It's always been my belief that communication is the soul of a working relationship, a point on which a million magazines and talk shows agree with me. But this ignores the difficulty in actually managing to talk. I had given Phoebe a screed about V-Day's evils, never thinking that she might be too startled by my vehemence to disagree. On the other hand, I wasn't happy that she hadn't been honest enough to be upfront with me. I had no roses, no chocolates, but instead an olive branch of apology and a torch of indignation when I approached Phoebe that very day and told her what her friends had told me.
And she said she had no idea what they were talking about.
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This is what I mean by "forced." Turns out, Phoebe honest to goodness didn't care about the holiday. Her disdain was almost on par with mine. But everyone else in her life assumed her antipathy was also just a show. We were cast as stubborn souls, ones too afraid of being wrong to change our opinions. We all, people assume, want to take part in the festival. Some of us are just wound too tightly to admit it.
For all us fighters out there, trying to stay strong against our own culture, I have some suggestions. Resistance is fine, but subversion is that much better. Don't cross your arms and insist on having a bad time just to spite everyone else. I don't want to overthrow V-Day. I want to reclaim it.
Make a day of your own. Get flowers, dress up, go out on the town. Take everything about Valentine's Day that's worthwhile, the sweets and the sweetness, the so-rarely-found excuse to just have a good time, and ditch the kitsch and the impersonal intrusion of the wider world. Or keep the kitsch! Even wear red and Pink if you're into that. Love is deeply personal, so make it personal. Make it yours. And make it when the weather's less chilly and the restaurant's less crowded. And buy all the chocolate you want. Just do it a day after the big V, when every last bit of it is on sale.
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Love on your own terms, but make sure to love.