What’s this, Gentle Reader? Not only are you home, on the computer, on a Friday – but on Valentine’s Day itself, the high-holy of all Hallmark holidays? Don’t fret, sweetie – I’ll be your date. There’s just one thing – since I was sixteen or so, I’ve had this little Valentine Tradition – I like to slap on a bit of makeup, dress in special clothes, and go out, just like any one else.
I just happen to have a slightly different take on it – that’s all.
When I was young, the angry black eyeliner and awful fishnet were in earnest; I was both angry and sad about being single, about being unlucky in love, about all sorts of things – I was young. And I liked the Goth aesthetic, anyway. It really didn’t take much for me to begin this as my anti-Valentine protest, and to stick it to those saccharine love-stricken straight couples all around me.
Then I got a little older, fell in love myself, and realized that while Valentine’s Day isn’t the greatest and is totally based on sales-figures, it isn’t actually an attack on anyone. It isn’t actually Society demanding that you validate your self-worth based on your romantic attachments. It can feel that way, but no one is demanding that you celebrate. Well, apart from all the commercials and your relatives asking if you’re seeing anyone – and, if you are, asking when you’re going to marry – and probably that certain someone you’re seeing expects a gesture of some sort. Fuck.
At any rate, even though I waffle back and forth on the holiday itself, dressing in Goth attire is tradition for me now, whether or not I feel it’s a bit silly. I have classed it up a little since those early days – fishnet was never my friend – and I’m more likely to sport something a little more like this:
I’m more likely to dine out, quietly by myself, and then spend the evening in, than to be in a loud and aggressively disdainful group. I might go to a single’s mixer, or a gallery opening, or some other affair, behaving with grace and self-respect, rather than bemoaning a lack of companionship or other people’s ideas of my self-worth.
It’s important to remember that there are many kinds of love, Gentle Reader, and that it’s important to love yourself, as well. In fact, it’s so important, that I rescind my offer – I’m not going to be your date, tonight. Go date yourself.