This One Goes Out to the One I Love

Working in an office on or near VD is always interesting. It’s the one holiday a year where you can measure how much a man compensates for the weakness in his relationship by showering his woman/man with flowers and candy. I’ve never understood this holiday.

When we were kids we were required to bring valentines and candy for everyone in the class. It used to be you only gave Valentines to the one you were smitten with. But, in an all-including culture where nobody’s a loser and we slowly feed this sense of entitlement regardless of performance, it’s almost as if we’ve forgotten how it’s all supposed to work.

I read in an interview that Michael Stipe from REM was baffled by people who used “The One I Love” as their “song”. That is, they used it as a song to connect and describe their relationship. But if you read the lyrics, you can understand Stipe’s reaction:

This one goes out to the one I love
This one goes out to the one I’ve left behind
A simple prop to occupy my time
This one goes out to the one I love

Fire.
Fire (she’s comin’ down on her own, now)

I don’t know any woman who would take kindly to being called a prop and only a means to occupy someone’s time. But, you see, this is the whole problem with the whole story, I think. People take the time to listen to that one line, that one idea and disregard the rest. Valentine’s Day falls into that chasm of the error of selective understanding like a rock hurtled to the floor of the Grand Canyon.

You can send various implements that reflect your affection every day. The florist is open every other day of the year, Godiva has its own shop in the mall. You may be find it a little more difficult to find everything heart shaped but who cares? A heart doesn’t look like that anyway. If you really love someone you should celebrate that everyday. It’s like Christmas, when every asshole wants to be charitable then go back to being an asshole again after.

One day to show everyone else someone matters to you with unhealthy candy and flowers which will wilt and die seems like an utter waste and I’m sure I’m not the only single, cynical misanthrope who is writing an entry like this or will write one in the days to come.

But I’m used to this feeling around this time of year. Only once have I ever had someone species to send something to. It was long distance and she ended up ripping my heart from my chest a couple months later. I’m trying to stay realistic (because optimism is like asking to get kicked in the teeth then saying thank you after) and doing the whole live and let live thing but overhearing conversations with women squealing about the flowers they got and complimenting each other on their boquets.

I have to wonder if they’re secretly sizing up each other’s gifts to see if their SO bought them better flowers and nicer chocolate. That animal instinct that creates a need to compete for the perfect mate. Now they stay away from actually trying to steal men from each other (mostly). I think the measuring criteria is still there. Then this goes for the men as well. As I alluded to earlier, it’s like a means of marking and claiming territory. I doubt the sincerity of most men who rely on material things because money is easier than feelings. I know that all too well.

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