Shrevolution! Or, I Hate Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there: I’m not exactly the world’s biggest fan of Valentine’s Day.

I mean, it’s fine when you’re a little kid. You make sure to wear something red or pink, tell your parents how much you love them, and draw hearts all over every-fucking-thing. Everyone in your class gives you a card, your gorge yourself on chocolate, then spend the afternoon in a sugar-fuelled frenzy and throw up all over your babysitter’s carpet. End of story.

Then you hit puberty, and Valentine’s Day becomes this huge, looming thing. Like, it’s the only day where you can truly prove just how much you love (or, at least, want to fuck) another person. You can be in a happy committed relationship for every other day of the year, but if you happen to be single on Valentine’s Day, then you, my friend, are the most pathetic person in the world. Or at least you’re made to feel like you are.

My dislike for Valentine’s Day has slowly evolved over the years. In grade school I thought it was fine, maybe even sort of fun, and in high school I endured it, handing out ironic valentines to friends and crushes alike (go ahead, ask me how well that worked in the dating department). By university, though, I was ready to declare open season on V-Day.

I decided that the modern-day, grown-up version of Valentine’s Day was nothing less than a capitalist nightmare, chock-full of obligations to spend money: on flowers, on dinner, on chocolates, on jewellery, on sexy lingerie. There were other, insinuated obligations, too. For example, women were expected to pay for all the attention and money lavished on them by putting out, whether they wanted to or not. I even once had a male friend say to me, “If I buy my girlfriend flowers for Valentine’s Day, she basically has to have sex with me, right?”

Uh, no, dude. She doesn’t.

And, I mean, seriously, out of all the thinly-Christianized pagan celebrations to take hold this side of the Atlantic, how did crappy old Valentine’s Day manage to make it onto that list? Why can’t we celebrate May Day and dance around may poles? How come we don’t do anything for St. John’s Eve, a.k.a. Midsummer? I would way rather build some bad-ass bonfires in June than hand out ugly, mass-produced cards in February.

All of this was part of the reason why my roommates and I decided to throw an Anti-Valentine’s-Day party during second year. My mother had put a package of pink, heart-shaped Post-It notes in my stocking that Christmas, so we used those to decorate our apartment, scrawling things like, “LOVE IS AN ILLUSION” and “FUCK YOU” on them. You know, the usual romantic stuff.

Aside from the fact that a girl that no one liked and no one would admit to inviting ended up vomiting red wine all over our bathroom, the party was a resounding success.

The next year, my friends and I celebrated Valentine’s Day a little differently. Our plans started innocently enough: we were going to go eat greasy, delicious, non-romantic food and then go somewhere for drinks. There were four of us, two of whom had boyfriends, and all we really wanted was a quiet, Galentine’s night out.

Once we got to the pub, things went downhill fast.

A few drinks into the evening, the ranting began. And, naturally, the more we drank, the more belligerent we became.

“Fuck Valentine’s Day!” said one of my friends, “People think it’s all about women, but really it’s all about dicks getting some action.”

“Yeah, fuck dicks,” said another. “I mean, don’t actually fuck them, but also, fuck them.”

“Valentine’s Day should be for clits, not dicks! Dudes should be obligated to prove that they can perform proper oral sex before taking a woman out for V-Day,” said someone else. “Clit not dick! Clit not dick!”

Clit Not Dick ended up becoming our mantra for the evening. We repeated it frequently and loudly. We decided that we were going to start a revolution based on our new slogan, one that would free women everywhere from the oppressive shackles of Valentine’s Day. We began approaching romantic-looking couples at other tables to ask if they’d hear the good news about Clit Not Dick. We harassed the band with demands for songs by Veruca Salt, Hole, and, strangely, Counting Crows (they actually did end up playing Mr. Jones, probably just to make us go away).

This was back in the days when you could still smoke in bars, so we started chain-smoking to go along with our drinking. Soon our ashtray was overflowing, and our table was surrounded by a blue haze. We decided that we should pact that night, the four of us, to continue spreading word of the revolution. We touched the glowing tips of our cigarettes together and called it a cigarette pact because, we said, cigarettes don’t lie.

Later, we spilled out onto the street and, arm in arm, began marching down Spring Garden Road singing We Shall Overcome. Whenever we saw a girl getting into a car with a guy, we would run over and try to convince her that she didn’t need him, she only needed herself! We proselytized about the revolution to everybody, shouting CLIT NOT DICK at random intervals.

We found a phone booth and somehow managed to cram all four of us into it. We dialled the tips line for the local newspaper and left them a long, rambling message about capitalism, the revolution, and how Valentine’s Day oppressed women, and, naturally, clit not dick. We finished up by saying that we expected to see something about this in the next day’s paper.

“GET ON IT,” my friend yelled into the phone before hanging up.

One of my friends was so drunk when she got home that she was slurring her words. She tried to tell her boyfriend It’s the revolution! but apparently it came out sounding like Shrevolution! 

Naturally, once the rest of us heard that word, we adopted it as the new name for our movement.

The next year we held another Shrevolution, but the year after that I met Matt, and everything changed.

I learned to love Valentine’s Day and everything that went with it.

PSYCH. I still hate Valentine’s Day. Matt, who is kind of into it, has had to accept that I’m just not a very romantic person. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’ve tried to celebrate it, if only because it seemed to mean something to Matt. But I think he realized pretty early on that it wasn’t my thing – the fact that for our first Valentine’s Day together he gave me a red silk pillow with I Love You embroidered on it and I gave him a swiss army knife may have helped tip him off – and now we’re pretty low-key about it.

