The best thing about Valentine’s Day is that everyone seems to be in a better mood. Probably due to the implied “I’m totally getting laid tonight” awareness. I noticed yesterday as I was boarding the Downtown 4 train that although everyone was, per usual, packed into the subway car like sardines; no one seemed to get overly upset about it. “I apologize in advance”, one guy said through sarcastic laughter. Everyone thought it was funny that we had nothing to hold on to as the tracks jolted us this way and that. I lightened up enough to forgive a woman playing Angry Birds for stepping on my favorite brown leather boots.
The worst thing about Valentine’s Day? The public masturbatory ceremony people endure as some must-do process. The droves of people who trample out into the streets, rushing to reservations and flooding Papyrus to find a fitting (or not fitting) card that sums up the calculation of their affections. The group of girls who flutter out together in “support” of each others lack of dates. It’s as necessary as it is ridiculous.
My last Valentine’s Day was spent in Houston with D. He took me to see Swan Lake at the Ballet, his gallant attempt to make up for the painfully obvious lack of culture that I was surely noticing after leaving New York. I don’t remember what I wore, or if he got me flowers; but I do remember us sinking into a depressing lull by the end of the night. There was some admission that took place, silently. It might have been the first time I realized how very much in love we were not (anymore). The expectations of such a romantic evening paired with the reality of a couple who had been through too much together and lost their way shone brighter than the stage lights at the Ballet, and was more obvious than the champagne I sipped liberally to loosen up. Valentine’s Day was far from a sham that night, instead it was a magnifying glass. A microphone.
Last night Valentine’s Day was just another day. But it was the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had in my life. It was real, and satisfying and never-ending. It started with the most beautiful day we’ve had in New York all winter (50 degrees and sunny), and it ended with mango-Habanero sorbet in the meatpacking district at a five-star Mexican restaurant called Dos Caminos (Two Roads). It was void of expectation and fancy attire. There was nothing and no one to put a show on for. It was peaceful and sweet and relaxing. Suddenly I think I’m a born-again fan of this incredibly commercial holiday. If it forces people to sum up the truth of their feelings, then it’s a day that should most definitely be celebrated.
Hope everyone enjoyed their Monday.