English texts, The Darkside

The Stereotypes of Valentine’s Day

ChocholateHearts, candy and flowers. Cordial poems and pink balloons. Yep, it’s that time of year again – whether you like it or not.

Valentine’s Day is a time for ecstatic happiness, but also for great depression. It all depends on one thing: Do you have that special someone by your side?

Today we are going to view the 14th of February from the perspective of three stereotypes: The lovebirds, the singles and the skeptics. Obviously I’m going to start with the lovebirds.

1. THE LOVEBIRDS

If you are in one of those lovey-dovey (brand new?) relationships, where you only have eyes for each other, Valentine’s Day is just about the greatest gift you can get. For one day, the whole world explodes in a measureless festival of ROMANCE … and LOVE! Everybody is a little bit nicer, a little bit cuter and a little bit more sensitive. Usually, you might not notice what happens outside of your bedroom, but on Valentine’s Day the whole world celebrates YOU and other couples, who are (almost) as much in love as you are (but just almost, because you two have the greatest love of all, way, way, way above Rhett and Scarlett and Romeo and Juliet, and all those other kids).

You’ve plastered pictures of the two of you kissing all over the internet, and filled up your Facebook status with hearts, now it’s time to hit the stores. Like the true lovebirds you are, you don’t stop at flowers and candy. Your special love requires special gifts, like a “Ring For A Kiss” bell, a T for 2 t-shirt or a cuddle pillow with arm tunnels.

A conversation between two lovebirds goes something like this:

–          Is Valentine’s Day the best, or what?

–          No, silly, YOU are the best!

–          Oh, Barbie!

–          Oh, Ken!

 

 

2. THE SINGLES My_bloody_valentine_poster_german_poster

Some singles feel a touch of melancholy on February 14th, and they might find the lovebirds a tad too smug, but aside from that, they don’t dwell too much on the matter. The stereotypical singles, on the other hand, hate Valentine’s Day like the Black plague.

Are you one of those people who can’t see the charm in fat, little angels with weapons? Who quit wearing pink at the age of four? Who get sick if someone writes a poem about you containing the words “girl” and “world”? Then you just might fit into this category.

Some of the singles refuse to leave their apartments on Valentine’s Day, and sit alone with their black candles and Valentine Horror Movies. Others make a statement, and attend one of those Anti-Valentine parties, where people throw darts at pictures of their ex-partners. The Singles don’t talk. They buy heart printed toilet paper, and wipe their ass with love.

3. THE SKEPTICS

Come February, and every male in a five mile radius will be frantically preoccupied with how the consumer industry exploits innocent customers. I say male, because most of the skeptics are men. Women might think the fuss around Valentine’s Day is silly, but they seldom form personal crusades towards it, the way men do.

A typical skeptic says things like: “Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy between the greeting card companies and the florists, and this year I suspect that the chocolate factories are in on it too”.

Sorry, guys, you’re wrong! Valentine’s Day, started out as a celebration of the Saint and martyr Valentinus, who was imprisoned for his faith, way back in the year 273. Before he was executed he wrote a letter for his dear beloved, and signed it “From your Valentine”. This is where the tradition started, and even though the world didn’t catch up on it right away, the day has been celebrated for hundreds of years. So the tradition has gone from Saint to sellout, you say? Well, perhaps, but what if I asked you to draw your own, totally free, Valentine’s card? Is that commercial?

I have one more question concerning this category: Are the skeptics skeptical because they are too cheap to buy a card, or are they simply protecting the little romantic inside? I choose to believe in the little caged up inner romantic, and I can practically hear each and every skeptic think:

– Shit… if I let out the little romantic I might turn gay. I better go out and shoot a moose!

Valentines gift

POEMS AND SUCH

So what do you think about Valentine’s Day? Personally, I have a boyfriend, so I don’t feel the need to wipe my ass with love, but if I’m faced with people like the lovebirds, I do feel a sudden urge to dig my own grave. I guess Valentine’s Day, like most things in life, is good in the right dosage. But who am I to decide? Let’s see what the poets have to say:

 

Dorothy Parker’s off-season Valentine poem:

Autumn Valentine

In May my heart was breaking-
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.
And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
«Poor thing, do you remember?»
«What heart was that?» it cried.

 

Card

 

Edgar Allan Poe’s poem (riddle) for Frances Sargent Osgood:

A Valentine

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines!- they hold a treasure
Divine– a talisman- an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
The words– the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet’s, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto– Mendez Ferdinando-
Still form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

 

 Text: V. Meidell

Originally printed in Darklands Magazine

 

valentine

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