Fiction Friday – 8 February 2008

This Week’s Theme: Flip a coin. Heads, and your characters hates Valentines Day, Tails, and they love it. Now come up with the reason your character feels the way they do.

For J, who deals with this year in and year out…

How many cards do you get on Valentine’s Day? One? Two? None?

I get about thirty. Every year. Regular as clockwork. Guaranteed. Unless someone forgets. But they almost never do.

And presents. Do you get presents? I do. Dinners out in restaurants? I used to, but now it tends to be romantic home-cooked dinners.

None of this has anything to do with Valentine’s Day though. Why should it? It’s just a crappy, bogus event, invented to fleece the gullible. Guess Hallmark thought February was a quiet month and needed a sales boost!

I don’t get Valentine’s cards, or Valentine’s presents. I get the regular cards and presents. Because it’s my birthday. And you know what?

I hate Valentine’s Day…

It overshadows my birthday, my special day, every year. When I was a teenager, seeing all those cards hurt. Because I knew they were because I was one year older. But not one was from a secret admirer, or a special someone. No flowers from someone who thought I was lovely. Just “Happy Birthday” and “Many Happy Returns”. But no “From your secret admirer…” And nobody wanted to go out to celebrate my birthday, god no. Everyone was “busy” going on dates. Have you ever tried to throw a party on Valentine’s day? Most places won’t let you book, because they’re already booked up with couples-only tables. Special themed menus. It sucks.

Now I’m married, and it doesn’t matter so much. I don’t need one day a year to tell me I’m loved, and I don’t need people to tell me to tell my husband that I love him! I’ve got that every day of the year. But sometimes, it would be nice if people could remember that some of us might be celebrating other events at the same time as the rest of the world is going goo-goo over a heart shaped teddy bear.

So you can keep your lovehearts, and cuddly toys. I’ll be over there, dancing on the bar, knocking back the tequila slammers and having a party. And when you want to have some fun instead of being made to feel bad over how many cards you did or didn’t get this year, come join me.

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11 thoughts on “Fiction Friday – 8 February 2008”

  1. Know why I hate it? My restaurant is filled with gooey eyed couples sitting on tables that are normally occupied by 6’s and 8’s! I’d welcome your birthday party!

  2. Paul,
    You offer such great insight into her dilemma. At first I thought that the conflicting occasions wouldn’t really matter that much. But it does!

  3. A very interesting take on Valentine’s Day. I have many friends who have birthdays near, or on, holidays and over the years they have all felt slighted. Thanks for reminding us that not everyone feels the same way as we do.

  4. Good take on the theme. I never really thought about how people whose birthdays fall on Vday must feel. We know alot of people celebrate anniversary’s on this day and many find it to be the most miserable day of the year because they are alone.
    Good post I enjoyed it.

  5. Thank you darling for my very first dedication. What a lovely BIRTHDAY present. And more than that, thank you for understanding how I feel and expressing even emotions I didn’t think I felt about it.

    I suppose it’s still fiction, although I feel I’ve “outed” you by acknowledging that it’s a real situation. But you have a way with words and it brought tears to my eyes.

    Love you. Jx

  6. It’s in a similar vein to those born on or around Christmas as well – but the emotions are far more intense around Valentines Day. There is nothing worse than the feeling that your own birthday is not special , or all about you. (I share a birthday with my Dad so even though that’s great – I long to have a birthday that is only ever about me – but I guess it wont ever be that way)

    The tone of the writing reminds me of ‘acid in a velvet glove’ – you convey the feelings and emotions powerfully without them coming across as whiney … and I too would be there to join Julia at the bar with the tequilla shots – sounds like fun (too may V Days spent home alone, drunk with a block of chocolate that I’d bought!)

  7. I dunno… I’ve never really understood people who make a huge deal out of birthdays. Seems pretty self-centered to me.

    Paul, I think you’ve done a fine job writing this and expressing the character. I just don’t really have much sympathy for her.

    Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude.

  8. I never particularly enjoyed Valentine’s Day myself, mainly because I rarely got any cards – my dislike of the day is more wounded pride than anything else. Oh well…

    Jodi, as it happens my brother’s birthday is Christmas Eve! In the family we’ve always done a good job of making it a day about his birthday, and keeping it separate from Christmas.

    Right, going to see if I get a chance to read entries this week (slightly late!)

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