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When I was a in grade school, chewing gum in the classroom was… - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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[Feb. 14th, 2010|09:16 pm]
Zoethe
When I was a in grade school, chewing gum in the classroom was generally met with a demand to know if I'd "brought enough for everyone." Birthday celebrations at school required bringing enough for everyone. A sense of egalitarianism was emphasized in school. For the most part that is a good thing.

But there comes a time when a person has to realize that the world isn't actually like that. Not everyone is always going to get an equal share of things.

Part of being a grownup is learning to accept that fact. And all the grousing about how awful Valentine's Day is for reminding single people that they are single strikes me as not accepting that fact. Yes, it's unfortunate that some people are in the midst of breakups, or wishing to be in relationships, or separated from loved ones. But I can't see how that makes it okay to demand that no one else dare enjoy a special day.

My father is dead, but that doesn't mean I grouse about people celebrating Father's Day. That would be an act of asshattery, trying to make people feel bad about having fathers when I don't.

I've never been a big Valentine's celebrator, but I am baffled by some of the vitriol I see aimed at it. Surely appreciating that there is love is the world is a better attitude than bitterness.
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[User Picture]From: roniliquidity
2010-02-15 02:24 am (UTC)
I don't know that I've ever seen anyone demand no one else enjoy it, most complaints I've seen have revolved around not creating situations where being alone is rubbed in one's face. For instance, on Friday, my grandmother got a bouquet of roses from my aunt and uncle, I however, got a first draft of a separation agreement in the mail. I get that the world doesn't revolve around me, but it seemed to underline my marital separation, 6 months ago it would have made me want to die. It still made me a little sad even though I had awesome plans this weekend.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 02:13 pm (UTC)
That was cosmically bad timing, no doubt. I'm sorry that hurt you even more.
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[User Picture]From: lady_kathana
2010-02-15 02:24 am (UTC)
I agree. It's not my fault not everyone in the universe is paired up today. Don't make me feel guilty for loving someone.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2010-02-15 02:36 am (UTC)
I generally am far more able to see happiness in other people celebrating love than I've been today. As it is I AM glad that my mom has an awesome guy, that both my older brothers have fulfilling relationships (especially the middle one) and that most of my friends are happily coupled.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really make me feel less lousy about being single. However, I don't hate them for having someone. I'm glad they're not sharing my sadness, really. But I am still sad.

I blame the hormones. *Shakes fist at approaching period*
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 02:16 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying it isn't tough. And you didn't trigger this - personal pain is real and valid. It's the people who act like it shouldn't be celebrated that irritate me.
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[User Picture]From: cathubodva
2010-02-15 02:39 am (UTC)
The trend amongst my friends, all 20-somethings and in perfectly happy relationships (most married), is the rejection of Valentine's Day as just another hypercommercialized religious holiday-gone-secular. And then they make me feel guilty for "buying into the nonsense." But today is a special anniversary for my husband and me, and I wish I could just celebrate it in peace. =(
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 02:17 pm (UTC)
And that's just as stupid and wrong.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2010-02-15 02:40 am (UTC)
And all the grousing about how awful Valentine's Day is for reminding single people that they are single strikes me as not accepting that fact.

As somebody who finds himself single this Valentine's Day, it would never occur to me to think that way. I'm happy for anybody who is in love.

I think there are some people who don't make is distinction between how they want the world to be and how it actually is. When I was younger I spent a lot of my time stamping my foot in frustration, demanding the world be how I thought it should be until it finally dawned on me how self-defeating and unrealistic it is.

My first semester of college I had a professor tell another student in my English 101 composition class how she shouldn't have brought a pop to class unless she had enough to share with everybody else. I didn't think anything about it at the time since I was still in the high school mindset, but it made me amused when I thought years later. Maybe that sort of reasoning makes sense in grade school where everybody gets to eat lunch at the same time everyday, but not in college where everybody's situation is different.
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From: wildcelticrose
2010-02-15 02:51 am (UTC)
I just don't understand begrudging other people their happiness. (I will be posting on that very subject a bit later)

For my friends that are paired up, I wish them a happy day.

For myself. I'm celebrating the love I have in my life (not all love is romantic) and I'm spoiling myself.

Seems like a win win to me.

