It’s here again, and it’s going to suck. But let’s be honest, it’s always sucked.
WHY VALENTINE’S DAY SUCKS IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Nothing in elementary school should suck. It should be all recess and arts & crafts and snack time and not being trusted to use scissors unsupervised. Elementary school should be that one time in your life when you don’t want to nap, because the world is so rife with possibility and opportunity that sleep just seems like a waste of time.
But Valentine’s Day in elementary school still sucks. Every year, you’d have your mom bake cookies for your class, and once they were out of the oven, you’d pick out the biggest one. You’d take that big, puffy heart cookie and slather it in pink icing, crust it in those little crunchy sprinkles that gave your baby teeth micro-cracks, and put it on top of all the other cookies. That was your Crush Cookie. You were going to give that cookie to the boy in your class who looked the most like Nick Carter, and he was going to take it, and kiss your cheek, and then you’d be married.
Every year, you’d take the Crush Cookie, and just as you were about to give it to Nick Carter, he’d whip out his own Crush Cookie — and his was way better because he had no creative skills and had his mom decorate it for him — and give it to the girl who always wears spaghetti-strap tank-tops even though it’s against the dress code rules. And you think, “Will this stand? Will this sort of disregard for authority stand? Someone just snap those spaghetti straps, give me the scissors, I don’t need supervision to use them! It’s the middle of February for fuck’s sake, it’s just common sense!”
But it does stand. It will stand. Because Valentine’s Day is the worst. But it’s ok, because years later, you and Nick Carter become best friends in show choir, and you’re the first girl he ever comes out to. Meanwhile, Spaghetti Straps is pregnant.
WHY VALENTINE’S DAY SUCKS IN HIGH SCHOOL
First, and most importantly, everything sucks in high school. Valentine’s Day is just one more thing under the vast umbrella of suckage that is high school. We all have our own high school V-Day horror stories, but yours are not as bad as mine.
My first high school boyfriend broke up with me the Monday before Valentine’s Day my junior year. On Valentine’s Day, I found a red envelope under the windshield wiper of my car. It was a Valentine’s Day card from him, with a pair of discount cotton underwear stuffed inside. When I found him and asked him how the fuck he had managed to get a lobotomy in four days and not miss any school he said, “Well, I felt bad, I didn’t want you to not get anything on Valentine’s Day. And you always said you don’t understand how girls can think thongs are comfortable, so I thought you’d like the underwear.”
My second high school boyfriend — who weighed 125 pounds — broke up with me the day before Valentine’s Day, because I had just met his grandmother for the first time, and she didn’t like me.
The day after my second high school boyfriend ditched me in the name of Freud, I went to a party with a friend. There was a very tall, handsome boy at this party who was a year older than me, and was alluring and sexy because he was a freshman in college. We had gone to high school together, and I always had a secret dream that we would one day touch faces. But I knew he was really dumb — as in, perhaps his father was a rock — but he was so good-looking. To my absolute shock, he told me I had a nice pair of boobs, and that he had always had a crush on me. I was thrilled. We talked about cars for a while, and then he said he had to go to the bathroom. Twenty minutes later, I went to try and find the bathroom myself, and walked in on him making out with a 15-year-old girl.
WHY VALENTINE’S DAY SUCKS IN COLLEGE
If you went to school in New York, you were in love with a gay man. And he loves you, sweetie, he really does. But just not like that.
WHY VALENTINE’S DAY SUCKS AFTER COLLEGE
Everyone who has recently graduated from college is incredibly confused and incredibly poor. We are all so confused by our low-paying jobs, and our inability to secure apartment leases, and the allure of Brooklyn, that Valentine’s Day is just too much to even acknowledge.
No one has the money to do anything, and you’ve only made out with that bartender you work with a couple of times, but he did ask you to come over to his place once but you pretended like you had other plans because you’re trying to seem really popular. Plus, he’s been flashing sex-eyes at the really hot Latina waitress whose name sounds like an exotic fruit. So what do you do? Do you buy him a chocolate bar, as a joke? Or for real? You already lied to him and said you were voted Prom Queen in high school, so there goes that potential relationship. But you heard a rumor that his apartment has exposed brick in the living room, so he has to be loaded. Maybe he’ll buy you something.
So you buy the chocolate bar, and you keep it in your pocket just in case, and then the dick calls in sick for the day. Of course he isn’t coming into work today. Because it’s Valentine’s Day and he has plans. He’s probably off having sex with Guava or Chiclet or whatever her name is, and it’s the best sex in the world.
Screw it. Go steal your roommate’s six-pack of PBR and watch Thor, because one day, when Thor comes down from the sky in a swirling tornado of love and tells you he’s been watching you from The Rainbow Bridge and thinks you’re a whole Valhalla of sex, you’re gonna look at your cell phone and realize that it’s all happening on Valentine’s Day.