Guest Post: “Valentine’s Variability” by Zack Love

Valentine’s Variability
an article by

Zack Love

Like birthdays and New Year’s, Valentine’s Day can make you feel a lot better or worse than you’re already feeling.

If you’re happily in love, Valentine’s encourages you and your lover to celebrate your joint bliss together. You might even secretly share a certain schadenfreude, if you happen to notice someone who’s alone. Seeing loneliness is a powerful reminder of how fortunate you are to have love. And on V-Day, you and your lover can shamelessly flaunt your happiness about being in love. The rest of the world — and its reaction to you — really doesn’t matter because you’re both ridiculously high on love crack.

But if you’re single, Valentine’s can take your emotions in very different directions. You might think about that person you should have been with on this day but for some tragedy, bad luck, or break-up. A prior V-Day that seemed infinitely happier may come to mind. You could reflect on that awkward but potentially romantic moment that you and someone else never explored, making you wonder what might have been. Or you might CELEBRATE the fact that you’re not stuck in some miserable relationship and forced to display a facade of joy for everyone.

If you’re single by choice, then you have one major dilemma (as with birthdays and New Year’s): WITH WHOM should you celebrate this occasion? You obviously don’t want to waste it on a first date. But what if your friends are all with their lovers and/or unavailable? Perhaps staying home is better than risking a bad first date on V-Day. But then you’re at home alone watching TV on Valentine’s Day, and that could be really depressing, unless Breaking Bad or Dexter is on, which might distract you for a bit. No easy answers. Maybe there’s a mobile app for that.

Now if you’re a guy, you’re dealing with various pressures and expenses that are entirely the fault of V-Day. More precisely, they’re the fault of the chocolate, greeting card, and flower businesses that depend on these pressures and have brainwashed women into thinking that if you don’t BUY SOMETHING for them on Valentine’s, then you don’t love them. This powerful brainwashing is akin to the kind used by the diamond industry (which has somehow convinced the world that if a man loves a woman, he will spend many thousands of dollars to buy her a diamond that she can show to her friends and family).

And even if you’re a guy who somehow found a woman who’s impervious to the brainwashing from billboards, magazines, pop culture, and social media, she will still have girlfriends who have been brainwashed. And so this exceedingly rare woman you found will probably be corrupted. Because there is one thing that you cannot avoid: she will communicate with her girlfriends, and they will compare notes. And that will be your downfall. So you need to budget for 2/14, or for several hours of quarreling that may or may not end with make-up sex. Best to plan ahead.

I’ve always wondered how chocolate became so important on V-Day. It’s actually a bit counter-intuitive on some level. I mean, I’m a total sucker for dark chocolate on any day of the year, but if Valentine’s is all about love, which normally involves sexual attraction, and excess chocolate tends to fatten people (which could make them less sexually attractive), then why are we encouraging chocolate on V-Day? I don’t get it. Maybe giving chocolate says: “I will love you even after making you fat.”

And what about flowers? OK, they smell nice. But then they shrivel up and die on you in a few days. What kind of love is that? Why not get plastic flowers that last forever? I guess they’d feel a bit fake and aren’t biodegradable, so nix that idea. Better plan: Bonsai trees. Those plants last a long time. True, they aren’t really fragrant, but which brain-washer decided that we need fragrance on V-Day? Can’t you just spray some perfume on the Bonsai and then you’ve solved that problem?

Zack Love is the author of the romantic comedy “Sex in the Title” and the much more serious contemporary romance “The Syrian Virgin.”


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Atop His Tower

He stood atop his ivory tower with a grin and swagger unbefitting for his age.  He had become callous, twisted, the very villain that he had once despised.  He fit the role perfectly.  His cloak billowed out into the fading light, folding and shifting, mimicking silken spectres caught in the twilight.

He had once been told:

Those who are not honest are more-truthful in the night.  It brings a certain gravitas to conversations that can rarely be replicated in the day’s light.  It’s our devout understanding of humanism, that drives us to bleed into others…but, only in the dark.

Why look into the eyes of your tormentor?

Flashes of gold and scarlet, beg pedanticism, but hardly do we relish in candor during God’s hours.  We want the truth when He’s away, and rightfully so.  Our sins are our own, once shared.

Evergreens spread into the valley like Ross’ happy trees, and not only did he not notice or care, he desired to burn them.  He needed the crackle and the heat to ignite that missing spark—  The one that had been missing, but ‘oh-so’ yearned for.  His scruff hung, like a dangling preposition, casting shadows upon his cheekbones—  Filling in the lines that had been scratched over.  His should-be blue eyes remained perpetually grey now.  They couldn’t shine for what they couldn’t see.  They could only show what they felt.

It began to rain.  The moon had risen—high and tight—blossoming into fruition, desperately calling to forgotten astronauts and lonesome bees.  It was impregnated by a lost spouse.  One that she had never met.  One that she wanted to know, but never would.

The man in the cloak stood, defying a God that he refused to believe in.  It poured.  Lightning cascaded through the sheets of rain like a wayward speedster looking for the reverse to be true—  Caught between the heavens and the ground it finally struck in a boom and a flash.  The Evergreen laid broken and split, smoldering like a corpse.  It gasped its last breath and then escaped into the cold, cold rain.

He remained.  Watching.  Ever-present.  Assuming the role of villain; making sure that the world still turned, or rather…


Ivory Tower by TSONLINE via DeviantArt
Ivory Tower by TSONLINE via DeviantArt