Wednesday, February 15, 2012

the heart is a muscle, not a metaphor

So Valentines' Day has come and gone at this corner of the world. I'm not sure what to say about a Hallmark holiday specifically created so people could spend money for the sake of proving to another person that they love them, but I'm ambivalent towards Valentines. On the one hand, if you're spending it with someone you love, then good on you. Hope you had fun. On the other hand, shouldn't you be showing the person you love that, well, you love them every single day anyway?

I mainly have ambivalent feelings towards Valentines, simply because the previous ones where I did spend the day with a boyfriend are simply not as memorable as I would have wanted them to be. I mean, I'm pretty sure we had dinner out, and at least two out of the three previous boyfriends I've had gave me flowers, but other than that, I don't recall a Valentines Day where something traditionally romantic occurred. Like, no candlelit meals or chocolates or strolls along the river or dances... well, you know what I mean. (Although strolling along the river in Manila is not a good idea; the river is dead anyway. Maybe along the boardwalk at Manila Bay?)

And while I don't want to sound bitter or be a Debbie Downer, last year's Valentines' Day ended up like a pile of suck that just sucked even more. You see, last year I learned how to play the guitar. I learned how to play the guitar in two sessions, for this one song (a Bruno Mars song) that I wanted to play for my then-boyfriend. I thought, hey, I can't afford an expensive gift this year, so I will try to learn something new and perform and embarrass myself in front of him but you know, here is my love. I also bought food from one of our favorite restaurants so we could have dinner at home.

So there I was, with a borrowed guitar, waiting for the door to open. And he steps through the door, and I start singing and hoping that I don't mess up the chords, and midway through the first chorus, he goes, "Shut up. I want to have dinner."

You have no idea how disappointed I felt. I was ready to cry.

And I feel awful that that was the Valentines' Day I remember, that I think I will remember when I think about Valentines. That I honestly cannot remember any of the good things (if there were) from him or from any other guy that I dated during a Valentines. And I want to tell him, "You ruined this day for me, you dick."

Except, you know, I can't.

Well, unless he reads this.

Which is doubtful.

After all, this is the guy who couldn't figure out how to use a printer with a USB plug.

I'd like to have a nice Valentines' Day, maybe somewhere in the future. Like, where the romance and the fun and the love will be effortless, not forced. Where I'd be able to dance an awkward waltz in public because the music will be in our heads or where I'll receive flowers because they're beautiful and not because they're an overpriced commodity that triples in price during the 14th. Because love should be celebrated, in all its myriad and multitudinous forms, and romantic love is just really an aspect of what human beings are capable of when we care.

And as for me, I celebrated yesterday as Chocolate Appreciation Day: I went to my friend G's house to have dinner and eat brownies and keep her company since she's house-bound. And I received a valentine as well, from a very special sheep:

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