Before Eve Ensler made it cool (and I hope you took a look at yesterday's post on this), Valentine's Day was painful for me from my teens into my 20s. I was perpetually boyfriendless and stupidly bitter about it. In college--at BYU--I remember cutting withered hearts out of black construction paper and giving them to my peers on campus, who were alternately amused and confused. I guess this was far better than cutting myself.
BYU was a place where chaste pre-marital coupling happened often and quickly--engagements were short, and weddings ubiquitous. Even in the late '80s, to graduate single and uncommitted was still a tad edgy--but I finally learned to embrace this and flaunt it when I, myself, graduated single at 23.
And that's another story.
Once I met my future spouse, Valentine's Days were often just awkward, both of us buckling under its pressure.
Now that I'm older I've decided I really love the aesthetic, and have embraced it like a kid, if only for the art and chocolate.
Here are the pros and cons of the day as I see them:
1. Jacked--up Vday menus. (Relatedly, crowded restaurants full of corny couples.)
2. Corporate Vday cards and their nauseous sentiments.
3. Red roses. (I can't stand them--particularly the way the bodegas put together these beauty pageant sized bouquets with baby's breath, and then jack up the price.)
4. Single people might feel sad!
1. The shape of the Valentine heart.
2. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolate. (And more and more organic, fair-trade chocolate available.)
3. Dark chocolate.
4. Heart-shaped passion fruit donuts at The Doughnut Plant.
5. Vintage Valentines
6. Kid-to-kid handmade Valentines
7. Pop songs about love from when I was in junior high. (See below.)
8. Red dresses and pink tights.
So last night, throwing myself into the day, I made chocolate-and-stout black bean tostadas, and picked up a small heart-shaped chocolate cake.
I put on a red dress and hot pink tights.
I visited Bond Street Chocolates where they had absinthe and rose-infused pieces. Also, skull-shaped bon bons and chocolate Buddhas.
And Valentine's Day makes me think of Courtney Love, who, in spite of everything, I continue to love. And in addition to the obvious relevant resonance of her last name, that whole kinderwhore look seems inspired by vintage Valentines, no?
This Baby's video was A.'s Valentine to me today: the link sent in an email. Perfect and perfectly free! (Check out the back-up singer's hot pink top!)
This was my Valentine to all of my friends on Facebook:
There is way to make V-day work for you is all I'm saying. I hope you found something to love!