Anti-schmaltz, anti-saccharine Valentine linkfest

Cupid We were concentrating on more contemporary historical matters here in Oz, but yesterday was also Darwin Day.

Women in “Free” Iraq

Women Behind Bars (via Feministe)

How cheap is your love?

What would you tell your 14-year-old self?

Quote Of The Day

Share your worst Valentine’s Day stories!

Mine goes back more than 20 years, to the long-distance lover whose ardour was cooling after three years together, and who would have saved dumping me until the weekend of Valentine’s Day if I hadn’t insisted on travelling to see him the weekend beforehand (he’d been away for a while, and I was desperately missing him, more fool me). In retrospect he was baiting me to dump him for months – “oh, I couldn’t figure out what to get you for Christmas”. Coward.

The travesty about that was, that for most of the three years we’d been very happy, but I was so shrivelled by the dumping which I had not foreseen that I pretty much blanked all our time together from my memory. I still have an essentially empty three years there. I know intellectually that I was enjoying myself most of that time, but I can’t actually remember hardly any of it. Shame that a particularly passive-aggressive exercise in ending a relationship with a whimper poisoned that whole well for me, but there you go.

The worst thing: I blamed myself and hated myself for losing him for years. Which was stupid. You can’t make people stay in love with you, and young love often doesn’t survive the diverging emergence of more mature personalities. Shit happens, and eventually you get over it, even if it is all tied up with some stupid consumer holiday that sneaks up on you annually for years afterwards.

I’m happily partnered now for the last 17 years, so in some ways it’s easy for me to say that VDay shouldn’t be a big deal, but honestly: don’t make it a big deal. Don’t let the myth that feeds the consumer machine grind you down.

Image credit: “Cupid” by RBerteig



Categories: history, Politics, relationships, Sociology

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11 replies

  1. My partner and I were walking home from an after work beer on what happened to be Valentine’s Day several years ago when we saw a very long queue of couples, clearly waiting for the start of their romantic night out, standing outside a theatre restaurant. It wasn’t a bad Valentine’s Day for us, but I still wonder about all those couples celebrating their lerve with buxom wenches and vampires.
    Of course, there was also the VD when I’d forgotten, I was single and went to the Moonlight Cinema with a group of mates. The couple behind us were having sex under their blanket, which we could live with until they started kicking one of our number. And my best mate’s then boyfriend was reading a computer book all the way through Roman Holiday. She wasn’t particularly impressed.

  2. It’s amazing to me just how many people buy roses, chocolates and cards today
    Is there a figure for how much money is spent on this day each year?

  3. I’m sure economists have made the calculations a time or two, but I’m not about to look it up right now, because we have been nominated for the Canadian F-word blogs!

    In the Best International Feminist Blog category, which puts us up against some stiff competition.
    Anyway, if you feel you lack Canadians on your current blog reading list (I know that I do), head on over to Creative Revolution to check out some of their best in the nominations list.

  4. I have no Valentine’s Day stories at all. I did get an anonymous rose once. It’s just never been a day that has featured much in my life.
    The other day I had this conversation with my Best Beloved:
    “Do we do Valentine’s Day? I think it’s this week.”
    “Not really. I don’t believe in it.”
    “Oh. Ok. I wondered if it might be nice to – I don’t know – make you a pie, or something.” (Replace pie with the delectable, present, or metaphor of your choice. It was just the first thing that dropped into my head.)
    “Sweetie, *smooch*, I’d make you a pie any day.”
    And he does.
    I have the ingredients for a Banoffee. Might make one now.

  5. My very first boyfriend dumped me on Valentine’s Day.
    Nope, not the weekend or day before, not the day after. On Valentine’s Day.
    I was 15 and loved him, etc. I went into a very deep and very unhealthy depression for . . . I don’t know, at least 6 months. I don’t usually talk about it, but yeah, it was bad.
    The thing is — as you could have probably guessed from the fact that he dumped me on Valentine’s Day — he was a total asshole. In fact, though I didn’t realize it for about a year when I knew better that relationships weren’t supposed to be that way, that he was both sexually and emotionally abusive. I found out around 6 months later that he had actually cheated on me with countless other girls throughout the entire 11 month relationship because I wouldn’t fuck him. And that he dumped me for some other girl, who he claims he started dating 6 days after breaking up with me, though I’m quite sure now that it was before he actually bothered to end it. This knowledge briefly plunged me deeper into suicidal thoughts, but was actually what I needed to realize that I was better off without the guy. I’m almost positive that he married her, and though I hated her at the time, I now feel terribly for her, as she’s almost certainly in a very abusive relationship.
    In retrospect, it was probably actually the best Valentine’s Day gift I’ve ever gotten (especially since my husband and I don’t celebrate it). And it was also probably the best thing that asshole ever did for me. I dread to think of how long it would have taken for me to break up with him, and how much more he would have been able to fuck me up in that time frame. Probably not soon enough for me to have met the boyfriend who later became my husband. But it certainly didn’t feel like a gift at the time.
    Oh, and did I mention that there was a blizzard that day? And that I had to walk home from school in snow that was literally two feet deep? Because my mom didn’t come to pick me up that day? Because she had gotten into a car accident on her way, which has caused a back and neck problem that will probably affect her for the rest of my life? That I was then responsible for finding my 8-year-old brother a way home from school, and that my dad was in such a panic over my mom that he accidentally locked himself out of his own car while it was still running? And that it was right after all of this that said asshole boyfriend dumped me — over the phone?
    Yeah, all of that’s pretty relevant. The day was not only the worst Valentine’s Day — it easily ranks within the top ten worst days of my life. Maybe top 5.
    Cara’s last blog post..Shampoo, Toothpaste and Vibrators: Perfect Valentine?s Day Supplies

  6. What about those people that send you roses and chocolates and cards etc regardless of whether you want them or not?
    Just saying is all…

  7. “Triggering the Grand Irrationality?”
    Cowering in an obscure corner of the food pyramid
    somewhere between the tofu and the unflavored yogurt
    contemplating the juxtaposition of intangibles for all you are worth…..

  8. Cara, ouch. My ex was a coward, but not that much of an arsehole.
    Mr tog and I do usually exchange gifts and a soppy card, generally home-made cards are considered the go. It’s a good excuse for bubbly, too.

  9. My fiance dumped me via e-mail for VD. He clearly WANTED to dump me on our anniversary (Groundhog Day), but uh, restrained himself.
    Tonight’s VD was just strange. I had to work, then the power blew out, and I ended up in a pizza joint with other refugees from the joint. Not bad, though.

  10. Bit late for this, but Valentine’s 5 years ago was the day my partner was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Giving chocolates seems a bit mean in the context.
    This year I had a 10 hour shift at Horrible Workplace, in which all the females extolled their boyfriends’ possession of hitherto unexpressed emotion as demonstrated by the purchase of expected surprise gifts (the one male present having been dumped the day before), and I gave the local lesbian couple an extra large box of chips for free. It was actually quite fun.

  11. Diabetes diagnosis is not my idea of Valentine’s fun either, AK (I hope you found something else to tickle partner’s fancy) but your day sounds about as good as it gets for Horrible Workplaces.

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