Oh, and the whole "Singles Awareness Day" kind of makes me want to gag.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:28 am (UTC)
Oh, and the whole "Singles Awareness Day" kind of makes me want to gag.

Word, sister.
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[User Picture]From: mmaster
2010-02-15 03:00 am (UTC)
http://skippyslist.com/list/

33. Not allowed to chew gum at formation, unless I brought enough for everybody.

34. (Next day) Not allowed to chew gum at formation even if I *did* bring enough for everybody.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:29 am (UTC)
Yeah, funny how that worked....
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[User Picture]From: funwithrage
2010-02-15 03:07 am (UTC)
"Being annoyed about Valentine's Day because boo-hoo you're single" is on my list of Overplayed College Student Crap. (See also "concluding there's no God because you didn't have a prom date" and "not washing your hair because hygiene is a tool of The Man").

I've celebrated it single, I've celebrated it coupled, it's not a big deal, but...roses are fine, and red, and chocolate, and the world doesn't revolve around me. Occasionally leads to embarrassment when the boy I'm with *does* celebrate it in a big way, and I do the clueless-sitcom-guy routine: "Oh, er, yes! Your present is...in the...jet...stream...Igottago!"

But otherwise? Yeah.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:31 am (UTC)
I know that embarrassment!
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[User Picture]From: draxar
2010-02-15 03:14 am (UTC)
I generally barely notice Valentines day. I don't think I've ever been in a relationship during it.

Trying to anyalyse reactions to it though, I think part of it is from the institutionalisation of it – the idea that it is 'the day of romance' and that you should be with someone for it.

Yes, when you're single you see couples being couple-y, and may feel left out. But Valentines day being the 'day of celebrating relationships', may be seen as sort of like Christmas for those who have tickets. And if you're single, you don't have tickets.

There's a great secular and non-Christian embrace of Christmas as a time of family and gift giving, divorced from the Christian side of things. Or indeed, the practise of faux mitzvahs as a coming of age party for kids who are feeling left out of the big parties all their Jewish friends are having.

On Valentines day, the singletons are the ones left out, and there's no real way they can get in as those in the examples above have done. Thus it's going to lead to moaning and grousing about it.

To be fair, I've heard more mild bemoaning of singleness than actual 'Valentines day is evil', though of course, your friends list may vary.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:34 am (UTC)
On Valentines day, the singletons are the ones left out, and there's no real way they can get in as those in the examples above have done. Thus it's going to lead to moaning and grousing about it.

Why? To me, it's like grousing every time you see someone driving a better car than you, or getting to go on a trip to a foreign country. Life is like that. Pretending that everything should include everyone is foolish and unrealistic.

And I wish Happy Valentine's Day to a lot of people who I love but am not romantically involved with. Singles can share that love.
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[User Picture]From: phillipalden
2010-02-15 03:25 am (UTC)
Well put!
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2010-02-15 03:25 am (UTC)
friday, TheEngineer took me to a dr appointment and then to my favorite jewelry store and got me the necklace i strongly hinted about. (silver with roses on it) and then to dinner (vietnamese noodle soup!) and the bookstore (calvin and hobbes!) and the grocery store (roses! and cheesy sausages for monday lunch!)

saturday we slept late, he went to work to run some computer modelling, and then we went to world market. (laptop table so i can use my computer in the living room!)

today we got my nails done. (silvery lavender) and picked up my meds. (devil bear stuffed animal!) the fact that its valentine's day? only evident in the fact i sent my children the same text message: "Happy VD, pookie!!" (heeheehee)
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2010-02-15 03:50 am (UTC)
I haven't seen a single person complain about it, not to the point of begrudging anyone else a good day.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:36 am (UTC)
Consider yourself lucky. Of course, not all of this is aimed at people online.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-02-15 04:59 am (UTC)
Completely off topic, but I love that icon. Going to have to peruse that web site; thanks for having the URL in your description.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:37 am (UTC)
Glad to be helpful!
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[User Picture]From: shadow_phoenix2
2010-02-15 05:02 am (UTC)
I'd be one of those singles who bitch about Valentine's Day. *Raises a hand.*
I bitch about it because I'm single, and it really hits hard on Valentine's Day when all the coupled-up people [and at the moment, ALL of my friends] are openly lovey-dovey in public, there are "Valentine's Day" signs everywhere... *Shrugs.*
My friends can have all the happy moments they like. In theory, I like Valentine's Day. I adore the idea of a day dedicated to displays of romance and affection.
What I don't like? The fact that society is all "you should have someone! Pair off!" It's not so easy to be happy and smiley when you're the one sitting home alone, because everyone you know is off with their Significant Other.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:39 am (UTC)
For one specific day. Out of 365.

