An Awkward, Heartfelt, and Probably An Extremely Personal Account On Valentines Day
When I was in 9th grade, our teacher, who should not have been teaching, required us all to write poems for Valentines Day. Since I had no feeling in my soul, I decided to write one that was comically self-loathing, which was something that I am more than proficient at. I don’t remember the whole poem, but I recall that it was one of the first one’s read aloud:
Love isn’t easy
When you’re a stupid fat guy like me
Nobody sends me Valentines
All they do is laugh at me
Although at the time it was somewhat true, I’m still kicking myself in the face for rhyming “me” with “me”. The terrible words being read by a washed up twentysomething has been ringing in my head ever since. How the fuck can I be so bland? This lyrical error has basically defined my love life ever since.
The only Valentines Day that I was able to formally celebrate was in 2006. I was a narrow-eyed college freshman with an amazing girlfriend that just so happened to live 130 miles away, thus making the world and everything about it an inconvenience. It had been “decided” that the holiday was bullshit, and we should celebrate it the next day, which was a Wednesday. This day worked out much better for us, as we both had things to do early on Wednesday. A Tuesday night Valentines expenditure was surely out of the question. On top of that, Tuesday night is the night I play poker. You can’t tear me away from that shit. So I go to play poker. After I lose everything in 17 minutes, a sinking feeling settles in my gut. My phone was ringing, and it was doing so incessantly. As it turns out, she had expected me to surprise her, and in a weird way, I also expected myself to do so. I spent the remainder of the night hiding out in my dorm room, and ended up watching the Wedding Crashers, which I found to be a putrid pile of shit. I knew what I should have done that night, but some fuck-up mechanism in my brain caused me to do otherwise. We were both heartbroken, and it led to a downward spiral of locational fallacies. Since then, I have in the traditional sense remained single.
On 2/14/07, I smoked two packs of cigarettes (Kool XLs of all things), and discovered the Butthole Surfers (with their masterwork albums, Independent Worm Saloon and Locust Abortion Technician).
On 2/14/08, I was cashiering until midnight. I scanned probably 50 boxes of condoms. I also had something short of a nervous breakdown after failing considerably in building a miniature model of a bar in Film/Video Art class. There was also something to do with a Houseplant, a false alarm with my illegitimate son & the mother I never met and Roscoe (Pre-Roscoe) hiding on everyone.
On 2/14/09, I signed my tax forms in the middle of a Pizza Hut in Greenville. I went home to drink whiskey, listen to Tom Waits (as I was advised to do on this certain day), and made two paintings, entitled “Kill Yourself Like A Man” and “…It Was Truly Love At First Sight” respectfully. They both expressed a man’s love for television, whiskey, cigarettes and the fine sport of boxing. And cowboys.
On 2/14/10, I counted cash in a tired haze. I went back to bed when I got home, only to have a bizarre dream in which I actually get laid (a gift to myself, I suppose). I watch TV for 2 hours. My roommate comes home from the laundromat, so I take my shirt off and cover my lower half, trying to convince him that I was sitting home alone naked. We have strange senses of humor. He claims that he met an older woman at the laundromat, and he asked her if she was “down for a poke”. She replied “No, but maybe tomorrow”. They will make love on my bed, because his bed is too small. He does his taxes while watching Blair Witch 2, and I write a personal reflection that nobody cares to read while listening to the Violent Femmes (the one album that mattered). Afterward, I will go buy a pack of smokes and return some videotapes. Then the NBA All-Star Game with Nastro and Turkish. [You may all get a roundup tomorrow, but I doubt it.] Then drink myself into oblivion at Billy’s 80s Night.
There is no reason for this emotional stagnancy except for the the flaws in my own design. The TeeCoZee persona is not built to be in relationships. It was built to combat my own loneliness and self-despisal. TeeCoZee, ideally, can be the life of a party, but everything about the structure falls to pieces when a person of attraction comes into the scene. All of a sudden, I put on the Shamrock Tanner mask and become awkward as fuck, and start doing things that even a stalker would be embarrassed by. These troubling occurrences, most of which have been resolved or forgotten about, is what holds the Coze down. In a nutshell, for the past 2 years, whenever I try to pursue anyone, it turns out into a decent friendship, or an above-average acquaintanceship. Last March, I made a count of what my official record was, and it was sitting not-so-pretty at 1.5-42. (Don’t even ask about the half point…) I am now 1.5-49, which means I failed completely 7 times in the past year. Not a very good statistic, but not a bad one either. If you break it down, that makes it like one girl every month and 10 days. Not too shabby. My 50th loss is going to hurt, however, based on the sole fact that I will know that it is the 50th.
