OK, Alphagene, how’s this?
Valentine’s day is cruel and dishonest. In fact, our culture’s whole concept of romantic love is fundamentally cruel and dishonest. It fills people with deeply unrealistic expectations of what another person – who is, after all, only human – can do for them. It surrounds us with fictional images of perfect relationships and encourages us to trade a lifetime of friendships with many different people for a few moments of imaginary ecstasy and many years of loneliness, misery, and feelings of inadequacy.
The SO is expected to fill all the empty spaces in our own souls, yet not bother us with problems of his or her own; to confide completely in us, yet remain mysterious and alluring; to understand the problems of someone of the opposite sex and yet remain 100% masculine or feminine; to be friend, lover, and therapist all in one. We neglect ourselves – except for a few surface details like cleanliness, charm, and chivalry – in the hope that someone else will come along to take care of us. The media preach that true love can’t be bought, and then spend millions of dollars of advertising money teaching us how to buy it.
Girls who are very bright, independent individuals by nature learn that their good points are worth nothing if they don’t have a man. They transform themselves into clones of everyone else lest they scare away a potential boyfriend with a hair out of place or an original thought, and then they wonder why guys never take an interest in the qualities that make them unique.
Guys learn that any expression of vulnerability or uncertainty will make them seem unmanly, and then go out of their way to act caring and sensitive without actually revealing any of their real feelings whatsoever.
They both create a false persona, and wonder why the opposite sex is so two-faced.
Meanwhile, a whole industry feeds off of the steady parade of wretched people duped by this insane view of relationships. The goods sold, of course, are never worth the money. Valentine’s day cards are cheap, common, and impersonal; diamond rings are expensive, common and impersonal. Teddy bears and balloons, for anyone over twelve, are too tacky for words. Chocolates and wine, I confess, are very nice … but half the female population of America can’t enjoy them because they are too worried about getting fat and becoming unattractive to men. Give me a bottle of good beer and the company of friends any day.
I’ll tell you about the insane, the delusional, and the hominids that Darwin forgot some other time.
Observe the snow. It fornicates.