Valentine’s Day is for assholes.
I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I understand that some of you are. Maybe you got married on that day, or celebrate an important romantic touchstone on that day. Good on you. From the bottom of my black little heart, I hope you party that shit up and make it big.
I am a happily married guy. I’m so far off the market, I can’t find my own expiration date. I am pleased with this remarkable turn of events.
I have been in long-term relationships (marriages included) that did not turn out well. Bad things happened. This is how I can be cynical about love and all of its trappings while thoroughly reveling in the relationship I’m in. My wife is in the same boat.
We’ve all been burned. I’m fully aware how lucky I am to be in the kind of relationship I’m in. She’s my best friend and my wife, not just one. We do something to show each other how much we appreciate each other every day, every single day. We even keep two separate anniversaries: we keep our wedding anniversary (which is Samhain, by the way) and we, at the very least, acknowledge the first time we had sex. A fuckiversary? Sure. Why not? We acknowledge it every month. It’s a big number. I think it makes us feel more accomplished.
We’re both dark people. One of my fondest memories was being told that, when I walked down the hallway at work, someone said about me, “Don’t look in his eyes!” That’s awesome. You should be scared of me. I write horror. On one level of my mind, I am constantly thinking of ways to kill people. I don’t have any problem talking about that, either.
My wife thinks that shit is funny. Gallows humor, black clothing, sexual innuendo and foul language are the order of the day. We’re probably not the people to invite over for Sunday dinner.
Even through all that, we still make people sick. You know the lovey-dovey couple you somehow get stuck in the same room with? The kind of couple that says entire sentences at the same time? That’s us. You think people like us only exist in movies or on the goddamned Disney Channel. Wrong. We celebrate our Life underneath a statue of Anubis.
Bear with me.
I’m making a point.
This is why Valentine’s Day is a hideous event, one that should be banned. It reduces something as complex and mysteriously beautiful as Love to guilt and a receipt. Did you buy her the kind of candy she likes? Do you even know what kind of candy she likes? Did you get her a card that can’t even come close to expressing how you feel about her? Did it rhyme, for fuck’s sake? Does she now own another garishly colored stuffed animal, holding an embroidered heart that says, “I WUV U?” Are you dating a four year old with a speech impediment?
Ah, there’s that cynicism I was talking about. That sweet, sweet hatred. Let it flow.
How did you buy the lie that you have one day a year to show her how special she is? You’ve been sold a bill of goods, some kind of marketing contract that states you must spend a certain amount of money on a specific list of items in order to celebrate this very day. You have been taught that if you do not, then you do not truly Love the woman in your life.
You’ll notice I’m speaking to men right now. That’s because, generally speaking, men don’t get shit for Valentine’s Day. It’s not their turn. It’s all about males buying things for female, hoping to find the key to their woman’s cooter.
Don’t even bring up Steak and a Blowjob Day, either, which was created as a more male-friendly alternative to Valentine’s Day. There are no cards for that holiday. There are no commercials from the Beef Council encouraging women to have both beef and pork at the same time. Dick: The Other… uh… Meat. As sweet of a sentiment as Steak and a Blowjob Day is, it still amounts to I Bought Her A Diamond Ring and All I Got Was This Lousy Ribeye and A Glorified Handy. Also, does that mean a man only gets a steak and a blowjob one day a year? Because I don’t know a man who wouldn’t call bullshit on that immediately.
Reverse it for a moment. Chocolate and Cunnilingus Day. Once a year, girls. Have fun with all that. Now go buy us a new car, every year, on this arbitrary day, because it’s got a funny name and greeting cards to go along with.
Love is an everyday thing, not a once a year special event. Of course, there are times for celebrations and special occasions. Those are great times and should be relished. However, manufactured special events, like Valentine’s Day, are not real. They are soulless, heartless marketing opportunities.
You can do better than that, can’t you? Surely you can think of ways to express your emotions to the person you live with/are sleeping with/are stalking on Facebook better than some goddamned corporation, right?
All of this simply to tell you that I’m releasing the second story in the Tales from the Keep series on Valentine’s Day.
It’s probably the closest thing to a Valentine’s Day story you’ll ever dredge out of me, seeing as how Todd Farmer already perfected the “My Bloody Valentine” story. Even though it doesn’t take place on Valentine’s Day, doesn’t mention Valentine’s Day and makes no mention of St. Valentine, Cupid or boxes of candy whatsoever, it’s still a Valentine’s Day story.
The story is called “Be Sweet.” If you know, you know.
The characters in it are all searching for love. They’re not good at finding it. They don’t know how to express their true desires well.
They’re just the kind of sad, sorry fuckers that would fall for all that Valentine’s bullshit.
You’ll see what I mean when you read the story. It is, at the core, a story about love, even if it isn’t strictly a “love story.”
Oh, yeah. There’s also some graphic sexual content, a monster and copious amounts of bloodshed. It ain’t for the kiddies, but it beats the living shit out of a pair of edible undies and a cheap pink coffee mug.
And that’s the point.
“Tales from the Keep: Volume 2 – Be Sweet” will be available for Kindle and Nook on February 14th, 2013.
All skull art pictured in this post © 2010 Hannah Lunsford. Find more at ofemptymen.weebly.com.