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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Blurred lines - you know you want it.

Jeremy and I don't do Valentine's Day. Not our thing. But that hasn't stopped everyone who asks either of us about our Valentine's Day plans from insisting that I am totally lying about not wanting to do Valentine's Day. It seems that I secretly hope that Jeremy will sweep me away for a Valentine's Day surprise, showering me with candy and Italian food and necklaces shaped like snakes.

That's not the only thing I'm told I'm keeping mum on. Three different jewelry stores told Jeremy I was lying about wanting a star sapphire for an engagement ring. What I really wanted was a diamond. And while the jewelry stores had a financial motivation, that doesn't explain the tacky comments I got about my fiance being too cheap to buy me the diamond I had specifically said I didn't want.
Of course, that was before they made these.

...Wait, I think I get it. When a woman says sapphire she means diamond, and when she says no, she means yes. And if a woman tells a man "no," then it's up to the man to override her decision if he thinks she meant something else. All coming into focus now.
No, I'm not comparing Valentine's Day surprises to rape. But the whole Valentine game is emblematic of the attitudes that keep people from accepting that no means no.
As women, we're programmed from birth to not ask for what we want. A woman who admits to wanting shiny baubles and jewelry that looks like snakes is greedy, a gold digger.
She should have been much more specific.
And men are programmed too. Valentine's commercials hint or outright say that if they want to get laid - or even sleep in the same bed - on Valentine's day, the price has got to be right. They're led to believe that a real man makes the decisions, whether the decision is whether their woman is lying about not wanting a diamond, whether a woman means yes when she says no.
In the words of Jeff Winger, "I think we've just found the world's newest profession."
When men and women choose to buy into this nonsense, they're playing a game invented by the patriarchy, and the patriarchy always wins.
Dude, we gotta stop embracing the attitudes that keep us down. Sex is not a transaction. And we're not greedy bitches if we say what we want. And men aren't more manly when they decide what their women wants or doesn't. And here's a radical thought: women are perfectly allowed to go buy themselves a snake necklace if they want one. We don't have to sit around waiting for him to guess, and that doesn't make him any less of a man.
Also, is there any woman who doesn't see Valentine's day as a blur of chocolate induced heartburn and a crushing sense of disappointment capped off by lackluster obligatory sex? 
And is there a guy who doesn't see Valentine's Day as a day of immense pressure to prove his love with baubles shiny enough to not disappoint? Eff that noise. Wait until the 15th and buy that candy sampler from the discount bin. Go out to dinner the night after and you won't be packed like sardines into the Olive Garden trying to digest food while surrounded by other people trying to cram romance down each other's throats like all-you-can-eat bread sticks.
And for god sakes, you do not want those stupid open heart necklaces. They look like snakes. Snakes are not romantic. They're snakes. How can you look at these things and not see snakes? 
Wait, it comes with kitty paws now? Forget everything I just said.
I hope that sumbitch knows there needs to be one for each cat,
or else he's sleeping on the couch for a week.

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