11/02/17, Single on Valentine's Day
Christmas is the best holiday. I have cycles of memories of family and goodwill and all the tinsel and baubles and carols; cards showing snow-covered landscapes that I could dream myself into. TV before digitalization, when four channels vied for the most Chrismassy presentation of 'what's on this Christmas!' I got a Megadeth album one Christmas, Rust in Peace, and when I hold the cassette in my hand, or listen to the opening riff, I sometimes remember how I felt back then, though this won't make any sense to you: an album about black magic and nuclear war which makes me feel all mushy and warm inside.
For the same reason, perhaps, Valentine's Day leaves me cold. I was in my late twenties before I experienced a relationship that coincided with this day of hearts and 'let's-be-romantic'. Perhaps it's that lack of connection with my formative years. Perhaps it's because I have no positive memories at all of this day. I remember my then-girlfriend at my apartment having prepared a meal, with candles, after I got home late from work. I felt caught out, it hadn't occurred to me it was Valentine's Day, and I had no present for her. I felt annoyed with myself, she picked up on my flustered mood and developed a bad mood of her own, which in that relationship would lead to tears and abruptness and 'oh-for-fuck's-sake.' Rarely has there been a holiday more polarizing between those who celebrate it and those who don't even notice it. The consequences can sometimes be jarring.So it comes again, this holiday of sorts. The University is celebrating it, some kind of ball, apparently. If I was in a loving relationship, I might put aside the indifference and use it as an opportunity. All these holidays are just an opportunity to create your own thing. My Christmas is not your Christmas, not completely, even with all the presents and tinsel and the same TV channels. I'm not in a relationship now, nor will I be until after the operations come and go, and that could be in a year or so. It would be nice, though, to share a day dedicated to romance, someday. God knows I pass enough wonderful-looking candle-lit restaurants every day on my way home. I would like to make up one of those couples someday. Then a trip to the cinema. Something 'feel-good'. There comes a point, after living in a freezing-cold flat all alone when you think, some day, I would like something better than this, emotionally speaking. I have forgotten what it's like to love. Sometimes I wish I had someone to kiss, to do things with, to get excited with. As awful as Valentine's Day can seem with its manufactured hearts and fluffy bunnies, it's a useful reminder that we can get swept up in our work and the daily routine, and that being in love is something to celebrate.