Hanging Heart

I Hate St. Valentine

That’s the most stupid fake date on earth! When I was a teenager in Europe, it even didn’t exist (or maybe it did but I didn’t notice). We didn’t used to celebrate this date despite that it basically comes from the Roman Empire. Then when I was 20 or something like this, America sent us this “date” like they sent MacD, Halloween, George Bush, Donald Trump or many other things that we couldn’t invent by ourselves!

Basically it makes the flower shops happy and the restaurants well adapted to this mess harass us with special dinner offers and others flower discounts. The result is that we feel either guilty if we don’t buy flowers and organise a candle-lit dinner or we feel sad and miserable if we don’t have someone to buy the flowers for. Not to mention having a single dinner surrounded by hundred of couples who whisper, “Darling, look at the guy alone with his red wine pitcher.” Because yes, if you are alone at the restaurant on this date, then the entire world is pitying you!

For the singles, it ends up being a sad and lonely evening in front of the TV watching “The Bachelor Season 28”. At this step, you even would prefer to be the empty brain bachelor, James, who is giving the roses to a dozen young ladies who have the IQ of sick chicken! Then you finally go to bed and a few stupid friends still send you some ridiculous BBM messages or SMSs to wish you a Happy Valentine. At this point, you decide to finally open the old single malt that you hide for special occasions. Then you drink, and you drink until the “brides” (the bachelorettes in French) even seem to have a brain when they explain to James, “Sweet heart, death is a terrible thing you know. James, I hope one day I will have 20 kids. James, I like the way you wax your shoes. James, the salmon is extremely well cooked. James, have you read this amazing book called the bible?”

Then you continue to drink your whisky and you switch to HBO. Fantastic, they’re screening the “Noting Hill” story where Julia Robert falls in love with a bookseller. An idea comes into your mind suddenly. What chance do I have that Julia Roberts is driving her car alone in a suburb of Yogjakarta, gets into engine trouble in her new Porsche, then walks in the middle of the rice field to finally reach my green gate to ask for help? I don’t even talk about falling in love with me half drunk dressed with my printed t-shirt “Bakso Malang Aku Suka”! One chance on 6 billion… So I finally hate that movie, too.

But you have the other category; people in couples who are really expecting something big for this bloody date. I must say that the ones who are waiting for something amazing are basically the ladies. As for us, the men, we are stupid enough to forget even our own birthdays or other wedding anniversaries so there’s not much chance we will remember the 14th of February. Men come back from the pub half drunk at 8.30pm, take off their shoes, go to the toilet five times to evacuate the eight beers, then lay down like a dead goat on the sofa. They switch on the TV, open another beer and start to check if their soccer team did well (PSG in my case, Paris Saint Germain of course). Then after ten minutes, they go for another beer and change the channel to check the BBC news. Already half an hour has passed since they got back home. Suddenly they are wondering why the kids are not there and why their own wife hasn’t showed up to yell at them about…well, about many details that only women care of. Then the BBC charming lady mentions Valentine’s and suddenly they wake up in total panic and curse 200 times in a row.

They are not drunk anymore at all. As good males, they start to find easy and tricky solutions like to steal the plant of the neighbour in the corridor, puke the five litres of beer to have decent breath, design a heart with some candles on the floor (and position the stolen plant in the middle) and write “Je t’aime” and “Happy Valentine’s” on the mirror of the bathroom with their shaving foam. As this last solution seems to be the easiest and the cheapest, they run to the bedroom and there waits a disaster! The nice wife is waiting at the corner of the bed, dressed like a princess, crying like a teenager who had not been invited at a college party. At this point guys, it’s dead and super dead and over dead. You only can get on your knees to apologise and receive a cinema style slap. And the next day, after the wonderful night’s sleep on the sofa, you go directly to Cartier or another expensive branded shop and you spend a fortune.

In both cases, single or in a couple, it will end up in a disaster. I will only and only celebrate it if Julia Roberts shows up at my gate on the 14th. But better she calls first.

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Sebastien is a French antiques dealer living in Jogjakarta. To rant and rave at him, email sebastienlaurent@hotmail.com


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