But tonight, the Shrevolution will ride again. A bunch of my old Halifax friends are now living in Toronto, and three of us are going out to the Drake tonight to eat fancy, romantic food and get trashed on overpriced cocktails. Because as much as I might laugh at my younger self for some of my ridiculous Shrevolution antics, I can’t say that I entirely disagree with her thoughts on V-Day: that it’s too commercial, too capitalist, and there’s too much obligation to spend money that you might not have. Also the fact that you should celebrate your love for someone every day, not just spend one day a year in the back corner of a third-rate restaurant because that was the only place you could get a reservation, exchanging cheesy Hallmark cards and crappy gifts. Because you know what? Love fucking deserves better than that.

So while you are sitting there trying to whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear over the din of everyone else trying to do the same, I will be laughing raucously, swearing like a sailor, and yelling rude things.

Happy Shrevolution, you guys!

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12 Responses to “Shrevolution! Or, I Hate Valentine’s Day”

  1. kwarren1970 February 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Ha, Ha…funny! I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day either and I’m in a relationship. Over the years, as a lady in the Air Force who worked with a lot of men. I would hear them really stressing out over Valentine’s Day. “What are you getting for your wife, what are you doing for your wife…” conversations went. And then the day after, some guys were good to go and others would vent about some drag out fight he and his wife had because she hated his gift. Wow! I really feel sorry for the guy who could do no right. I hear these types of conversations all the time. I know, I never want to be that girl whose man stresses out over what to get me on Valentine’s Day. I’m not materialistic and my love isn’t measured on that. A simple, Happy Valentine’s Day, a card maybe, and an I Love You is perfect for me. In my opinion, it is another way for retailers to lure us in to spend more money.

  2. Meaghan February 15, 2013 at 7:08 am #

    Random Fact.. I used to make unvalentines day cards, in the shape of hearts but ripped in two with veins painted and perhaps safety pins holding the two bits together. Something like “Be still my beating heart” or maybe something ridiculoudly morbid written on it. Yeah.

    For me it is now an excuse to dress well and drink wine, and I’m ok with that.

    Shrevolution however, I wish I could’ve encountered the clit not dick night in all of its glory, truly!

  3. Laura February 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    It’s always in the ‘humor’ where feminism is revealed to be substantially man-hating nonsense. “Clit not Dick”? Imagine if you encountered a group of drunken males yelling the reverse to passers by. Then it would be rape culture right? The hypocrisy is stunning.

    • bellejarblog February 15, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      You always come and leave such nice comments! Please, tell me more about how you don’t understand how rape culture or feminism work. Or humour, for that matter.

      • Laura February 15, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

        Oh I get the humor perfectly. When its a rape joke it’s rape culture. When it’s a joke at the expense of men it’s just a joke. Beacuse there are two standards. The one you hold for yourself, and the one for everyone else. Makes it real easy to be indignant all the time eh?

      • bellejarblog February 15, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

        No, I think reading my blog and being deliberately obtuse makes it real easy to be indignant all the time.

        There’s a difference between rape culture and making a joke about dudes wanting to get laid on Valentine’s Day and women’s sexual satisfaction. But, uh, keep reaching there, friend.

      • Laura February 15, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

        See what’s great about double standards is you get to decide not only what your jokes are ‘about’, but also what everyone else’s are. Such a convenient philosophy.

      • bellejarblog February 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

        You are, like, the weirdest troll ever.

      • Rachael March 20, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

        Laura kindof has a point. While I can see how you were using it as an empowering chant to fight back against the oppressive nature of valentine’s day, and having some good old fashioned liberal arts major fun, reverse oppression isn’t the answer. The sexual subjugation of one’s significant other, whether male or female, by male or female, is never appropriate.
        “Valentine’s Day should be for clits, not dicks! Dudes should be obligated to prove that they can perform proper oral sex before taking a woman out for V-Day,”
        How is this any different from a woman being forced to have sex afterwards?

        I know you and your friends were just out having a good time, but these sort of double standards are common in the feminist movement, and undermine our cry for equality. Once the night’s over, they should be looked over with a sober eye and reevaluated.

        Valentine’s day should be about appreciating the one(s) you love, regardless of sex, gender, or race, in whatever way makes the people involved comfortable and happy. That’s the message we need to send. One of Love, Equality, and Respect.

        On that note, is it really necessary to accost people on Valentine’s Day dates? They’re out, celebrating their love, maybe with consumerist, and sexual agendas, but maybe they’re just taking a day to celebrate their love with no expectations. When you grab the girl stepping into her boyfriend’s car, and try to convince her not to go, that she doesn’t need him, just herself, you’re not liberating her from a patriarchal society, you’re projecting assumptions drawn from your preconceived notions of Valentine’s day onto her relationship. That’s not very respectful.

  4. Jax June 1, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Dudes should be obligated to perform oral sex, huh?

    Nah. Nothing at all rapey about *that* That’s just good clean non-man-hating feminist fun right there!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Small Love on Valentine’s Day « Life In Pint-Sized Form - February 14, 2013

    […] Day stories that ended up with me crying in a heap of ripped-up Valentine’s Day cards or throwing up on my babysitter’s carpet (haha, oh, Annabelle). I just have kind of been […]

  2. 2013 In Review: Part 1 | The Belle Jar - December 29, 2013

    […] As is my tradition, I spent Valentine’s Day with my girlfriends instead of with Matt. We ate a fancy dinner and then got drunk and mouthy, which seems like the best possible way to spend that stupid holiday. I also wrote about how much I hate Valentine’s Day. […]

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