SOCIAL STUDIES The V Word Jill Kushner

Valentine’s Day is 28 days away.  However, if you walk into a Rite-Aid or CVS today, you will see that aisle.  The GET INTO A RELATIONSHIP RIGHT THIS MINUTE BECAUSE THERE’S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT!!! aisle.  Valentine’s Day takes over an aisle well ahead of it’s actual day.  As we all are aware, this practice happens annually with other holidays, too, like Halloween and Christmas (with a smaller section dedicated to the adorable Chanukah).  I think most of us have the same please slow down reaction to these ever-revolving red alert holiday aisles.  But the Valentine’s Day aisle is somehow the worst of the lot.  The only thing the Valentine’s Day aisle is missing is a large marquee sign that blinks: “Single People, You Must Feel Extra Single Right Now!”  Then the sign actually points and laughs at you.  And maybe an ex of yours is also positioned in the aisle and they’re with the person that they’re currently in a wonderful relationship with.  They both wave at you.  And then make out.  And then wave at you, again.

The irony is, when I find myself single at any given time during a year, I’m usually fine with it.  Until I need cotton balls.  In January or February.  Damn that aisle.  It makes me rethink everything.  Past relationships, did I go to the right school? Should I have gotten a stick shift?  And the lighting in Rite-Aid never helps that aisle-induced spiral.  I mean, I don’t think any of us ever realize how old we are until we see ourselves in Rite-Aid lighting. It’s the dog years of lighting.  I’ve seen 15-year-old girls in Rite-Aid who I mistake for Martin Landau.  It’s just not right.  I think someone who hated most of us in junior high school is the someone who decided how all Rite-Aids should be lit.

I wonder when Valentine’s Day started getting a big push and really became a part of the zeitgeist.  Sure, Hallmark was a major player in this move, but maybe it started even earlier.

Annie Oakley: “A certain someone better remember to pick up flowers or they are going to get shot right in their damn pupil.  And I have good enough aim to do it.”

Joan of Arc standing in front of hundreds and hundreds of French soldiers: “Are you f’n kidding me!?  Not ONE of you brought me a heart shaped box of chocolates?! (throws up her arms and sighs) … Men!”

Martha Washington: “We’re ALL busy, George.  A tiny stufed bear holding a tiny stuffed heart would take four tiny hours out of your day!!!” (Writer’s note: It took longer to get places then, but that was also their normal. So four hours for an errand was likely nothing.)

What I’m realizing, in taking creative license with history (or maybe these are all real quotes that I personally heard each woman utter because I am a Time Traveler), is that the people who ARE in relationships aren’t necessarily that thrilled, either.  They feel extra pressure and stress from Valentine’s Day, too.  I wonder if the really groovy couples who’ve been together forever even pay any attention to Valentine’s Day.  For instance, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.  Those guys have been together forever and they say they don’t need a piece of paper to prove that they’re in love.  I wonder if that piece of paper is actually two pieces of paper.  A marriage license and a Valentine’s Day card.

You know what?  I think I’ll be just fine over this Valentine’s Day “season”.  I’m cool with being single right now.  For real.  I just probably won’t buy any Advil or Mascara until February 15th.

Image via: templeadlib.com

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  1. My best girls and I decided last year that we are going to turn this holiday around. The plan was to make all the boys wish they had grown some guts and asked us out. We did a trip to the dollar store to get a bunch of decorations and treats a week prior. After we got all dressed up, we went to the dining hall and set a table with flower petals a center piece and epic music. Every guy that past us checked us out! We topped off dinner with some (college budget) chocolate fondu.
    This year we continue the tradition with bigger plans. I’m think t-shirts that say “Hi I’m Single.” on the front and “Now You’re Aware.” on the back. We can’t wait for Single’s Awareness Day!!!

  2. I just don’t get the point of V day. There have been years where I’m single and years when I’ve had a boyfriend, but I’ve never celebrated it. I mean if you really care about someone shouldn’t you be nice to them all year? I made a big boo-boo last year, I broke up with my boyfriend on V day! I didn’t even realize it was V day. I was yelling on the phone and broke up with him. I was in the car with my Mom who then reminded me it was V day. Oops.

  3. hahahahaha!!!! this was FABFABFAB :D

  4. LoL! Very funny!
    You must be a time traveler for how else could you get such realistic quotes? I’m most disappointed in Joan’s French soldiers–aren’t they supposed to be good lovers?
    I’m now wondering if you have a hot tub time machine or if you’ve sprung for the newer time machine refrigerator? I’ve heard good things about the new model. ;)

    • Thanks, Ellie!! I think I messed up. I didn’t get the hot tub time machine or the refrigerator time machine. I got the Brita Water Filter one. Tiny! :(

  5. “or maybe these are all real quotes that I personally heard each woman utter because I am a Time Traveler”.
    “WHAT IF???”, I find myself thinking.
    Best sentence.

    I’ll be celebrating V Day with boyfriend for the first time and it actually bores me a bit. I’ve spent the past 21 years (okay maybe not when I was a child but anyways) thinking this day sucked I’m not sure I want to change my mind just because I have a –speshul– one. It shouldn’t matter what day it is :) But anyways, my heart’ll be with you until Feb 15th! ;)

  6. Thank you so much for this! Valentine’s Day always makes me feel sad about myself and all my friends in relationships are like “but it’s a day to love EVERYONE!”

  7. Your time traveling quotes were hilarious! Thank you for making me laugh. My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for the past five years and never once have we celebrated V-day. I’m neither sad nor happy about it, it’s just another day to us. What’s really important is when you do find yourself in a relationship with someone you really care about to celebrate your love everyday not just Feb 14th.

  8. hahaha, the Joan de Arc scene is hilarious!
    Great Srticle, Jill <3

    I was in relationships for the last 14 years and none of my boyfriends ever gave me a card, flowers, chocolat or a cheep stuffed animal. poor me!! ;)
    but last year, my first single year since ever, my BFF sent me a huge red rose :)

    • Thank you, Frollein! Glad you liked it & the, what I’m sure is exactly how it happened, bit on Joan of Arc and her Valentine’s Day. :)