Valentine’s Day


Well it’s that time of the year again, the day that polarizes the community like no other, Valentine’s Day. Or as I like to call it ‘Couple’s Gloating Day’. Don’t get me wrong I like the idea of celebrating love but why is it only couple love that we celebrate? This whole day is designed to make anyone not in a relationship feel like the last kid picked for the tee-ball team.
Whether in a relationship or not, I have never been very good at Valentine’s Day. My first ever Valentine was written on the back of a flattened out ciggie packet. This was to colour my experience of Valentine’s Day for years to come.
I had my first Valentine’s Day in a serious relationship when I was 18. My then-boyfriend and I were in different states, and, knowing he was about as romantic as Athlete’s foot, I rang him a week before to remind him. I warned him of the dangers of forgetting me and, bless him, he took my threats seriously. Sure enough on Valentine’s Day a dozen red roses arrived. Unfortunately I had forgotten it was Valentine’s Day. I was awoken from a particularly nasty hangover by the sound of my dog going mental at the front gate. I dragged myself out of bed, ran outside, threw the dog in the house and angrily opened the gate.
“Um…I think these are for….you?” the flower delivery man said, looking at me like I had just crawled out of a drain. I caught sight of myself in the reflection of the window. I did look like I had just crawled out of a drain. My hair had gathered into some sort of demented flock-of-seagulls-bouffant-gone-wrong. I had bags under my eyes the size of dinner plates and a streak of miscellaneous food down my shirt. The delivery man kept looking behind me, as if expecting the rightful owner of the flowers to emerge from the house and pry them from my undeserving grasp. I quickly thanked him, grabbed the flowers and ran inside to hide my shame/face. The flowers themselves were completely overshadowed by the delivery man’s judgement.
 After many more disappointing/uneventful/downright depressing Valentine’s Days, this year I have found myself in the most stable, loving, and dare I say romantic relationship I’ve had for years. So perhaps this year will be the year that saves Valentine’s Day for me?
Alas no. My beloved has been sent 300km away for work.  His boss offered to give him the day off but only one, which would mean spending six hours each way on a bus to come home and spend twelve hours with me. No one loves anyone that much. If Romeo had been given that option I’m sure he would have said ‘parting is such sweet sorrow that I will see you in a week because I’ll be fucked if I’m spending twelve hours on regional public transport’. And besides, he has just happened to breakout in an all over allergic rash and I have just happened to break out in the worst acne of my adult life just in time for today. If he did make the journey back our night together would probably resemble some sort of romantic version of connect the dots rather than a Hollywood movie.
So alas another lonely Valentine’s Day for me. When not in a relationship I have spent Valentine’s Day looking around at all the loved up couples feeling like my life was missing something. When I have been in a relationship I have spent Valentine’s Day wondering why it didn’t look like the hallmark card moment I imagined in my head.
So today am I going to sit around feeling sorry for myself because I’m not at a fancy restaurant? Hell no. Not this year. This year I’m going to thank my lucky stars that I have found a great man who is working his arse off 300km away so we can have a better life. I guess my point is, whether you’re in a relationship or single, spending the day focusing on what other people have and what you don’t have is a futile exercise. Today you should embrace the people and things you love, whether that’s in a romantic relationship or not.  If you have found that special someone then cherish them. If not then grab your single pals and go and have a pint. For you this can be I-don’t-have-to share-the doona day. Or I’m-free-to-do-what-I-want-any-old-time day. Or that-great-first-kiss-with-someone-new-could-be-just-around-the-corner day.  Just embrace love in all its forms with all its lumps and bumps and imperfections. It’s never going to look like ‘Titanic’ anyway. And thank fuck because that movie sucked.

Procrastinator of the Year

“The fatal flaw in procrastination is the expectation that tomorrow I will be less of a fundamentally lazy person than I was today” …Me

Soooooooo anyone who has read this blog before might have noticed that I have not posted anything for a year. A whole year. You might be wondering what have I been doing in that time. Did I lose my arms in an accident and it has taken me a year to whittle new ones from a piece of wood using my feet?  Or perhaps I had amnesia like Harold from neighbours and was lost at sea only to return a year later with the inexplicable ability to play the tuba. Or perhaps I landed some high-flying dream job that takes up all my time and leaves me with just 15 minutes to do air-punching affirmations in the mirror before rolling into bed.
Alas the reason is none of the above. I have been procrastinating. It started as a mini self-rebellion after the last blog. I really should write another one I really should right another one .NO! I’m going to eat this pie instead. You see writing would be constructive and exercise my brain. Eating an entire pie would make me feel sick and fat. Well that’s a no-brainer. I’ll go with the pie!
I don’t know where this tradition of self sabotage comes from. Probably from my ingrained need to rebel. When I was a child the only things my Mum would categorically never let me have were bubblegum and Coke. When I was about eight a family friend gave me a fiver that my mum said I could spend as I wish. I went straight around to the shop and bought two litres of coke and ten packets of bubblegum. I didn’t even like it that much but it tasted like freedom.
But now I’m a ‘grown-up’ and absolutely the master of my own destiny there is no one to rebel against….except myself and all the things that I know are good for me.
Procrastination is not just about doing things that are fun. It’s about doing ANYTHING except the thing that you are meant to be doing. And the more pseudo-productive the better. I have always hated and been very, very bad at Maths. One time in University instead of doing the assignment on media analysis that I was actually interested in I picked up my high school algebra textbook and did three chapters. I very much doubt I ever did that while in high school. Why, why, why do I do this?
Even now I have stopped writing to go and write ‘greetings from the kitchen’ on my housemate’s facebook wall . I am procrastinating from my blog on procrastinating. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a lot to answer for. He is the ultimate enabler for procrastinators. He is to procrastinators what Pablo Escobar was to coke addicts. As if stalking exes to see if they look happy and bitches from school to see if they’re fat wasn’t enough. Now we have the timeline. We’re now expected to enter every bloody event in our mundane lives into our facebook timeline. If not you have a timeline like mine where it appears that I was born and then straight after attended a beer festival. That’s not far off really.
So how does one discipline ones self? I don’t have my mum here to pry the pie out of my hands like she did the coke and bubblegum all those years ago. I could ground myself but my house is full of DVD’s and booze so that’s not much of a punishment. Maybe I could write “I will be a productive member of society” over and over again on a blackboard. But I don’t have a blackboard. I could send myself to bed without any dinner but I know where I keep the cookie jar. Yep once you hit adulthood rebelling is about as satisfying as a lettuce sandwich. Perhaps it’s time to let go of that inkling I have always had that I’m not a proper grown-up but just a big kid playing dress up. Maybe I should just grow the hell up..or maybe I should eat this pie….