So it’s Valentine’s Day, a day I like to celebrate by bitching and frowning myself into a jagged bitter pill with a heart two sizes too small. As a waitress, Valentine’s night was always my least favorite shift of the year, what with the restaurant removing all the four-top tables and cramming in a million two-seaters to make room for the flood of gooey couples. Not only did that leave me with way more tables than usual to service, but the patrons I had to tend to were all of the dreaded “camper” variety, meaning they never, ever left. My time-to-leave hints — the de-crumbing of the table, the dropping of the check, the vacuuming underneath their feet — were no match for the super-strength hand-holding and eye-gazing and self-satisfied sighing. By the end of the night, I wanted to punch their faces off.
My dislike of the holiday has only intensified in the years since then. I will admit to some fun years along the way, in particular the butter-drenched artichoke party (eat your heart out!) I once hosted, an intimate gathering of close friends held on the floor of my old apartment on 17th Street. And Jill has hosted some cake-addled Valentine’s doozies in her day. But, generally speaking, I think the Day is pretty gross.
The times I’ve done the whole sturm und dance — the dressing up, the going out to a nice restaurant, the boozing and candling — always make me and my relationship feel lesser somehow. Maybe because what we’re doing and feeling is so very similar to the behaviors of the other couples wining and dining around us, which sort of negates that irrational “we’re the luckiest people in the WHOLE WORLD and the only two people who REALLY GET IT!” bliss that’s one of the great things about love? And, by extrapolation, if our coupledom is so much like all these other people’s relationships, then doesn’t that mean it’s equally vulnerable to the disappointments and statistically probable unhappy endings that plague everyone else? Really nothing quashes romance and sexy feelings like cold, black leaps of logic such as these.
Of course if Marco wants to take me out for a nice meal and get me flowers and chocolate things tomorrow, I’m more than happy to rise to the occasion with Valentinian levels of goo and swoon!
Anyway. This is all just long, vitriolic preamble to explain why I’m sitting home alone on Valentine’s Day. Marco has been sent out to drink beer and play guitar with one of his beer-drinking, guitar-playing friends, meanwhile I’m supposed to be getting caught up on some woefully-unattended-to writing projects, “Getting caught up on my writing” being Euphemism, it turns out, for “watching insane Dolly Parton videos on YouTube”:
I love this video, from the R. Kelly intro to the song she sings (one of my all-times) to the jumpsuit she’s wearing right on through to the freaky high-speed novelty ending. Viva the Dolly!