Flipping the Valentine’s Script
Flipping the Valentine’s Script
by Dani Katz
(originally for Reality Sandwich, before they got co-opted by the globalist censorship machine)
It’s that time of year, again. You know, the one where single women bitch and whine and contemplate slitting their wrists because they’re single, and taken dudes navigate the suffocating pressure of having to prove their “love” by purchasing any number of highly specified ritual objects including, but not limited to, cards, flowers, and sterling silver Tiffany bracelets that clasp with a heart-shaped dog tag, to say nothing of the standard prix fixe dinner eaten at a restaurant that is either a) trendy, or b) sentimental, and that definitely charges for substitutions.
Valentine’s Day is a stupid fake holiday made-up by greedy corporate monsters to sell greetings cards for which innocent old-growth trees gave their lives.
This is an excerpt from the Valentine I made last year, and posted online for sale, but sent to no one whomsoever, because Valentine’s Day is stupid, and I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid, despite my willingness to profit off of it.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day, no one is more jaded than I am. And yet, I am not alone. The single person sulking their way through a(nother) lonely Valentine’s Day is as much a cultural stereotype as the googly-eyed couples trading teddy bears and balloon bouquets in “honor” of the occasion. We are the ones who – instead of connecting with what is (friends, neighbors, the barista who knows our order by heart, and decorates our morning latte with foam kitty faces) – decide to be sad and pissed about what isn’t (I don’t have a girlfriend), and then spend the day pouting, and feeling sorry for ourselves, and vibing low and snarky and over it. I get it. I’ve done it. A zillion times. The thing is; it’s pointless. Corporate American Culture (CAC…a nice vomity acronym) doesn’t care whether we like their game or not, because there is no shortage of willing customers who do.
Besides, it’s not like it’s news. Of course CAC’s version of Valentine’s Day is bullshit – hopped-up on hydrogenated corn syrup, and shrink-wrapped in plastic while proclaiming pithy romantic love declarations with all the depth and authenticity of a Jell-o shot. Whatever. But, to reject the entire holiday – especially the exaltation of Love part – just because it’s been deformed by some dying happily ever after narrative, is to empower its irrelevant mythology, and remain enslaved to its energies. Remember, sovereign beings don’t react, we respond.
There is no victory in contraction. Nothing is won. All that happens when we feel sorry for ourselves because we’re rolling solo, and erect big brick walls around our hearts is that we set ourselves up for a sucky day, and then leak our indulgent suck-fests all over our neighborhoods, and our planet, and our morphogenetic field. Yay, us.
“Valentine’s day can kiss my ass,” the girl in front of me at Nature Well declares, poking at her smart phone while waiting for her kale smoothie.
I suppose it can, but it won’t. Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere. So, we can dread it, hate it and rail against it; or we can flip the script, and rock it.
The revolution will be adorable.
The real way to flip the Valentine’s script is to take it back for ourselves – to ditch the What about me? Where’s my love? Where are my roses? hysteria, and get back to the roots that were always implied, if never properly acknowledged – Love, and not just some romantic fairy tale appropriation, but the animating force that infuses every ounce of life within this reality.
And no, I’m not suggesting running a complex quantum physics experiment, or penning some heady thesis on the 540 Hz frequency. What I am saying is that we don’t have to be in love with a romantic partner to feel love or give love or be love, and we certainly don’t need to be in a relationship to rock Valentine’s Day.
I heart your birthmark. Will you go across the floor with me, Valentine?
I scribbled this missive on the inside of one of the fifty blank Valentine’s Cards I shoved in my dance bag before leaving the house, and sashayed it on over to the shy girl with the stripey leg warmers while she was stretching out before class.
She smiled, she blushed. She leapt to her feet and gave me a hug. And yes, she went across the floor with me.
Hello, phenomenal posture! I wrote to the bearded man with the newsboy cap waiting at the bus stop. I decree you my afternoon Valentine. Consider yourself loved. xodk
I gave away every card, all personalized on the fly, and proffered to strangers, and even a few friends. It was – hands down – the best Valentine’s Day I ever had, because I decided to give not a single fuck about what I was or wasn’t receiving, and focus only on giving as much love as possible. And, when I arrived home later that night to a massive bouquet of lilies waiting on my doorstep – lovely thought they were, as well as he who sent them is – they didn’t inspire even a fraction of the joy the day’s Valentine love bomb exchanges did.
Best birthmark ever, I wrote to the security guard checking bags at the Barneys New York warehouse sale. Be my Valentine, pretty please?
He actually teared up. And then he called me Sweetheart, after thanking me, and showing the woman behind me in line the awesome Valentine he just got.
I’ll take a heartfelt Sweetheart over a dozen obligatory store-bought roses any day, Valentine’s or not.
Love doesn’t (have to) mean a wife, a boyfriend, a soulmate or The One. For this conversation, and for this revolution, we mean Love as in the natural state of our unguarded hearts – brave, open and generous in their outpouring, and their expression. We mean Love as in the way humans get to relate when we’re not mindfucking ourselves about commitment or coming off as too available, or making up stories about how love is something to be earned, and not something to be shared freely among our fellow humans for no other reason than we’re breathing the same air, and walking the same earth, and navigating the same tendency to suffer and doubt and isolate and feel less than. We mean Love as in a gesture that says: I see you. I honor you. I appreciate your participation in this Earth game and – you know what, man? I love you.
The truth is everyone deserves love, and no one has enough of it. Valentine’s Day is the perfect portal through which we can mitigate some of the terrible ouch that comes along with being human, and thinking we’re separate, and that God forgot about us, because Valentine’s Day is a day when it’s okay to love, when we actually have culturally-mandated permission to open our hearts and be kind and sweet to one another, despite the couple box into which CAC attempts to shove it.
And so it is that I am taking back Valentine’s Day, one #lovebomb at a time, and I am inviting you to do it with me. Here’s how: Give love. And then, give more love. Then, be love and feel love and radiate love and share love, and then, as long as you’re at it, give more love.
Allow me to demonstrate:
This is Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of Abundance. I’ve appointed her the official Love Army mascot (#lovearmy), not only because she has all those extra arms, ripe for the gifting, but because she reminds us that Love exists in endless supply, and that the more Love we give, the more Love we receive. See that thing behind her head? That’s the thousand-petaled lotus flower that lives in the heart of the Buddha. Know where else it lives? In your heart. And in mine. And in the heart of every sentient being on the planet. Now, accessing it is a different matter, but I’m willing to bet that spending the day dropping love bombs on our fellow humans will accelerate its opening about a zillion times more effectively than sulking about how lame Valentine’s Day is, and since we already know what that experience is like, anyway, how ‘bout we table our jaded outlooks for the day, and give the revolution a go?
Please accept this Valentine as a token of my Love for you. Pass it on. Take a screen capture. Email me for a jpeg (firstname.lastname@example.org). Pass it on. Print it. Post it. Tag it. Share it. Widely. Joyfully. Generously. Freely. It’s a #lovebomb. It exists to dazzle as many hearts as possible. And, if it’s not your style, then make your own #lovebomb, or call in the energies of Love itself and allow it to infuse your heart and your spirit, and to animate your being throughout the day by way of smiles and eye contact and compliments and well wishes – for everyone – not just your mate, your crush or your mistress. It’s your Valentine’s Day. You get to make of it what you want. So, why not make it something wonderful?
Food for thought. A(nother) revolution rocked.
P.S. I love you.