Love, Vaginas & Cockroaches

And so we have arrived: the day of love, V-day, torture, whatever you want to call it.

I know, there are some of you who are happy in love, and that is a beautiful thing. And then there are those of you who are just indifferent about the whole thing. I guess I’m somewhere on the spectrum between tortured and indifferent, leaning more toward the latter.

Valentine’s Day used to be my favorite. I was always fortunate enough to get a teddy bear or box of chocolates out of the whole thing. And who doesn’t love teddy bears and chocolate? Now, I admittedly find more pleasure in stripping the day down to its historical, not so romantic origins, which are a tiny bit more morbid than our present-day version.

Historians trace V-day back to the pagan festival Lupercalia: “A lovers’ holiday tracing its roots to raucous annual Roman festivals where men stripped naked, grabbed goat- or dog-skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility.”

Um, yeah.

feature-d-8-lupercalia-thong-whipping

Christianity, of course, replaced the pagan interpretation with its own version. As the story goes, Roman Emperor Claudius II banned all men from marrying in an attempt to strengthen his army. But Valentine refused to comply and continued marrying couples in secret.

It was a lovely gesture and a heroic effort in the name of love. However, the ending isn’t quite as sweet. Claudius eventually hunted Valentine down, arrested him, beat him to death with clubs, and then cut his head off.

Interestingly, there has been a revival of death and violence attached to our modern-day celebration of love. A zoo in Texas (appropriately enough) is celebrating Valentine’s Day by soliciting jilted lovers to name cockroaches after their ex-partners and then feed them to meerkats. No joke.

Not gonna lie, I was tempted…Okay, no I wasn’t, but I might have thought of a name or two.

The abbreviation of the name, V-Day, has also been adapted over the years to pay tribute to other deserving honorees- one of them being our vaginas. Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues, declared February 14 “Vagina Day” as a campaign to end domestic violence and sexual abuse of women.

I’m sure St. Valentine is doing somersaults in his grave, but I’m all about it; I’m getting way more pleasure from the star of Eve’s show than from Valentine’s. 

And then there’s V-day/Victory Day, of course- a day to celebrate a final military victory, which I’m also all about. 

So here’s my proposition. For those of us on the tortured/indifferent spectrum, let’s designate February 14 as “3V Day”, integrating all of the above- a day to celebrate our love of love, our vaginas, and our victory over heartbreak and the ongoing battle to own and protect our bodies.

Don’t worry, guys, we will forbid death by execution (or meerkats) for any wrong-doings. But it might behoove you to utilize the whole “love, honor, cherish” approach just in case…

——

And for all of you, regardless of gender, who have also lost love, or just forgotten what it feels like, you are not alone or forgotten. And although it’s not as cute as a teddy bear or as good as chocolate, here is a Valentine from me to you:

Love doesn’t always look the way we want it to, come from whom we want it to, or unfold when we want it to. But it’s still here, like water, always changing forms, sometimes flowing freely and sometimes evaporating into something we can no longer see or feel.

But it is still here, filling in the cracks of our broken heart and infusing every breath with life. We just have to keep trying to let it flow freely and trust that, in time, it will return, revealing itself in ways we never expected and replenishing what we thought we had lost, to overflowing.

heart.sidewalk

 

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “Love, Vaginas & Cockroaches

  1. These are poignant if slightly bitter musings Brooke. I’m mostly indifferent these days with a little hope that love and partnership may return. I honor you to celebrate however suits you but I hope you don’t mind if I keep my distance. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m disappointed you read it that way. It wasn’t meant to be bitter, more tongue and cheek and something we single women can rally for. Of course, there is an undercurrent of bitterness, justifiably so, I think. But that’s not where I’m operating from…at least i’m doing my best not to. And I can’t even kill a knat, so all cockroaches are safe with me. I actually think it’s fucked up-cruel, primitive, and not exactly endorsing empathy, growth, and healing. But who am I to judge? We all have to do what we need to to move on, I suppose. Still fucked up, though. All to say, I’m glad you stil have hope. I guess I should clarify that the last part isn’t just for women, but for anyone who has lost hope or worries love won’t return. I always does, just when we least expect it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful, Brooke. Take it from someone who tilted his own spectrum fully towards the indifferent side: it’s incredibly liberating to achieve true indifference regarding romance. Mind you, this doesn’t mean I’ll never become involved with someone again, but it does mean that in the meantime, the lack of romantic love in my life doesn’t cause me the slightest unhappiness. Happy 3V Day!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul, so good to hear from you, I’ve missed you!
      You know me well enough to know, I’ll always be a hopeless (teetering on the edge of hopeful) romantic. And I’d be lying if I said I was happy with the current state of things. But at least this year I’m not in a state of mourning (although I’m admittedly dressed in black from head to toe, not intentionally, but still, somewhat telling.) And in full disclosure, I hope I never fully reach the point of indifference. I mean who would I be if I wasn’t either pining over love or relishing in it…the latter being the preferred state, of course. Anyway, I’m very happy you aren’t unhappy, and I wish you a very Happy 3V as well!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I seriously love this post and am a bit over the moon about it. Like, it is absolutely fucking perfect and feels like a bit of a rallying cry for my dried-up old vagina. The subtleties and intelligence within this post reminded me why I am such a huge fan of your writing. More of this, please!! Um, I did hear that a place in Texas is offering rats to be named after exes before they are fed to snakes. Circle of life and all, but there is just something so barbaric about it. However, for obvious reasons, I thought I would bring it to your attention. 😬 I mean, do what’s right for you.

