Tall Drink of Nerd – Love, the Hype
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
Valentine’s Day is 6 days away, do you have any plans? My plans are about as solid as warm jell-o at this point. This is because I have two divergent thoughts on the holiday of Valentine. The pragmatic angel on my right shoulder knows that this is just a holiday that retail companies market like crazy to increase their sales between Christmas and Easter. I defy corporations to tell me what day to spread my love around!
On the other shoulder sits a sappy tween girl who wants the roses and chocolates. She has the fantasy of the prince who gathers her onto his handsome steed so they can ride off into a pastel sunset whilst the angelic choir sings its rapture.
So the logical side wants facts: Based on my understanding (and a smidge of Wikipedia reading to make sure I’m not full of it) St. Valentine was a martyr, or an amalgam of martyrs who died of various causes. I guess there is something to the “dying for love” thing, but aren’t martyrs dying for religious, not romantic, love?
The other thing that confuses me is how the pagan god, Cupid, got stuck there in his baby form. He’s the god of love, so that makes sense, but still he is a pagan god, representing a holiday based on Christians who were martyred by pagans…odd. To be honest, cherub’s weird me out, even the cherub’s who can’t shoot. According to Wiki, the baby form of Cupid is a Putto. On most cards now, he’s that toddler, wearing a diaper and carrying a bow and arrow? Would you give your baby a weapon? That doesn’t seem romantic, it just seems dangerous. IMHO, if you can’t control your bowels, you shouldn’t be armed.
Of course, this cold reduction of the day of amore, into mere pieces and parts of sentiment, may come from the disappointed kid inside me. Witness the birth of the pragmatist – This may shock you; I was a very dorky child. Valentines Day was not kind to the awkward, tall, scrawny, coke-bottle classes sporting, poor kid. Little girl me would skip into class with a stack of Scooby Doo and Ziggy cards to distribute, head filled with expectations of the mound of mini-greetings that would fill my box in return. For every year of my grade school career, the shoebox covered with crooked construction paper hearts that sported the name “Amy H.” was mostly empty when the final bell rang. I’m pretty sure that in 4th grade, I came home with 5 cards out of a class of 26 kids, and one of those cards was from the teacher. You can see how I might want to deconstruct the hype.
On the other hand/shoulder/foot, I really love my husband, a lot. He is my moon and my sun, my bones and my skin, my chocolate and my peanut butter.
Our relationship is almost 19 years long. On random days I’ll surprise him with romance or a card, a book or a CD he wants or even chocolates. Making the love gesture on a planned day, with the rest of the planet, feels generic and common. It’s kind of like writing a thank you note to your aunt for the horrendous sweater she gave you, just because your Mom told you to. But the marketed expectations to give and get romance dig into my brain and under my skin.
So even though I’m jaded in mind, I’m a sucker at heart. I don’t have the plans in place yet, but I’m 98% positive that the sentimental girl will go hug the pouty pragmatist into submission. There will be some kind of cheesy/funny card with a sappy declaration of love and devotion along with a home cooked meal. If our past is precedent, he’ll present me with something similar and I’ll love it and keep it in my memory box. I guess our love can overcome anything, even my cynicism.