have their histories splayed out on the internets for the sake of a laugh. Well, all of them except the Whole Foods guy. He joked that I was lucky to have an “almost-date” with him to the grocery store, fixed me a frozen pizza, and passed out blackout drunk on strawberry-flavored sparkling wine on my couch by 6 p.m. Face-down. Feel free to remind yourself of that if you find yourself on a less-than-remarkable date today. You’re welcome.
At any rate, while I’m not a big fan of this holiday, I’m definitely a big fan of you. I hope your day is lovely. Thanks for stopping by.