My pushy manipulative unbalanced Valentine

Posted in blog post on February 11th, 2011 by Merrill Markoe
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When it comes to love,  seems to me that no creature on the face of the earth is as generally clueless about what to do as the human being.  Witness this  clip of two albatrosses in love. (spoiler alert: Albatross porn. Parental guidance advised.) Both members of the lovely couple  were clearly born fully loaded with detailed instructional software that explained to them how they should perform this incredibly appealing highly effective mating ritual . I personally find it so moving and convincing that I would join their species happily if only it were an option.

And  I mention all this because it is almost that most potentially nightmarish repository of dashed hopes : Valentines Day.  Not even New Years Eve has the ability to cause its celebrants as much spiritual  disappointment. More often than not, Valentines Day seems like more of a trap than a holiday at all.  Its bad enough that we  human beings apparently lost all track of whatever instincts we may have  had  with regard to love during the dawn of civilization. (That is, assuming we ever  had them to begin with.) But even if the Neanderthals did at one time have some kind of a behavioral clue,  its been so long buried in  centuries of incomprehensible bad advice and awful role models  that its become almost impossible to know where to look for real sanity.

Bad enough that many of our parents screwed  up their own lives and thus taught us badly,   but the media continues banging the gong for the Ashlee Simpson/Pete Wentz paradigm of romantic grandeur. To refresh your memory,  this epic romance started out in 2008 with a highly publicized wedding requiring “10,000 black magic roses from Ecuador, a checkerboard dance floor, red carpets, crystal chandeliers and three-course dinner  catered by Wolfgang Puck.” only to end in a divorce announcement this very week. Another one of those greatest loves the world has ever known, born in pricey romantic details and then up in flames in  two years flat.

I’ve had first dates that lasted longer than that.

I guess what I most dislike about Valentine’s Day  is how its celebratory rules and regulations manage to be both high pressure and  vague at the same time. It seems perfectly constructed to make sure that no one participating ever feels like they’ve not let somebody down.  Great. Perfect. Thank you St. Valentine.   Its not like love and its maintenance didn’t have enough impenetrable labyrinthian details already without throwing a bunch of poorly defined holiday expectations  in to the mix .Great idea. What a perfect addition to an already endlessly Byzantine situation.

And by love, I mean reasonable love.  Every other kind is just too brain bleedy. The goal of love should be simply this: Don’t be INSANE.  If you are insane, please go give your love to someone else.  Really, I won’t feel slighted in the least.  I promise.

In the name of sanity and mental health,  I would advise any Valentines Day reveler  to proceed with caution upon receiving a Valentine’s Day card like any of the following:

Number one: This first Valentine’s Day Card that seems to have been designed for someone who is abusive, yet still  celebratory,  to give to his or her victim.

Note to recipient and/or author of this card: Guess what? How anyone is acting on the outside IS A BIG DEAL. The outside is the part WE CAN SEE!!! If someone is acting all rage filled and creepy on the outside, it pretty much doesn’t matter what they are  doing on the inside. Seriously: Not important!!! Richard Ramirez, ‘The Night Stalker’, who killed thirteen people, got married since he was incarcerated and  continues to have a steady stream of women writing him love letters . These  women  no doubt feel that no matter how he is acting on the outside, there’s something beautiful and touching happening deep inside of him.  WRONG. Probably not true but even if it is:  Not good enough!! No! If someone gives you this card, go in and pack.

Card Number two:

This one seems to have been produced for stalkers and/or Valentines who have OCD.  Yes, yes…I remember how being fixated on someone is supposed to be all passionate and sexually alive. But really: No.  Its not. Its not adorable to spend the day obsessed with someone. Its scary and horrible AND a big waste of time. Creepy. Creepy. Creepy. NEITHER A GIVER NOR AN ACCEPTOR OF THIS SENTIMENT BE.

If I may offer some advice: Try and find someone who has something else on their minds besides you.  Outside interests are good for a relationship! You will both need the subject matter and the additional company!

And the same holds true for the following type of Valentine.

