Okay so Internet. I know it’s been a while, but if the title of this blog post doesn’t tell you why I’ve been absent for a few months, then you are a true dullard. I’ve been doing a lot of healing and therapy and angry yoga and not shaving my legs. As one of my friends who shall remain nameless but who I refer to in my head as “Grown-Up-Daria” told me recently: you’re in the shit, and that’s okay.
So the point is that I never cared about Valentine’s Day at all, until suddenly for the first time in many moons there is a major holiday for which I do not have a pre-reserved date and WHOOPS it just happens to be the holiday DESIGNED AROUND THE IDEA OF HAVING A DATE. Eff you, America. Eff you.
But it’s okay, because of the aforementioned therapy and soul searching and have you ever heard of SARK? I am learning to spread my beautiful lady wings and fly solo, even in the face of utmost adversity, i.e. other people’s happiness.
So now, my darlings, I bring you THINGS FOR YOUR FIRST SINGLE VALENTINE’S DAY IN A WHILE.
I was going to start us off with some Bon Iver, but let’s be real, you’ve already listened to your vinyl record of For Emma, Forever Ago so much the grooves have worn out and besides this is about us saying NO to misery and YES to life. If life has taught me anything, it’s that Bon Iver will make you feel beautiful and want to die, and Born Ruffians will get you through the hard times, no matter what. This song isn’t explicitly about break ups or even relationships, but the refrain “Needle in the hay, hope I never have to sew again” pretty much speaks for itself.
Because Valentine’s Day makes you think about relationships, we might as well watch something that deals with break ups in a complex and realistic way because FUCK MEET-CUTES right now, amiright?!
One thing we have to do for this movie is look past the fact that it feels sort of unfinished and imperfect. OR, maybe embrace that that’s the PERFECT way for this movie to feel, because it’s about how break ups are NEVER perfect or right or done “correctly,” and even the most amicable break up is not going to sidestep the shit storm of stupid dumb feelings you’re eventually going to have to feel like a big stupid dummy.
This is the story of Celeste (Rashida Jones), a high powered, high-functioning “trend-forecaster” (gag) and her ex-husband Jesse (Andy Samberg), a shlubby-but-lovable-goofball who’s clearly on the jilted end of their divorce. The two are committed to staying best friends, though, even through the process of their separation and decision to see other people. It all starts off very rosie and chipper, in a way that makes you worry it’s going to be about how break ups can really be civil affairs filled with good feelings and friendship and daisies and puppies. BUT THEN.
Things start to get more real. Jesse moves on before Celeste, Celeste has to come to terms with her aforementioned stupid dumb feelings, Elijah Wood makes some off-color gay jokes, and everyone pretty much falls to fucking pieces. If you can get past some of the ways the movie instantly dates itself (veiled Ke$ha references, lots of smart phone-y beeps and boops that are supposed to seem really cutting edge, etc) and just tap into the RAW EMOTION that comes with people’s best intentions leading to their own ruin, then yes, this movie will make you CRY FOREVER. But in a good, healing way.
Okay so I know this came out a while ago and I’m not sure that people really think OK Go is cool but I’ve pretty much given up on holding any cool status in the world, and am content to stay at home journaling about the inspirational sayings on my Yogi tea bags and how they apply to my life. The point is I think this video is amaaaaaazing (I hate the term “amazeballs,” but if I ever used it, it would probably be about this video.) And don’t let the Technical Craftsmanship distract you from the utterly heartbreaking lyrics of this break up song. Stop being cool, internet, and just let yourself feel your feelings.
Because if anyone is poised to teach us about self sufficiency and badassery, it’s Frank “Eats Hearts for Dinner” Underwood. And if heading out on the town tryna find that lucky face to smooch is not your game this year/ you don’t have that Gilmore Girls-y pack of lady stallions assembled to do some kind of feminist girl-power fuck-the-Man karaoke marathon, then you need to be properly prepared for a night in. And a newly single Valentine’s Day night in with no good plan is a recipe for disaster. Other elements of this recipe include a box of Kraft-mac, lying on the floor, and tears.
So watch House of Cards! Netflix is releasing the entire season on V-Day, like they knew. And besides my general love of Wheeling and Dealing, there are some very solid reasons to watch this show whilst boycotting a national holiday devoted to greeting card love vows and chalky candy. Want some perspective on feeling broken and betrayed? Watch some scumbags screw each other over a bunch of times until you’re sort of rooting for higher collateral damage with each underhanded backstabbing. Feeling lonely? Watch Kevin Spacey decide that he’s not lonely, he’s a vigilante! And he killed a dog in the first minute of the pilot, so he basically gets to do whatever he wants and you sort of have to accept it. Feeling unattractive? Let yourself get hypnotized by Robin Wright’s AMAZING bone structure and sexy ice death stare, and acknowledge that after her, all other women are equally Not Robin Wright, and therefor we live as one.
Just let yourself get lost in the what I’m sure will be another tangled web of political trickery; you’ll feel smart and sassy and better than if you just watch the good parts of The Notebook on a loop.
p.s. Upon reviewing clips of The Notebook I realized that that might actually be a terrible movie.
5. Just Go Out Into The World and Live A Lot!
This is all to say that I have spent this especially Hellish beast winter battling my various demons whilst wearing a lot of sweatpants and listening to the soundtrack of Disney’s Frozen, all the while contemplating the fact that perhaps as in that animated fantasy film, my frigid heart has encased an entire city in ice and misery. But like with all things, the time has perhaps come for this hibernation to end and my iron celibacy/isolation chrysalis to crack.
So, my plans this Valentine’s Day? I’m going to go see Big Freedia at my local commuter mag’s Anti-V-Day party. I plan to look a lot like the one white girl (the one who looks like Liz Lemon) in the previously linked video. And I plan to at least one free shot of “Soco Cherry.” And I plan to look very, very foolish, and probably feel pretty weird. But I am alive, damnit! And yes, I will take that gross sounding shot. And yes, I will put myself in a room full of weird single people and yes, I will shake my butt about it. And I will do it because of healing and also POWER. And I will think of all of you out there, feeling all your stupid feelings just like me.