The V Word

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.

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