Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear Saint Valentine

Dear Saint Valentine,

I have a problem. A BIG problem. Your anniversary is on a Saturday. A Saturday! For the past few years, I have been able to come up with the perfect excuse for why I did not do anything special i.e. romantic on Valentine’s Day: it was a week day; I was busy. I was on the phone with a friend the other day and she happened to mention that Valentine’s Day was on a Saturday, to which I answered – without thinking obviously – “Oh, that’s great!” Then it struck me. What was so great about Valentine’s Day being on a Saturday? The mere thought of it makes me feel like I am breaking out in shingles.

Some years ago, Valentine’s Day was on a Monday. As usual, I had no plans, and I did not feel bad either – thank God for the huge exam I had that morning. As far as I was concerned, the only reason why I was not out having a lovely moment with a loved one was because it was a Monday. Who cared if there was no loved one to actually have a lovely time with? No one had to know the truth. But I came home that day overwhelmed by all the love-struck people I saw along the way. People had huge red and pink balloons in their cars, blocking their vision – and mine. The cold weather did not deter lovers from standing at bus stops and swapping spit, all in the name of kissing. God, I wished I was swapping spit with someone.

Desperate times have always called for desperate measures, so in my loneliness – dare I say, desperation – I did the unthinkable. I sent a ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ text message to a little coward who appeared in the form of a human being and called itself a man. I did not know then what I saw in it. Now that time has passed, I really, really do not know what I saw in it. It is amazing the heights a girl will climb to avoid loneliness on Valentine’s Day. My love for meat made me call a cow my brother, but you see, it just goes to show that your anniversary does bad things to good people. I needed company (even if it was on the phone), dear Saint Valentine, so please do not judge me. Alright, fine. You can judge me. I made a dumb move. If I could do it all over again, I would rather count the hairs on my head than send that text message. But I digress.

I was wondering if you, dear lovely Saint Valentine, could talk to the people – whoever they are – who made the calendar and have them do one of two things. They could either reschedule your anniversary for another day (like Monday, and this time, I promise not to do anything foolish), or they could assign you a completely new anniversary date (although I do love your anniversary being exactly one month after mine). Another option – one that I actually prefer – is for you to find me something fun to do – with someone, that is.

If there were a way for me to avoid going to stores like Wal-Mart where aisles and aisles are coated with pink and red – all things Valentine, I would. I am not quite sure how you intended for people to celebrate your anniversary, but newsflash…only the passionate lovers get a kick out of it. In spite of what the Hallmark and Mahogany cards may want us to believe, your anniversary is not a day for brotherly and sisterly love to be rewarded and/or exhibited. Your anniversary has little to no tolerance for agape love. It is all about passionate, romantic love – an area where I am currently dangerously deficient in.

If you know as much about love as history portrays that you do, then you should know that being deficient in passionate, romantic love can lead to destructive behaviors – like texting certain people one would otherwise not have texted. Other adverse effects of not having this type of love on Valentine’s Day include clutching one’s stuffed animal a little too tightly, crying for every movie, commercial, and greeting card, seriously envying every couple, eating a whole bucket of ice cream, and worst of them all, calling that person you swore you would never call unless hell froze over and the angels used it as a skating ring.

But come the morning of February fifteenth, one begins to bombard herself with the what-have-I-done question. She knows what she has done; she just wishes it was a nightmare. But alas, it is not. It is then she realizes that on the fourteenth of February, she sunk to rock bottom. And then, she sunk some more. That is what happens when one does not have love on Valentine’s Day. Yes, she begins to send text messages to people that go against her natural gradient – a perfect recipe for a future disaster, I tell you.

I could tell you that I do not care if I celebrate the day alone, but I would be lying to you. I could tell you that I would love to spend the day with family and friends, but that would be a big, fat lie too. Should I tell you then that I would rather spend it with someone but not just anyone? I guess I could tell you that, but you should know that already by now, dear Saint Valentine.

Valentine’s Day is a day meant for lovers. We may kid ourselves all we want and say otherwise.
We may say, ‘Why do I have to pick a special day to show my love? I show my love everyday.’ That may be so, but we are humans. We need special days in our lives. That is why Sunday is the Sabbath day. Does that mean we do not praise God every other day? That is why we have our birthdays. Does that mean we do not grow old every other day? And what about Christmas? Does that mean Christ’s birth is not celebrated every other day? So you see, special days are important because sometimes we forget and get carried away. The special day reinforces what we already know. Who does not need a little reinforcement in the form of a hand-written love note? Yummy.

That being said, I would prefer spending Valentine’s Day loving and being loved. The alternative is organizing and attending a solo event which will be called the Singles Awareness Conference – just in case you have forgotten you are single, let this day serve as a reminder. My friend, Funmi gladly suggested that we should stay home and order some pizza, after which we would head to Cold Stone Creamery to have some creamy ice cream. I sternly declined her offer. I refuse to spend this Valentine’s Day with her – especially at Cold Stone where love-struck couples will stand in line for some heart-shaped cakes while they nibble on each other’s lips, suck on each other’s tongues, and whisper sweet nothings into each other’s ears – to my detriment. No way. I would rather watch a tree grow.

So you see, Saint Valentine, I need your help. It is not as if I have ever asked you for anything before – except for that time I asked you for a nice, honest man. Come to think of it, that was the year you sent me that counterfeit, the one that downed kegs of Guinness Stout every day and prided himself in his alcohol tolerance, only to end up driving recklessly and acquiring two speeding tickets in one night. Ah, common sense is not so common after all. What a waste of my time that was. Did I mention that already? But everyone deserves a second chance, so I will give you a second chance to prove yourself, Saint Valentine.

Dear Saint Valentine, what I am asking is that you should make my Valentine worthwhile. Make it unforgettable. Make it pleasant. Make it fun. Make it Verastic.

P.S. In spite of what I might have said about Wal-Mart, I actually love those dancing, singing stuffed animals. Too cute.

P.P.S. The singing cards are especially adorable. Especially the big Hallmark one that sings, “Wild thing! You make my heart sing…!”

P.P.P.S. I may have thought about it, but I have never, ever stoned a couple that I have seen locked in a passionate kiss. I have only wished to be locked in one too.

P.P.P.P.S. If you decide to be kind to me and send me someone to give me a Verastic Valentine, please make sure he gets the memo: I do not care to receive a box of chocolates.

P.P.P.P.P.S. But if he really, really likes chocolate, then who am I to say no? I shall oblige him – even if for a day.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Do people still send hand-written love notes? If they do, have him send one to me. I would love to reply. I happen to have a nice, readable hand-writing – if I do say so myself.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. The thought of swapping spit with someone, having my lips nibbled on, my ribs tickled, my neck sucked on, and my body being engulfed in one’s warm embrace is not repulsive at all – neither does it make me break out in a rash. If anything, I welcome it.

P.P.P.P.P.P.P.P.S. I really do love Valentine, dear Saint Valentine.


P. O. BOX 7893
Essex, MD 21221
United States of America