…and then came Valentine’s Day, and across the land a certain type of couple rejoiced.
Specifically: Loveless couples.
The type of couple who can’t be bothered to take the few seconds thought and few minutes effort required to tell the person they most care about that yes, they do still care the other three hundred sixty four days of the year. The type who put it off until the one appointed day and try to make up for a year of neglect and disinterest with one grand, misguided gesture.
The type of couple who, in the last dying years of what once was a beautiful and vibrant relationship, can only bring themselves to make the sort of token effort at romance that seems to come naturally to those who’ve forgotten that love is a beautiful, living thing, one that needs to be tended and nurtured every day.
You touch your partner’s body every day.
You tell her she’s beautiful.
You tell her you’re happy to be with her, and that you’re lucky and grateful to have her.
Or, if you can’t be bothered to do that, and many couples can’t, you buy some shitty chocolate and make a reservation at a middlebrow family restaurant.
Some couples convince themselves that this is what love is, that what they have is not a pale imitation of the real thing, an unfunny joke at the expense of their lifetime of loneliness even in the midst of what they call “Love”.
And those fuckers love Valentine’s Day.
For the record, yes, this has always been my position on the holiday, regardless of whether I’m in a relationship or not.
My own romantic life does not affect my opinion of the holiday one iota, nor should it.
When I am in love, I am in love and love is the center of my world. When I am not, I am not and it is not.
And either way, I have nothing but contempt for the whole concept of Valentine’s Day.
I wait tables, you see.
And I see them there, those couples. Sitting, impatient, each in turn thinking that their unique, perfect love is more unique, more perfect, than the love of the people sitting around them, and that it entitles them to special treatment.
Their unique, perfect love, which they could not be bothered to celebrate yesterday. And will not tomorrow. Or any other day of the year.
So unique that they have to celebrate out among the millions of other couples celebrating in the exact same, equally unique way.
So perfect that their food being delayed ten minutes due to the volume of food the kitchen has to cook might spoil it forever.
Those couples, you know the ones. You’ve seen them, though if you’re lucky not closely.
I will spend the day smiling, and nodding, and helping them celebrate love. Because that is what I do, and because I am a professional person.
So yes, happy Valentine’s Day if you must.