Pucker up, lovebirds! Wait, can birds pucker?
It’s time for Valentine’s Day, that love-laden event where, like surgeons, we exchange hearts and hope no blood is spilled. Ever since some guy named Valentine got beaten and lost his head during a time of persecution, we’ve been celebrating the obvious tie-in with relationships.
It sort of makes you think.
In my case, my feelings toward the day have run as hot and cold as any Harlequin romance.
I hated Valentine’s Day when I was young and unlucky in love, replaying every failed relationship in my mind over and over like a little Zapruder film, trying to decipher exactly what happened.
I loved Valentine’s Day when I was engaged to be married, my love life as overflowing as Pamela Anderson in a “C” cup (you see how romance and poetry permeated every fibre of my being?).
Now that I’m divorced, it would be fair to assume I hate the day again, ready to tell the world where it can put Cupid’s arrow.
But you would be wrong. Mostly, I feel nothing – not jaded, joyless nothing, just nothing. I feel like I’ve been through enough in my life that no day can instruct how to feel, good or ill.
I remember crushing on Nicole Boudreau in Grade 4 and changing the words of Christmas In Killarney so it went, “It’s nice, you know, to kiss Boudreau, while cuddling under the mistletoe."
I remember my first love with Julie, a relationship so overwrought with tender, naive passion that Justin Bieber would have gagged.
I remember getting so infatuated with Cora in my early 20s that every song on the radio had added romantic weight, even if it was a jingle about toilet bowl cleaner.
I remember kissing my future wife in the rain.
And that’s just the positive stuff. I’ve been run over by the streetcar named desire more times than I can count. I’ve been single, taken, engaged, married, divorced, exalted, ecstatic and enraged.
I’m not unique, by any means. But the day seems irrelevant to me. Valentine’s Day can’t move me or hurt me any more than Halloween can scare me or Labour Day can convince me to get a union card.
I’m just glad to know that there will be more times in my life – day unknown – when I’ll go sappy, lose sleep, lose weight, feel sick to my stomach, and be scared. After all, that’s what true happiness is about.