I agree that there is far too much attitude that you aren't a whole person without a relationship - single can be extremely awesome and fulfilling - but that is a different topic.
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[User Picture]From: itches
2010-02-15 05:54 am (UTC)
'if I'd "brought enough for everyone."'

I never found that to be true when put to the test. Stupid fake rules.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:40 am (UTC)
As many of us have, but it was off-topic for this entry!
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[User Picture]From: callie_chan
2010-02-15 05:54 am (UTC)
I agree that people should just be allowed to enjoy a holiday, if they're inclined to celebrate it, without having to listen to people who don't grousing. (And that it'd be far healthier for the grousers to not get themselves worked up resenting it, either.) I'm personally not a fan of Valentine's Day, but that has more to do with the fact that I feel like it promotes romance in unhealthy ways - making lavish romantic gestures almost a requirement and acting as though how much effort/money they spend on you is the true measure of love, touting extravagant gifts and displays as though they're more legitimate romantic overtures than anything more personal or subdued, etcetera. (Not that these issues are unique to Valentine's Day at all - as anyone who's seen a commercial for diamond jewelry at any time of the year could tell you - but the holiday definitely makes them vastly more obvious.) But my general opinion is still 'if it makes people happy, good for them'.
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2010-02-15 06:07 am (UTC)
I'm happily partnered these past 10 years, and I/we don't "celebrate" Valentine's Day. (I don't "do" Easter or St. Patrick's or Thanksgiving/Xmas/New Year's either. I don't like the "Thou Shalt" part of the equation.) I get told I'm loved and get presents spontaneously throughout the day/month/year: so it's the commercial aspect of it. (When a past boyfriend sent me a dozen roses and chocolates -- or rather, had his secretary call to have them sent -- I was underwhelmed by the mundane thoughlessness of the gesture. It had lost special and personal meaning because it so conventionally proscribed.)

We know there is love in the world. We just don't want it shoved in our faces in so ritualized a manner. That's why we tell people who are shoving their tongues down eachother's throats in public to please get a room.

I understand why single people see it as just one more way they don't fit in, are considered "losers." Not "thin enough" "rich enough" "cool enough" "connected enough" -- whatever it is, it can be seen as a rebuke. Like when "the cool kids" in school let you know you weren't.*

btw, do men get told they're unwanted losers if they don't have a girlfriend to get chocolates/roses for? Or do they feel blissfully "free" to "play the field"?


*(I don't have a chip on my shoulder about that, it never happened to me, we didn't have that at my schools, and I'm totally baffled as to why not. Or maybe I've just suppressed it all? ;-P )
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:43 am (UTC)
I tend not to celebrate it much, either, but I don't need to scold others for doing so. And some people seem compelled to do so.
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[User Picture]From: tormentedartist
2010-02-15 06:36 am (UTC)
Honestly I have not see one anti valentines day rant. But I think that some people hate it because of all of the money making B.S. behind it. Plus you have to consider that people are free to write what they want in their journals. I think that people might just be venting their frustrations...

For the record I just got back from dinner with the Fiancee and I had a great time.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 06:44 am (UTC)
Ah. I have seen numerous.
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[User Picture]From: practicallyfame
2010-02-15 06:48 am (UTC)
For the record, I'm not in a relationship, slightly still in love with an ex who doesn't want me back, and have no qualms about Valentine's Day... I dressed in red and spent it with friends i love.

Enjoy your love! maybe next year it'll be something I'm celebrating too. :) If not, ah well.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 07:01 am (UTC)
You are amazing and awesome, whether single or in a relationship. Enjoy being loved for who you are. Because, you are!
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[User Picture]From: cosmicbandit
2010-02-15 07:20 am (UTC)
My daughter loves the day after Valentine's Day when all that chocolate goes on sale. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 12:51 pm (UTC)
That is an awesome day, indeed!
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[User Picture]From: the_siobhan
2010-02-15 08:25 am (UTC)
I'm not even close to single, and I find the Hallmark bullshit deeply irritating.

