Sunday, 14 February 2016

It's OK to be a Mess: A Valentine's Rant

I have conflicting feelings about Valentine's Day. Yes, I cringe when I walk around the shops and see the amount of awful commercial crap we're supposed to want our significant other to spend money on. And I dislike the idea that we should have a specific day to spoil our loved one(s). I don't need an excuse to buy gifts or go out for dinner. That said, if you provide me with an excuse, I will take it, and my partner feels much the same - which is the main reason that we have celebrated Valentine's Day every year without fail since we got together, even if our celebration is simply exchanging gifts and proceeding to shove pizza in our faces in front of the Xbox. [Tangent: I used to hate the expression 'partner' as it sounds like we do business together. Then I realised it could also imply that we are a crime-fighting duo, and came to like it.]

One thing that particularly annoys me about V-Day is how many magazines and retailers assume that we of the feminine persuasion will require fresh garments for this particular day. Bollocks am I spending my ever-dwindling cash supply on a brand new dress (red, natch) for a single date when I have umpteen dresses already. Yes, so I'm a miser. And probably being overly picky. After all, many women genuinely enjoy spending time on their appearance far more than I do. However, it does seem a bit one-sided - no one is expecting 'the guys' to buy a new suit or shirt or whatever for every date (when I Googled 'Valentine's Day outfits', 'for dogs' came up before 'for men'). I don't know where men's hard-earned cash is intended to go, but it's not on an accessories wishlist for Valentine's Day.

And while we're on the subject of funneling women's money into weird concepts, I hate this 'effortless' thing, where we're supposed to use a gazillion creams, implements, hours and pain for the end result of convincing people that we haven't bothered. IMO, you know what's more efficient? You guessed it - not bothering. OK, so my version of effortless is a far cry from Caroline-de-Maigret-on-a-moped and more pyjamas-at-one-in-the-afternoon-with-a-half-inch-of-leg-hair, but at least I haven't had to waste hours of precious life slathering myself with goodness-knows-what and trying to perfect the art of 'undone' hair.

So, OK, I probably won't be claiming the title of sexiest sexpot anytime soon. But I like smelling nice. I like nice underwear. I exfoliate like a champ (mostly with sugar scrubs, because who doesn't like a snack that makes your skin soft?). And yes, I do shave, and I have been known to wear heels and a nice outfit (with no rips in!) from time to time. I do not mind being sexy for my SO. It's a two-way street. He wears nice cologne, goes to the gym, provides endless reassurance for my anxious self and does not roll his eyes at my kinks. Conversely, he does not freak out if I have hairy legs, cut all my hair off from time to time, have chipped nails or calloused fingertips from butchering the hard work of honest musicians on my guitar.

Whilst all of this is well and good, I do not need or want to be universally 'fuckable'. If you can't handle me at my most feral, you don't get me at my Dita Von Teese. I am not here to be pretty or admired. I am here to Do Things. Those things range from travelling the world to watching Game of Thrones with a dressing gown over my clothes (for the snuggles). They do not involve dieting, waxing (eek!) or having certain unmentionable body parts bleached (who even THINKS of these things?).

My favourite thing about my relationship (or rather, one of the things) is that I get to be real. Sometimes, that's messy. I'm not cute 24/7. I have a body, with all its accompanying functions and needs. I get anxious, I get stressed, I get irritable, I'm not docile, I'm not the mythical 'pretty' cry-er. Hey, he's not perfect either. But the thing is, we show up for each other, even when it's not pretty. He champions my right to be imperfect. It's OK to be a mess. To not be 'effortlessly' put together, at all times.
Dorks.
It's not commercial, it's not hearts and flowers, it doesn't put money into anybody's pockets. But it's fun, it's loving, it's authentic, and that's worth celebrating. On any day of the year.

14 comments:

  1. Wow, I identify with pretty much 100% of this article!

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  2. I don't go for the commercial aspect of it either. We do use the day as an excuse to have a meal together though.

