February 8th, 2006


Valentine's Day

So the big V-Day is coming up and, except for one exception, this it the first time since junior year of highschool I haven't had anyone to celebrate it with. And if you count the girl I met at the Valentine's Day dance that year who became my girlfriend for two months, the first time since sophomore year. So one might expect me to be bitter or resentful, dwelling on what I had that now I don't, or perhaps even indulging in such liberties as Laura Gilbert's, Why I Hate Valentine's Day. Well guess what, I'm not. For all my singleness this is a holiday I actually enjoy.

To many singles Valentine's Day is a day to have your face rubbed in the fact that you are alone, alone, pathetically alone. And how could it not be? There are happy couples (not you) everwhere, reminders to give gifts to your significant other (you don't have one) everywhere, and immense pressure to find someone to spend the Special Day with (it's not special for you) from everywhere. Now I'm not innured to these forms of societal manipulation but I don't see why they're a bad thing. Someone can look at these signs and say, "This is for everyone else but me. I am excluded." They may even conclude, "I am excluded because no one wants to be with me," thus doubling the pain. I find this very sad. It has to do with a false mindset that regards singleness or coupleness as who you are rather than a state of being. Just as couples tend to run into trouble when they start thinking of themselves as a single unit rather than two people, if you think of yourself exclusively as an individual, forever cut off from other people, then yes you are going to go through pain as that image conflicts with the coupleness society projects as a desirable state. But it is not a defintion of who you are. It is just a state of being.

In Firefly Inara describes virginity "simply one state of being," and implies that by definition the state is transitory (Edlund, Ben. "Jaynestown." Firefly. Dir. Marita Grabiak.
http://www.twiztv.com/scripts/firefly/season1/firefly-104.htm). Though she is speaking about sex it is a metaphor for companionship.

Your father isn't right, Fess. It's not embarrassing to be a virgin. It's simply one state of being. And as far as bringing me here-- Companions choose the people they're to be with very carefully... For example, if your father asked me to come here for him, I wouldn't have.
Inara is telling Fess that he has transcended his singleness, that it is he who persuaded her to come and spend time with him. While she is being paid to sleep with him as a Companion, Inara is first and foremost choosing to spend time with him as a companion. And then she will leave him and his state of being will change to singleness again but now he will have the knowledge that he can change it because he is capable of attracting people.

This is why I love Valentine's Day, even alone. It is a demonstration that people choose to be with each other. People have chosen to be with me before and on the fourteenth I am reminded that there will be people who choose to be with me again.

What is there to be bitter about?

Geek Reading List

Five out of twenty. I'm so ashamed.

geek reading list
embolden the ones you've read (with stirring speech)
1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams
2. 1984 -- George Orwell
3. Brave New World -- Aldous Huxley
4. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- Philip K Dick
5. Neuromancer -- William Gibson
6. Dune -- Frank Herbert
7. I, Robot -- Isaac Asimov
8. Foundation -- Isaac Asimov (the whole trilogy)
9. The Colour of Magic -- Terry Pratchett
10. Microserfs -- Douglas Coupland
11. Snow Crash -- Neal Stephenson
12. Watchmen -- Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
13. Cryptonomicon -- Neal Stephenson
14. Consider Phlebas -- Iain M Banks
15. Stranger in a Strange Land -- Robert Heinlein
16. The Man in the High Castle -- Philip K Dick
17. American Gods -- Neil Gaiman
18. The Diamond Age -- Neal Stephenson
19. The Illuminatus! Trilogy -- Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
20. Trouble with Lichen - John Wyndham

From titlecharacter