Be Your Own Damn Valentine
Let's talk Taylor and the heterosexual marriage marketing machine. It's Extra Butter live thread time!
I did not watch the Super Bowl, but I did listen to the Vibe Check recap episode this morning so I feel conversant in Usher, Beyonce, and ofc, our national Homecoming Queen and King, Taylor and Travis. (I remain blissfully unaware of what happened during the actual game and I plan to stay that way.) And my main takeaway is: Wow, heterosexual marriage has such a huge marketing budget.
There’s the “will they get engaged at the Super Bowl” Taylor/Travis drama. There’s our national thirst for Usher and all the tweets about how his performance got women to not only watch football, but also want to have sex with their husbands later. There’s Beyonce dropping a country album (did I get that right?), which means lots of songs about love and leaving. And of course, Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, so just running into the grocery store for milk can become a reckoning of your relationship status.
Meanwhile, I spent this morning dealing with a bunch of annoying adult shit like car repairs and mice in my kitchen, and texted my best friend midway through: “Yet again, we learn a husband can be replaced with money.” This is a joke; I truly appreciate that my kids’ dad dealt with both the cars and the mice for all the years we lived together. But it also makes sense because, asteaches us, heterosexual marriage has always been a financial institution at its core. We’re sold something quite different of course. But anyone who has ever bought a diamond ring or gone to a restaurant with a February 14 prix fixe menu knows this week is big business.
I know I sound like a cynical divorced lady, but I’m quite content to be un-partnered and free from all the het romance pressure for my first Valentine’s Day (since I was… 15? Good lord). My favorite Valentine’s Day ever was the year I tried to get my then-three-year-old to make cards for every kid in her preschool class per teacher instructions (truly why). She spent 45 minutes making one single elaborately decorated heart and then…wrote her own name on it. Be your own damn Valentine, friends.
This year, my Valentine’s Day gift was the fact that our custody schedule put the kids at their dad’s house last weekend, so he got to handle the parent homework assignment that is making/buying/figuring out valentines for two classes of first and fifth graders. I just have to get them in the backpacks Wednesday morning. #CoParentingWin!
And I even picked up some pink Hershey kisses and other nonsense for the kids while I was getting that milk, because I’ll take any opportunity to celebrate loving my girls.
Your turn: Are you pro or con Valentine’s Day? Any good stories or tips for taking back the patriarchal narrative of this holiday? Any stray Taylor thoughts you just need a place to process?
It’s Extra Butter Live Thread time, so I’ll be hanging out till 1pm Eastern (stand by for possible interruption if the pest control man arrives in the middle!). Also happy to do ask me anything questions on well, just about anything.
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