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    1. Aw that's nice :) maybe I'm biased but I think it's much better to use the day as a reason to do something fun together rather than increase profits for Hallmark. Also, food is always good. ;)

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  3. What a coincidence, Amy! Just this morning I was thinking about that whole bleaching business (I'm sick and feverish and can't think of any other reason why else it popped into my head!). My first thought was 'ouch' followed by 'does anyone ever look that closely to even notice it's been bleached?'

    I was going to make strawberry shortcake for our Valentine's celebration (we're not big on the commercial hype either) but since I'm sick that didn't happen. I just hope the strawberries last another couple of days and don't have to be binned. :)

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    1. Goodness knows what my excuse is for thinking of it. It's just bizarre! If you're lucky enough to be looking at that, uh, end of someone's body and you're complaining about the colour, you maybe need to rethink some priorities...

      Oooooh that sounds amazing! Perhaps you ought to eat all the strawberries immediately to be on the safe side ;)

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  4. Bah, that one day is one of the few where we don't spoil each other because everything is crowded. We stayed in and gamed together instead. And shot each other a lot (accidentally of course! *cough cough*)
    "I do not need or want to be universally 'fuckable'. If you can't handle me at my most feral, you don't get me at my Dita Von Teese" couldn't have said it better. Well, there are girls who want to feel polished 24/7, and there are plenty of guys demanding for that type, but if you think you found the one and he doesn't want to see you without makeup, with your bed hair, in ill-fitting clothing (because huge t-shirts can't be beaten in terms of comfy sleep wear!) or after a few razor-free days... yeaaah, no. Next!
    Also, girls are expected to be pretty and made up and all that jazz, sure, however guys are still expected to buy all the gifts and make her feel special and pay for the dinner. The unpleasant stereotypes go both ways. But I don't give a damn about either because we do our thing and let society have its ideas that we're not about to follow anyway. :D It's just background noise.

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    1. Haha yes we had a night in too for the same reason! :)
      'Guys are still expected to buy all the gifts and pay for the dinner' - funnily enough, that's exactly what my partner said when he read this post. Good to know archaic ideas are still alive and well in 'modern' society. >.< Not that I don't appreciate having dinner bought for me from time to time, but I appreciate it because it's a nice gesture not because he is the man and I am the woman and therefore he SHOULD pay (so that my womanly wage can go on waxing products and cellulite creams to keep me attractive so that he WANTS to buy me dinner *gag*).
      Generally we sort things out by who can afford things at any given time - at the moment I've been laid off work for a couple of months so I am buying the small things like breakfasts and lunches; he buys things like train tickets and dinners. (We also hold doors for each other. Cause it's nice not to have a door slam in your face.)
      Also, I like your thinking of the mainstream 'blah blah buy this wear this do that' as background noise - excellent way of putting it.

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  5. Sup Amy? (And greetings from Canada! I remember when you were affiliated of your stripy tights and dark delights blog :) anyway, great post on Valentine's Day! . I can appreciate the positive aspects of the holiday, but can also understand the ambiguous sentiments towards it (including if you're single . I'm a romantic but my last official romantic relationship was 5 years ago, when I was 19. Anyway, I tend to partly commemorate the holiday from a family and friend-ship based aspect 😀. Finding goodies for my family was easy enough, but I didn't get cards this year and the selection for non-romantic cards for this damned holiday is limited .(getting a family member the same card you would for a lover is wrong on so maybe levels for reasons that are immensely obvious 😁. Anyaway, from reading your other posts, it's really cool we have some similar interests and tastes besides being in the same age bracket .

    By the way, your old blog was a great reference for a video I created a few years ago and reuploaded today . If you like, I can even send the link when it's ready :) my rebooted YouTube channel is twishadowhunter3

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    1. Hello again! :) that's a nice idea, to use the day to celebrate love other than the romantic :) although I don't know if my budget would stretch that far!
      Ooh yes, please do send the link, that would be great!

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    2. Hey :) Teamedwardjace/Twishadowhunter3 here

      I agree! And Valentine's Day can be expensive! Will do!

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  6. Hopefully my notifications are on if you reply :)

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  7. Cutest V-Day article ever seen.

    ^_^ <3

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