    I am eating the most badass bowl of Tan Tan Men soup with a cold beer and could give a fuck that it’s V-Day. But that was before I read your post. Now that I have, I am going to celebrate my vagina, my willing heart, my strength and independence, being a fearless and worthy woman, and limitless possibilities. Oh, and that Valentine guy who risked it all for love before he got snuffed. Thanks for offering me a new perspective and for blessing my eyes and mind with these words.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This made my heart smile and my mission complete. But let it be heard, no vagina should be labeled as old, and especially not dried up!!! Both are egregious statements that should be strapped to the back of one of those poor rats!
      But seriously, wtf is up with the rat/cockroach thing?! There is just nothing okay about that! Circle of life is one thing, but what happened to evolution, for fuck’s sake, or maybe even just a smidge of humanity?! What next, we’re going to file into stadiums to watch our asshole ex-boyfriend/girlfriend get devoured by a lion? Granted, both public solicitations happened in Texas, so there’s that. I just hope the rest of the somewhat rational world, that still has a soul, won’t perpetuate the madness.
      Anyway, I’m glad I could provide a little tongue & cheek about devouring men to assist you while you devoured your Men soup. ;0)

      Biggest, Squeeziest Hug.

      Like

  4. You impress me with each post. You speak of a lifellived and write from an honest position. I personally celebrate having a vagina on this day and have since 2007. This keeps disappointment at bay, expectations nonexistent and as for me…a happy camper!! Keep sharing your version, please.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, dear Eve. I’m so glad you celebrate Vagina Day!! I’m all about taking our power back these days, and Valentine’s Day can prove to be one of the most disempowering ones if we measure our worth by the extent to which our significant other displays his/her love. You are very wise to taper expectations, as they trick us into thinking our happiness is contingent on someone else’s behavior and actions. All to say, I’m glad you are a happy camper and I hope you had a fabulous Vagina Day! 🙂

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  5. In high school we always joked that there was a forth (I suppose) “V”, venereal.
    ~~~
    I have the most delicious dreams about love. I wake up sometimes fully committed to… someone. Someone whose visage achingly dwindles, the taste of their lips fading as I struggle to retain the image of their face in my expanding consciousness. Oh, how I try to return to their arms; their lovely eyes pleading for me to stay. I live to love in my sleep.

    Waking love? Time for that has passed, I’m afraid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, I suppose their might have been of few of those exchanged on that day in high school. But we digress. 😉
      Well, your dreams are certainly better than mine- which usually entail some form of abandonment. As for waking love, I’m still somewhat optimistic that time hasn’t passed. I’m just better overall when I have someone to love on a romantic level.
      But in the meantime, I shall do my best to direct it to the very deserving girl who can buy her own damn chocolates. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sending you virtual teddy bears and chocolate, and love that seeps into all the cracks (I tried really hard not to make that sound dirty). Nobody celebrated Valentine’s Day until the Victorians anyway, and it’s just become another consumer bingefest designed to make people feel crappy, so screw it:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That just made me laugh out loud, as you always do. 🙂 I agree. But you know I’m a romantic and all about love, so I get sucked into the whole thing, and not the consumer part of it…unless it’s legit chocolate, with no trace of fruit or anything that gushes out. 😉 Some serious virtual love back to you, my girl!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Brooke,

    Thanks for the history lesson on V-day, I did not know most of that.

    We in the West have a very limited language and understanding of the various types of love and it creates a lot of pain and confusion. There is a Sanskrit phrase Atma prema means unconditional self-love. When I am able to let my guard down and access my Atma prema, way too infrequently, there is a deep sense of love, connection, forgiveness and acceptance and a deep sense of this is who I am. Maybe the lesson of V-day is that it is time to seek the eternal and infinite love inside that is want to heal us and make us feel whole again.

    May you have a wonderful A-day each and every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this, Brian- a beautiful, much-welcomed reminder. I’m reading a book on this very subject right now. I think we always need to and desire to experience Atma Prema first and foremost. And I definitely believe that we should not rely on external love as our sole source. It will never be enough if we are so depleted we don’t believe we deserve it.
      That said, sometimes we need to be reminded of what love is, how it feels, and why we do deserve it. It’s a balance and life-long journey, to be sure. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. You are a wise soul and I wish you much love, from the inside out.

      Like

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