Monday, February 13, 2006

If I have to work, it shouldn't be a holiday...

If I wanted to be really melodramatic, I’d say I’m writing this on the Eve of Black Tuesday. Then I’d go on to explain that I call it Black Tuesday because Tuesday is Valentine’s Day and that out of some odd sense of protest I will likely be wearing all black. As a way of saying “fuck Valentine’s day”—though albeit in a different context than it will be for some lucky bastards (and, I suppose, weird people with stuffed bear and card fetishes…while I hope such oddballs don’t exist, in a world of Furries or whatever they like to call themselves it sadly wouldn’t surprise me. Weird me out yes. Surprise? No).

And then I’d go on to say why I was wearing black. That this particular Saint’s day and I are not on hollidaylial speaking terms because I’ve had a quarter century of life experience and not once have I had a proper Valentine date. Not once. I would then go on to clarify that I’m clearly not counting those grade school days, because I got cards and whatnot then…even though everyone but that Wiggum kid got boat-loads of cards. And I might raise a mildly angered “but still…it’s a long time” to any arguments that while I’ve been around for quite a few Valentine’s Days, technically 2 year olds aren’t going to have Valentines. And so on. But then I would say, fine—let’s be charitable and cut this back to the start of high school. And then I’ve only gone dateless on February 14th for a nice, short decade. And I’d roll my eyes and say “oh, that’s much better.”

And then I’d say “piss off” in a bad British accent, hoping that some wickedly attractive, but drunken-enough-to-believe-my-cockney-accent-is-the-real-sticky-wicket (I don’t know what that means, but if she knows “out of her kit” we’d be in business) but more than likely just take my bottle of whiskey and storm off to listen to depressing sad bastard music and then watch fairly anti-romantic movies like Chinatown—or worse, watch The Graduate. The Graduate being a great romantic comedy until you realize it’s more about not just being alone, but being so terrified of being lonely that you’ll crash a wedding for to be with a girl you’re not even 100% you like that much (but you know she’ll still be hot when she’s older.) That’s what makes it a date movie…it’s a lot funnier to watch when you’re not alone. And then I’d go to work on Wednesday hungover, but it won’t be that bad because other people will have gotten laid and be just as tired. Who knows, maybe there’ll even be some relationships twisted just enough that the sex only occurs when they’re drunk and they’ll be extra tired and hungover. And I’d say something dryly cynical like “well, I’m happier because Valentine’s Day is 364 days away,” until some wog questions if 2006 is a leap year (sorry ‘bout the “wog”, the British accent would be residual, like the hangover.)

But I won’t.

Oh sure, the black clothing may be there—though I’m telling myself it’s out of ironic kitsch or some happy horseshit like that—and maybe the sad bastard music even. But I don’t hate the holiday. I just fear it a little, because it’s the big “love” holiday…and love is one of the scariest damn things out there.

I’m convinced this is why a big-time horror-romance movie hasn’t worked: people go to the movies for entertainment, and something that would hit that close to the bone would be unnerving. And unnerving is almost as bad a box-office draw as the words “starring Rob Schneider”.

Love is scary.

A few years back a good friend pontificated on the varieties of love. Ignore for the fact that the setting (a Red Hot Chili Peppers/Snoop Dogg concert), while being more suited for a “love symposium” (which sadly sounds more like a potential title for either a new Isaac Hayes or The Darkness album but I’m going with it anyway) than say, a ghetto back alley littered with crack pipes, was still not an ideal venue for sharing such thoughts, I agreed with her then and I still do now. In fact I’m going to paraphrase even:

Love, by itself, can be many things, but mostly it’s platonic. You love your family, but (outside any readers—oops, I mean people this is being read to—with velvet Peyton Manning pictures and Vol Navy caps) you don’t have “relations” with them.

Lust, well that should be obvious. If not, believe me when I tell you not enough people read this blog for you to bother reporting my filthy language to James Dobson. And I keep my syntax complicated (or garbled, if you’re the grammatically picky type) so little kids are discouraged from reading it.

When you’re In Love, that’s the start of something big, or at least it’s a pretty happy time overall. You want to jump the other person’s bones, you want to cuddle afterwards, you risk being called a pussy by your friends when you go on and on about how “chill” she is, you risk alienating your prudish friend when you say “guess what we did last?” and start in with anatomically precise detail and far-to-vivid language. And from here you can date, become boyfriend and girlfriend (or bf and bf or gf and gf—though in many places the meeting the parents part is probably more complicated here) hell, you can even get married at this point (and the cynic in me would here point out that some folks, they don’t even need love—or lust…shudder—to get married.) Oh and the breakups? Those hurt, really, physically they can hurt.

(Side note messing up the roll I’m on: Isn’t it weird that even people in their 30s and older that are dating seriously use the terms “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”. Boy- and girl-hood long since past, we wind up clinging to these vestigial descriptors. I guess because “manfriend” and “womanfriend” sound beyond unappealing.)

And sometimes beyond all that—and I’ll let the non-True Romantic believers here step outside and smoke or something for this part—you get to that soulmate/true love stage with the person you’re in love with. And even better, sometimes they do too. Am I convinced that last part’s out there? Hell no…if that had actually happened to me, all the cynical, embittered opener of this essay wouldn’t exist. But I believe it might be…and it scares me.

Love is scary.

Being In Love can be terrifying.

What does that do, potentially, for True Love and soulmates?

Is it like the jump in horror from something mostly innocuous and even somewhat funny like Scream 3 to a real doozy like The Exorcist or something by Takashi Miike?

Love. Is. Scary.

Almost four years ago, I wrote some nice, flowery, somewhat Tom Robbins-inspired stuff about love in the Red and Black. It was inspired by one person, a person to my knowledge that didn’t even have class that day and probably didn’t read it. One or two other people knew the “truth” about it, everyone else seemed just somewhat cynically assumed it was another columnal ploy to attract female attention—and I guess we should score another chalk for the cynics as that night I did meet a few ladies and they all mentioned the column. Or we could say that it really moved them because it was real, heartfelt, etc. Even if it missed the scary part.

So let’s amend it.

Love doesn’t hate the date that ditches it to snort free blow with random people. Love instead, like a dumbass, hopes that the people are not undercover narcotics agents and she doesn’t die/get beat up/raped/worse. Love is then up all night not sleeping.

Love gets you to believe that if she’s with him and happy (or if he’s with her and happy, etc.) and you don’t how they feel about you, it’s better to let them be happy. Even at your expense.

Love sometimes can do the “right thing” and regret it later. Love is honest, love is scary.

Love has feelings about people hundreds (and thousands) of miles away, sometimes even about people it may not see again. Love can be threatened by you in a myriad ways, be cut out from your life and still wonder how you’re life is going, and hope it’s working out for the best.

Love writes sappy things about love, knowing full well that the “what the fuck is this shit” comments will be forthcoming. Love then, can be blamed for several obnoxiously sappy and/or catchy songs on the radio…which is also scary.

Love gets defensive sometimes.

Love is scary.

Happy fucking Valentine’s Day…who needs a drink?

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