When you really look at it, Valentine’s Day is a very normal day. You still have to eat food, drink fluids, get plenty of sleep, and masturbate, but there’s this odd aura that makes half of the population feel good and the other half feel like complete shit. So, what I’m asking is, how can you make a general holiday (one with no religious ramifications), and yet make it exclusive? General holidays should be enjoyed by all. You only have to be an American to celebrate the 4th of July, have to enjoy nighttime to celebrate Halloween, only have to have something to be thankful for to celebrate Thanksgiving, and only have to be an idiot to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. In order to celebrate Valentine’s Day, you have to be in a romantic (or pretending to be romantic) relationship. There is no benefit for a single person to be awake on February 14th, except to hate oneself and eat candy, which only makes the person feel worse in the long run. For the record: You can throw the “Valentines Day is for any kind of love” card, but fuck you, that’s what Sweetest Day is for. On top of everything that I hate about the holiday, it is also the most generic. Flowers, candy, card. Flowers, candy, card. Flowers, candy, card. Flowers, candy, card, jewelry, anal. Flowers, candy, card. There’s no variance. People rarely become creative. Or at least, this is from what I’ve observed. Being a guy that has not ever properly celebrated the holiday, I can only assume these things from my experience in being a cashier in February. So now, I am faced with the dilemma of wanting to be included in something that I do not want to be a part of. It’s like trying really hard to get into the boy Scouts, or joining a Shuffleboard league. In fact, no guy really wants to be involved. This holiday was not designed for the male population. Single guys spend the day sulking in insignificance, and taken guys, well they don’t seem very enthused either. Here’s an example conversation:
Taken Guy: What’re you up to today?
Single Guy: Watching the All-Star Game and thinking about how much I hate myself.
Taken Guy: Man, I wish I was you. I have to take my girl out to dinner, and she hates sports bars.
Single Guy: Your girlfriend is hot.
Taken Guy: Take her, then.
Single Guy: Fuck you.
Now don’t take my cynicism to say that I don’t believe in love. I believe in it as much as I believe in hate. It’s just that with my given life experiences, I only see both in a simple sense. I have faith in love as in love for friends/family, and I hold hate as in hate for bad weather/George Lopez. I do, on the other hand, have an idea for a new holiday. It is one that any living human can be included in. It’s called Reconciliation Day, and it involves taking time to think about the people you don’t exactly love. There is a wide range of possible activities, such as making amends with enemies or exes, or holding a dinner party for all the friends you never bother to call. This day could be a hit, and Hallmark could make a few extra billion out of it. I’m not sure why it already hasn’t been thought of. You could even use it as an excuse to get out of work:
Employee: Hey boss, I need to take tomorrow off for Reconciliation Day. There’s a lot of people I need to meet up with.
Employer: Don’t worry about it, we’re not going to be open. However, I think we need to have a good talk tomorrow.
Employee: Oh yeah?
Employer: I know about what happened with you and my wife. You’re fired.
Employee: Let’s talk about it tomorrow.
To seal this whole package up, I need to talk about a person named Jordan Pickell. Last week, she wrote a column in the Grand Valley Lanthorn regarding the lack of male options around campus. The whole story, along with the angry responses, can be found here. She seems to think that most male GVSU students are “trolls”, and all of the “decent guys” are being fought over. She claims that instead of males pursuing females, it has shifted the other way around, and she words it in a way that makes it seem like a bad thing and not something a little more progressive. She also makes references to the movie, “Mean Girls”. It’s writing at it’s most embarrassing. I have an open letter to this prospective journalist:
Fuck you. I don’t know what world you live in, but it isn’t mine. I attended Grand Valley for 4 1/2 years, and I was not once pursued by a female in any shape or form, nor did I expect to because of the gender inequalities. I do not consider myself a “troll”, so I am now puzzled by the fact that this hasn’t happened to me. I do not drool, nor do I smell, and I dress with pride and respect. I am not part of any demographic that you mentioned. Also, for the record, I did not find the average score of the females to be 6 out of 10. That is, unless generic brown boots and north face fleeces add points to hotness. You represent the majority of females that I met at Grand Valley: narrow minded, generic, snooty, and all around judgmental towards anything outside of the norm. I hope the person that published your article gets fired.
Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!