- Flickr/Pen Waggener
The origins of Valentine's Day are "shrouded in mystery." In the early Roman days, men used to hit on women by actually hitting them. So forgive me if I don't consider the day such a big deal. As someone who was single for most of her life, I often forget Feb. 14 even exists, since it's never served a purpose beyond parties in elementary school. Meanwhile, it makes messes of men who are in relationships. Between those with high-maintenance girlfriends who want the world, and the girls who say the day doesn't matter to them (but it really does), it's a wonder anyone celebrates it at all.
In this special edition of our daily events roundup, we've included two Valentine's Day stories from contributors that are sure to melt your heart. (No, not really.)
THE DAY I REALIZED I'M AN ASSHOLE
I was in high school at the time and probably hadn’t even noticed that the “holiday” (if you can call it that) had arrived. By lunchtime, after seeing the obvious signs of flowers, candy, and balloons being passed around, it occurred to me that I should probably do something for my girlfriend at the time. As we walked through the lunch line together my best effort was something like “Hey, babe, let’s go out to dinner somewhere tonight. Do you wanna do that? It might be tough to get reservations at this point, but we could…” She replied, “no, that’s ok, you don’t have to.”
To me, this meant, “No, I don’t want to go out tonight, I’m busy or something.” This was the green light for me to head over to my buddy’s for poker with the boys as soon as I could. It didn’t take long for her to show up at the door all dolled up, with that look in her eyes — the bad news look. Even the guys recognized the danger before I did as they scattered like roaches in the light, leaving me in the room with her. “Heeey babe, what’s…” And then it happened; the only time I’ve ever been slapped in my life (surprisingly, I’ve been real lucky). I have to give her props. Her timing and speed were perfect, catching me completely off guard. She used just the right amount of force to whip my neck to the opposite shoulder. She aimed for the most hand coverage and got me right on the cheekbone which made my eyes water. “I can’t believe you,” were the only words that I remember. Her friend outside probably gave her a “You go girl!” as she left. But get this, I went back to playing poker, like a true asshole.
She eventually forgave me for that day, as well as many of my subsequent fuckups throughout the years. How she put up with me for that long is beyond me, bless her soul, but, like an asshole, I still never learned. Unfortunately for me, her patience was limited and, today, hates my bloody guts.
The moral of this story is pretty obvious, but for all the sentimentally challenged douchebags out there, begin by showing her that you give a shit this Valentine’s Day, and maybe you won’t lose the love of your life. - Christopher Chen, Virginia
Valentines Day SUCKS. It sucked when I was shy, and it still sucks now. Sure, I’ve had my fair share of kisses since high school and even some dates now and then. But to this day, the best VDay I’ve ever had was spent with two of my best girlfriends in college. We watched The Bachelor, gorged ourselves on oreos, and then, for some reason (which I can only assume was the direct result of a choco-sucrose high) raced each other up and down the dorm hall – on piggy back – which obviously led to an impromptu psycho dance party.
Seriously, forget Valentines Day, we might as well call it Vagina Day. In my world, most men are after it, in some way or another, and retail giants are way too eager to help them out. The “holiday” isn’t even really about romantic love anymore. I’ll admit I buy Valentines cards, but I buy them for my mom, aunts, cousins, and friends. To most of the women I know, Valentines Day is “our day.” We’re the ones who care what you get us, not what we get you. Because men, even in long-term relationships when the surprises and excitement have faded, we still get you probably at least 52 times a year, if you know what I mean. On our day, we just want to be relaxed and enjoy ourselves – be gluttonous on drug store chocolate, dance in our PJ's and drink wine until we pass out. Most often, it’s with a small group of besties that we can really get away with that and move on the next day like it ain’t no thang.
Plus, there’s the cost factor. Celebrating love is well and good and all, but if the object of your affection needs things and stuff from you to feel loved, then you’re better off being spontaneous with your gifts and spreading the “love” throughout the year. She’ll never know that you got that spa coupon for 75 percent off on Groupon because you want to add up your points for the inevitable day you piss her off and can’t for the life of you figure out why. All she knows is, you got it “just because.” Now that’s winning. Valentine’s Day? Not so much. - Tamara Braunstein, International Communications Associate at Red Cross, Washington
ON THE TOWN
Sweet potato fries and open mic featuring an array of spoken word, musicians, and stories at Busboys and Poets/14th&V. $5.
SWEET TALK with the Sweater Set brings back the nostalgia of grade school Valentine's Days. Featuring mime Emma Jaster, contemporary painter Rodger Schultz and cupcakes. The Dunes. 7:30 p.m. $10. 21+.
R&B legend, Jerry "The Iceman" Butler performs at Blues Alley. 10 p.m. shows not sold out yet.
Open Mic Showcase: Lonely Hearts Edition at Riot Act Comedy Theater. 8:30 p.m. $10.