Card Number three:

Here we see a photo of a football player.  So this is a card meant to be either 1) given by a girl to a boy who likes football or 2) by a boy who identifies with the football player but wants to impress the object of his affection. In either case,it is by design completely one sided and narcissistic. For one thing  It totally leaves the other person out of the picture.  Even if it is meant for one gay boy to give another, there’s only very unromantic looking player pictured and he is NOT even the person giving the card so….I’d say that no matter what the age group, sexual preference or demographic sample, there is no reason to have hope for much in the way of  interactive happy moments  with a person who gives you this card.

But lets look on the bright side now.  The good news is that Valentines Day only lasts a few hours.  And this year its on a Monday, which is chock full of built in excuses and limitations for plans.  Meanwhile, if you are still stranded, without any good ideas about what to do to get through it,  now that I have shot down all the card ideas you were secretly planning, go back and watch that albatross video.  It wouldn’t be  hard to learn that whole  routine. The albatrosses don’t have a copyright on it. And really, love doesn’t get too much better than that.

4 Responses to “My pushy manipulative unbalanced Valentine”

  1. paul buttles says:

    Wow, voyeur sex. Who would have thought Attenborough was into that kind of thing? It’s no wonder Errol Flynn was so successful with the ladies, given his prowess with the sword. He was almost as masterful with it as these albatrosses are with their beaks.

    I commented last night on my Facebook page that I loathed Valentine’s day, and that men, if free to speak truthfully, would admit that they loathed it too. My wife, an English lit’ teacher, wrote me a sonnet once as a Valentine’s gift. It’s a wonder I didn’t develop Type 1 diabetes upon reading it, it was so saccharine. I couldn’t even feign gratitude, or anything resembling a romantic emotion, which tells you more about me than it does about her. You know what she’s getting from me for Valentine’s day? An iPhone. And you know what, she’ll like it! Before you think I am beyond redemption, I have flowers delivered to my wife once a month, and I write her the odd funny note and leave it on her car dashboard, when the mood strikes me. She KNOWS I love her, but that I cannot bear to be told when/how to express it.

    Happy Valentine:-)


    PS. What’s with family members giving one another Valentine’s day cards? It feels especially yucky when I receive them from any of my brothers.

    • Paul Buttles says:

      Update: iPhone gift for the Mrs…….Swish…..nothing but net.

      Large Baskin Robbins Praeline and Cream malt bought for me by the Mrs on her way home from work…..Goal….Goal….Goal……!!!!

      Another Valentine’s day out of the way. Next, mother in law’s birthday on July 4th:-( Never was I happier than when I was diagnosed with cancer last year and didn’t have to go to her house and ‘celebrate.’ It got me out of Thanksgiving and Xmas too. What good is the cancer card if you don’t use it:-)

  2. Shira says:

    I’ve heard of “billing and cooing” but I admit, previous to this video, I was a little vague on the first part , other than in some sort of love for hire context, or in the revolutionary sense (“billing and couping”).

    As I’m given to understand it, Valentine’s Day is a test. You study your loved one, and are put through your paces several times a year (Chanukah, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, birthday). You are then assigned a score between 1 and 10 based on the gift chosen, and any input you had in the celebration itself. The Annual Standardized Dating score is then compared to a national index, from which your percentile rank is derived. Progress is charted from year to year. This strikes me as altogether sensible.

    Yeah, Valentine’s Day is generally a trap, for both parties. I am not sure whether it’s because I have Evil Girlfriend Syndrome or if the fellow’s I’ve dated were just “doing it wrong” but it always has seemed as though, while intimacy is a growth area, romance isn’t so much. I’m generally happy in a relationship regardless of whether there’s all that much showboating, but a part of me (the same part that hopes that there’ll be something grand about a “grand opening”) does continue to have crazy expectations.

  3. Tina says:

    I remember seeing this program when it was on TV and thought Mr. Attenborough looked a bit too comfortable sitting there on that guano-covered rock watching those birds going at it. At one point, the female seems to look up at her beau and say, “You didn’t tell me this was going to be a threesome.”

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