It's like Christmas - I'm not asking other people not to celebrate it, but it would be nice to find four square feet somewhere in my hemisphere where I wasn't at risk being tinseled if I stand still too long.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 12:57 pm (UTC)
I was irritated to see Valentine's stuff in the store on Christmas Eve. That definitely struck me as pushing the envelope.
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[User Picture]From: stone_
2010-02-15 08:28 am (UTC)
Feb. 14 really isn't the day to be sad about not being in a relationship.

I find March 14 is much more important.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is a day where being without is definitely noticeable. But I doubt there will ever be a lot of cards and decorations associated with it.
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2010-02-15 10:19 am (UTC)

Yeah what she said !

Well put.

I didn't grouse about people celebrating Mother's Day the first year Mom was gone. Yes it hurt but just because my mother was no longer with us didn't mean others should be slammed.

I *do* hear a lot of anti-Valentine sentiments.

It's sad :( My beloved Grandma taught me to celebrate EVERYTHING. Then again, I think she liked the idea of any excuse for a party.

Hey whatever gets ya through the night ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 01:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Yeah what she said !

Exactly!
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[User Picture]From: lunabird
2010-02-15 10:28 am (UTC)
This year I've decided it's OK to be personally bitter about V-day, but, not to spread it too much. It has, personally, made me very sad as I've had a lot of issues which revolve around my failboat of a lovelife "shoved under the bed" so to speak. To grab an idea S. Mogenstern*, if despair is a country I'm living dangerously close to the border.

And something of this magnitude is going to be a reminder or those issues. It's going to force them out from under the bed and into the sunlight. Thus, a large portion of the day couldn't be enjoyed because it highlighted for me, not the presence of loved ones, but the starving, painful, loss of loved ones. I cried. I cried in front of friends. I had to explain.

But I don't wish anyone else a bad Valentines. The people who call it a 'hallmark holiday' annoy me -- all it is, really, is Lupercalia in a costume.

I have pain regarding this day, which, unfortunately, friends became privy to. I don't think it's bad to have that pain. I don't think it's bad to feel bitter about the pain. I don't even think it is that bad to express that there is pain.

But that is my pain. It should belong to no-one else.

For me this day, this year, is a day that highlights things I see as failures on my part as a human being more than it highlights the good relationships I do have in my life. I can't be happy about that. I can't help but be jealous of those for whom it is positive this year. But, my previous three were positive, and these things come and go.

Er, all that to say: It makes me unhappy this year, and, inevitably I had to say SOMETHING to explain that unhappiness to those around me, but, I do not begrudge anyone else for being happy about it though I do admit to being jealous of those with enough happy relationships to celebrate to drown out the sting of loss.

In other news, Saint Patrick's Day is in a month, and, hey, I gotta admit that I like it better, as saint's days that have made their way into the general cultural stream go.

---
* That is, William Goldman -- this particular bit comes from that one chapter of 'Buttercup's Baby' at the end of some editions of The Princess Bride
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-02-15 01:10 pm (UTC)
Ferrett once told me that when he started working for Borders, the first thing he did when he got access to the books database was try to look up S. Morgenstern. And that it is the most common first independent look-up among new employees. That just cracks me up.

I'm glad you can recognize and differentiate your pain and not feel compelled to snuff other people's joy because you have pain. That's sort of the key.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2010-02-15 12:22 pm (UTC)
As I said in my bah-humbug post, I'm not anti-valentine, I'm just un-valentiney myself. A lot of people on my list had that valentinr thing, and while you only posted it once or twice, some of htem posted it every day. It just brings back the grade school days of everyone having a decorated sack for the little valentines, and some kids being really popular and some being really cruel.

My father is dead and my mother is in a nursing home with dementia and I don't feel the same way about mother's or father's day. I think it's because I had parents and lost them because of what happened to them. Valentines day has pretty much been about being not-good-enough, except for the few years I was in a relationship, which brings up other not-so-hot memories. So yeah, the day sucks as far as I'm concerned, but I don't begrudge you or anyone else their enjoyment of schmoopy moments, just like you and Ferrett have all 365 days of the year. I enjoy your schmoop.

It's a mix of the marketing and my own memories. and I acknowledged it in my LJ. And now I think this comment is longer than my original post, and you probably weren't even talking about me. But there you go.
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