Feb. 14th, 2016

terribleturnip: (Goat)
This is the least angsty Valentine's Day I've had a while. Not that it's ever angsty for me, but I usually have to duck a couple of "Valentine's Day is such commercial expletive" and "Thanks for making all of the single people feel bad" windstorms. But life (if defined by conversations and work and Facebook feeds...which is a sad commentary that I'll weep over later) has been relatively free of that this season. Which is great, because I have no time or patience for that. At all.

Oh, sure you can rail against the commerciality of it all. The uptick in diamond commercials alone make me shy away from commercial radio for a few weeks, playing CD's in the car, dinosaur that I am. So, whatever, make a card by hand, pen a special note or poem on fancy stationery, make your gift something sweet, thoughtful and free. Do you feel trapped into having to behave a certain way -- schedule an expensive dinner? Buy overpriced flowers, come up with something more creative/impressive than her last boyfriend? I'm being sexist here, because I think the spotlight gets thrown on men awfully hard for this holiday...which may have been, historically speaking, appropriate. But expletive that. Women, you need to stand up and deliver for Valentine's Day as well, if you're going to expect the same from your partner. The whole trading flowers and chocolate for a BJ trope makes my skin crawl...unless of course, for each of you, that's actually what would make you happy.

Personally, I love getting flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day because that's the one damn day a year when I can have both guilt-free. I HAVE to eat these chocolates; it's a goddamned tradition. How could I let America down like that? And yeah, flowers that didn't come from my garden are a frivolous treat that I find it hard to talk myself into, even though I love them. So, in the cold, hard month of February when my garden is barren of life, hey, my desk blooms with a harbinger of spring.

But here's the thing. I am not shy about telling my partners about what makes me happy on Valentine's Day. Admittedly, managing my own joy is a skill at which I excel. Consider this: have a talk (preferably not the week before Valentine's Day because that's going to just come off as poor planning) with your partner about what, if anything, Valentine's Day means to them. I'm all "no way am I going to go out to a restaurant on V-Day itself where it's all about turning tables and often having the B Team on duty in the kitchen" whereas I have friends who are all "Expletive overpriced flowers that are just going to die". Maybe it's just having breakfast in bed. Or a long walk in the woods. Or sex on the dining room table. Or as I said to a former partner "I just want to know that you set aside a little block of time and thought about me and what would make me happy, what would show that you do love me and wanted to do something special. Not an hour, I mean fifteen minutes, including the time typing in your VISA card number on the FTD website, that's all. (I've been accused of not being very romantic.)

"Oh, but why THAT day. I don't like feeling compelled to celebrate on a day someone picked out for me. We should celebrate our love all year long!" Do you and your partner celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah on random days, just because you refuse to be tied to a calendar? Well, then okay. Otherwise, suck it up buttercup. What the hell is wrong with an annual reminder to check and see if you're phoning it in? Hey, if you are, throughout the year, firing off random celebrations of your love, then carry on! Ignoring Valentine's Day seems sort of silly, if you're good at doing that kind of thing year round. Oh, here's one more opportunity, and your love can reflect on how for her/him, it feels like Valentine's Day year round!

Now don't get me wrong -- when you're poly, celebrating Valentine's Day ON Valentine's Day can be problematic. I mean some poly folks treat it like Thanksgiving -- let's everyone do a thing together and celebrate all our love! Others deliberately don't do anything with anyone on the day itself and just scatter the celebrations with each partner around the date. Growing up, our family was always all about celebrating when it was convenient and made sense for everyone - your birthday party was always the Saturday before or after your actual birthday. So, that comes in handy if you have a partner who really likes to celebrate the thing on the day of the thing and another partner who just finds the hole in the Google calendar and slots the celebration somewhere within a 30 day window.

And then there are the people who are underpartnered or single. Sigh, I'm all alone on Valentine's Day. sniff. This is the day when I realize that everyone in the world has someone special except for me. sniff, sniff.

Oh, please. It was such a revelation to me, the first Valentine's Day I was single. Wait, I can have exactly what I want for dinner? I can have the whole bottle of expensive wine? A dessert that makes me happy and no one else? I can watch the movie I want? Buy the really good chocolates that I like? My favorite flowers? BRING IT. Valentine's Day when you're single is awesome -- a big giant wallow in self indulgence and self love!

While I'm not technically single...I've chosen to be single this night. Ostensibly to give my metamours time with our partners, but really so that I can revel in being completely self-absorbed and self-indulgent. I've got a lovely steak, a wine more expensive than I would usually allow myself to get for just me, some pistachio gelato, a smooth seductive sipping rye for after dinner...and I'm still pondering my movie choice. And I'll break out the crystal because I deserve it, but wear pajamas because I deserve it.

I feel very strongly that you cannot begin to understand how to make someone else truly happy if you do not first understand how to make yourself happy...all by yourself.

So celebrate yourselves, my friends, and have a Happy Valentine's Day!
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