Archive for February, 2009

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s. Actually, I always sort of prided myself on that. A good example of why: a few years back, I was out with some girlfriends at a bar on that particular day. Although I had a boyfriend at that time, I don’t know where he was, but we certainly weren’t together. I went into the bathroom, and this woman was crying mournfully.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, concerned.

“My boyfriend didn’t give me a good enough Valentine’s Daaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!” she wailed miserably.

It’s this one day, where, even if you are a complete ass the entire rest of the year, society is going to make you buy a pink shiny balloon and redeem yourself over an awkward and painful dinner that cost three times what it should.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for over three years and have yet to celebrate. Well, unless you count the “Spandex Party” we had on Valentine’s Day two years ago. Everyone came dressed up in ridiculous spandex outfits. We served cheap wine (one step down from two buck chuck, if you even knew something like that existed), cheap vodka, and cupcakes. There was a enthusiastic dance party, a game of Pass The Orange, Twister, and hula hooping. The next day, I was amazed from talking to party goers to find that a lot of people had peed in their spandex, from laughing so hard. My research led me to believe that wearing spandex makes one more like to pee themselves. Who knew?!?

So I don’t know what came over me the other day, but on Friday before Valentine’s Day my coworker had delivered a huge bouquet of roses. She displayed them proudly to the others of us in the office and I felt some sort of pang. I guess that’s the point of sending your honey roses at work on Valentine’s Day, to make others in the office think “well now that’s something special. I wish I had roses at work!”

I fired off a text message to my boyfriend: “Ahem. Stephanie just had roses delivered at work. was just wondering where mine are. must be a mix up.”

His immediate response: “thought you didn’t like roses. how about i clean the bathroom and we call it romantic”

The thing is, I really don’t like roses. They do nothing for me. The sight of roses does not make me feel romantic. Most of them are grown in Ecuador with tons of pesticides and persevatives and shipped via jetplane . Besides roses are old lady flowers. Whenever my boyfriend gets me flowers, which he really does quite often by the way, he gets them from a little boutique florist and they always include lots of my favorite flowers, including birds of paradise (which aren’t my favorite, but it’s the closest thing purchasable to a Heliconia, which is my favorite). In fact, when me and the poor guy started dating, he asked me what my favorite flower was and as a botanist, I replied “shooting stars”. The shooting star, Dodecantheon spp., is a native flower that likes grasslands here in the NW. It flowers briefly in early spring and looks like a little shooting star. I don’t think there is a cultivated version of this, and if you did go find one in the wild, I am positive the little thing would wilt on the hike back. Not knowing this, my boyfriend goes in search of them unsuccessfully at flower shops. That’s when I settled for the Heliconia, and then birds of paradise by further default.

My point is, sending me roses would be entirely inappropriate and I’m not sure why I was feeling this pang.

Then, actual Valentine’s Day rolls around. Of course as usual there is nothing planned. Not to mention, we are both slightly hungover from some overindulgence the night before. We eat a big casserole and then he tells me he wants to go out to have some beers with some of the guys. Do I want to come? No. But you go right ahead honey. Am I sure? Of course. We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. It’s a stupid hallmark holiday.

He’s gone for a few minutes and I am feeling a little funny. I decide to go down into the basement and play with my new karaoke machine. I love karaoke, and I have just purchased a karaoke machine, in the hopes that I can be like those little old Asian people sitting on a cot somewhere, stoically singing. In fact, it had only just arrived, and I have been just waiting for the opportunity to have the house to myself and operate the karaoke machine to my heart’s content.

I settle onto the couch and my old dog hops up next to me. I begin singing, I start with “Always on my mind” by Willie Nelson, as it seems to fit the mournful Valentine’s Day mood. My dog begins to frantically look around, apparently the sound of my voice through speakers is disturbing to her. After about 5 songs she gets used to it and settles in to a slumber, looking up at me if I get to a dramatic point in a song. I sing many slow mournful songs, including several Air Supply hits.

At first, I can’t stop laughing. The whole thing, sitting on my couch on Valentine’s Day by myself singing karaoke with my dog and drinking Miller Lite, seems hilarious. The expression on my dog’s face, the solitude of the whole experience, and yes, the karaoke. Too funny. But it doesn’t take very long before this becomes somewhat depressing. Each song I sing with less and less enthusiasm, until I become tearful. After an hour of this misery, I pick up my phone and text the boyfriend: “worst valentine’s ever.”

Now this really is ridiculous, I mean, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I honestly think it is silly. But he comes rushing home, anyway. We sit on the couch and snuggle, he brings me a diet coke and an ice cream sandwich, and I feel somewhat redeemed. I know he is very confused, but I apparently am not immune to those pangs that women tend to experience on this day. Next year, I am not going to let it get to that point. I swear.

Read Full Post »