Love is in the air

So. A few things.

The only way you're getting me in to a theater showing "Fifty Shades of Gray" is with chloroform on a rag.

I could give a shit about the Super Bowl halftime show or commercials. Just start the second half.

I hate Valentine's Day.

Go ahead. Get it out. Feminazi. Man-hater. Whatever floats your boat and soothes your ego.

Actually, I'm quite pleased to be a woman. I'm happily married. I just think you can shove your gender stereotypes and preconceived expectations up whichever private part suits your fancy,

Today, the hashtag #questionformen trended on Twitter. It asked if men could relate to experiences shared in some fashion by every woman- being called sweetheart at work, being asked if pursuing a career harmed your children, expecting and plotting how to avoid harassment as a daily matter of fact.

Lots of people, lots of men, got it. Lots didn't, jumping in to manopolize the conversation, interject their personal grievances, smack down women for being so uppity.

It got me thinking, I suppose. Those thoughts tie in with when I've made casual mention of how much I despise the upcoming National Day of Superficial Schmaltz, and people express surprise. Why, you're married (though it did take you long enough) their expressions or implied emoticons say. What's wrong with you?

Yes, I am married, to a man who loves me every day, who brings me unexpected daisies on a random day in June instead of overpriced roses on a prescribed day in February. Now, is married life perfect? Am I awash in bliss having been eternally joined to my soulmate? Please. I think we've met. I have come to an up close and personal understanding of some of the finer points on the subject expressed by my personal hero and our national treasure Chris Rock - the tamest of which is that if you've never imagined someone's death, then you've never been in love.

None of that has anything to do with my hatred of Valentine's Day - a holiday named for a renegade priest in Roman times who advocated the then-forbidden practice of marriage and was stoned to death for his trouble. (The red represents blood, people.) I loathe the base sentimentality, the mawkish cards and the fact that I have to watch commercials for fucking jewelry stores again - Every Kiss Begins with Kay, especially if you're hanging with a prostitute, or a nag who'll shut up and put out if you give her diamonds. 

I flash back to the already terror-filled days of junior high, and the tables set up outside the office. Did you have flowers there? You're 12, but you're learning to measure your self-worth by how others see you, especially opposite-sex others. (And before you pounce on this theory, my self-worth is just fine, because whatever else was or wasn't waiting for me on that table, there was always a ribboned vase from my daddy - or a balloon from my mother.)

Now, I have had some great Valentine's Days. My friends and I, in our 20-something beach days, would have anti-VD celebrations. We'd get dolled up, go out and poke the boys with sticks - knowing the whole time that each other's company was what mattered (even in the face of that unfortunate pool-playing incident - sorry, Dawn). And the first year I was with my now-husband, he got up early and made pancakes in the shape of hearts for his daughter and me.

It can be a fantastic day. It's just the expectation that it has to be - at the inevitable expense of the other 364 - that galls me. It's kind of a year-round kitchen pass for jackasses - hey, I got the bitch a card and some chocolate. What else do you want from me until Christmas? (Speaking of overblown expectations and commercially driven holidays ...)

I am not unromantic. I'm as susceptible as your average girl to the sweet gesture, the empathetic word, the well-time offer of help. I just don't want a calendar dictating when I should receive these things.

And I'd rather watch Naked Gun 2 1/2 for the 33rd time than one second of a movie based on a book that insults the term, and that I saw the first time, when it was called Nine 1/2 Weeks.

Doesn't mean I'm not girly. I'm just girly on my terms, on whatever day I feel like it.