Thursday, February 14, 2008
Well, its that time of year again- the holiday that is not for me- Valentine's Day. I think I know somewhat what a non-christian* feels like at Xmas during this annual orgy of small candy hearts stamped with platitudes, cheap red-satin and acetate-lace-covered cardboard boxes, and dozens of organo-phosphated, steroid-pumped red roses. "Not for you, not for you," whisper the store windows, "pass us by," say the candy displays-"you're not a member of this club."
This afternoon, a store clerk I had never met before chirped "Happy Valentine's Day" to me as I hefted a bag of cat kibble into my cart. I toyed momentarily with the idea of saying to him- "Oh, you want to be my Valentine! Are you asking me out on a date?" To me, it is like wishing someone "Happy Birthday" when it is not their birthday- there is no context for the wish, it is meaningless. And, most importantly- Valentine's Day is not a public holiday- it is for couples, and as a singleton of long-standing, it is not on my calendar. If I had a sweetheart, I would gladly wish that person "Happy Valentine's Day" with all the trimmings; but I don't, so I don't.
Am I looking for someone on whom to bestow these wishes the next time V-Day rolls around- especially since it appears V-Day is with us for at least the half-life of all that acetate pseudo-satin?
As my motto says: Stranger Things Have Happened.
The artwork is from a larger piece I did last year, entitled: "The Genus Amor," for a Valentine's themed art show. I sought to conjure up the image of an old-fashioned collector's case in which one would display butterflies one had caught (and impaled.) Instead of butterflies, there is a collection of little cupids, each depicting a different type of love, each with a little pin through its thorax...
* I no longer consider myself a christian but I have very nostalgic and proprietory feelings about Xmas and revel in many of the traditions. Hypocrite? Yeah, so what else is new.