There’s no occasion more fitting for the inauguration of this blog than Valentine’s Day. No other holiday throws into such sharp relief the plight of the perpetually single. Nothing punctuates our misery like watching everyone else receive roses and chocolates and decide what to wear to the expensive dinners their significant others are paying for. None of us can plan on anything more exciting than a million replays of “Fuck and Run” by Liz Phair, a good cry, and a hangover.
Don’t get me wrong—I am not the type to go around on V-Day pretending there isn’t anything special going on while simultaneously wearing all black as a sign of mourning. (Oh wait, I TOTALLY AM.) But honestly, there is something kind of satisfying about it. I can’t think of a better excuse to relive crushes, relationships, and dates good and bad while reading really, really depressing love poetry in the dark. And if you’re like me, and did get a heart-shaped candy sampler from someone (thanks, Mom), you can even do it while stuffing your face with mini KitKat bars and handfuls of pretzel M&Ms.
I’m all for spending today reflecting on (grieving over) the loves of years past, and maybe even celebrating my personal highlight reel of Most Romantic Moments. That time over spring break when we spent a week apart and he told me he missed me? He didn’t exactly phrase it that way and he did tell me via text message, but still—SO ROMANTIC. The night when we sat in the coffee shop and talked for three hours without running out of things to say? THAT WAS THE BEST DATE EVER. You get my point.
I’m a little bit perplexed, though, by this piece I came across recently, Mary Louise Parker’s “A Thank-You Note to Men” for Esquire. (Sorry you have to browse through all those naked pictures of her to see the letter; but damn do I wish I looked like that in an apron.) At first, I thought it was sweet, even kind of moving. “To the ones who destroyed me, even if for a minute, and to the ones who grew me, consumed me, gave me my heart back times ten.” I’ve so been there. Right on, MLP. Then I started feeling angry. How unrealistic! Where is the part where we talk about how annoying men are, how they leave the seat up and always forget your birthday? I have taken it upon myself to do a re-write.
To the boys I love(d):
To the assholes who slept in my bed for weeks on end and never once offered to take me to a movie; to the douchebags who said they would call and never spoke to me again; to the idiots who only wanted to take off my clothes; to the cowards who didn’t have the nerve to kiss me in front of their friends; to the sensitive ones who wanted to cuddle but conveniently forgot to tell me that they “weren’t ready” until it was too late; to the players who thought that making out was a suitable contribution to a serious relationship talk; to the jerks who used to text me all day long and now won’t look me in the eye—someday I’m going to forget about you. Someday I will forget about you, how you broke my heart and didn’t look back. But I hope I never forget what you taught me, things you didn’t even know you were teaching. Things I don’t want to unlearn. How when you called me some dumb petname like “babygirl,” or told me I was pretty, that I was sexy, I really felt that way. How waking up next to you never ceased to thrill me, was almost holy, even though we both had bad breath and my eye make-up was smeared down my face. How if I was lucky the pillow would still smell like you the next night. How when we held hands I never wanted to let go, how certain songs reminded me of you. Your gray t-shirt, so soft to sleep in. What it felt like just to know that I had you, that I would see you again, that it was possible to care so much. What it felt like to lose you and to realize, eventually, that even without you all was not lost. If I am thankful for anything, it’s that because of you I am capable of waiting. I am capable of hoping that next year on Valentine’s Day I won’t be thinking of you at all.
On that note, happy wallowing!