Attention fellow singles. You really need to stop using Valentine’s Day as an excuse to be melancholy. It’s getting ridiculous. People put too much pressure on this day. When you’re with someone, you put too much pressure on making it “perfect.” And when you’re alone you put too much pressure on it making you miserable. It’s just a day. I can think of the top five romantic events in my life, and NOT one of them happened on V-Day and most of them were not planned in any way.
I mean . . . you don’t see people without trees in their yard moping around on Arbor Day and bitter towards all their friends who do have trees:
It’s that time of the year again. I fucking hate this holiday. HATE IT! It’s just a corporate-cookie-cutter-greeting-card-bullshit reminder that I am alone—that my yard is empty.
I try to be cheerful around my friends, the ones who have trees; I really do, but it’s so hard. They look so fucking happy, I want to vomit . . . and not just vomit, acid . . . and not just stomach acid . . . like industrial acid . . . I want to vomit highly corrosive, industrial acid all over their faces. I hate, HATE being this bitter towards my friends but I constantly find myself wishing a swarm of Emerald Ash Borers would come out of the sky and chew their trees to pulp.
So I went over to Brittany’s today. Yeah, I guess I’m just masochistic like that. She showed me her tree in the back yard. She’s so proud of it. Then, she gave me an Arbor Day card, but . . . you know, it was just one of those little impersonal cards that you give to all your loser friends, the ones who don’t have trees
So Brittany’s all happy with her tree and I just make an excuse about feeling sick and I duck out early because I’m feeling like a goddamn third wheel. Plus . . . I’m looking at her tree and I’m having secret thoughts . . . unnatural thoughts . . . like “Oh-God-I-want-to-dig-that-up-by-the-roots-take-it-home-and-plant-it-deep-in-my-yard” kind of thoughts. I know you shouldn’t covet you friend’s tree, but it was such a fine willow!
And I think, “Why can’t I have that in my life?” And year after year and another A-Day goes by and I’m just reminded of all my past mistakes, all the trees I’ve lost. It’s always the same old story, “the new sewer pipes disrupted the root system,” or some bullshit like that. And I think, “What, I’m I not good enough?” And it’s the same old song and dance, “It’s not you . . . it’s Dutch Elm Disease.”
Well fuck that!
I guess . . . I guess I’m just scared, you know? I’m afraid. I mean, here I am, pushing thirty and I don’t have a single sapling in my yard. And I’m terrified that I’m just going to whither away into one of those old people you see feeding their cats and looking out at a barren lawn. I’m going to die without any shade in my yard.
Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression. It’s not like I never get any contact with trees. I mean, I get some. Sometimes, on the weekend, I go to the park and there’s a few regulars I visit. But what future is there in that? Who hasn’t sat under those trees? What neighborhood dog hasn’t pissed all over them? I don’t know, I guess it just makes me feel dirty.
So yeah . . . I left Brittany’s; I got home; I locked myself in my room; and I’ve spent the whole day, alone, drinking tequila and listening to the Monty Python “Lumberjack” song and the George of the Jungle theme, just balling my eyes out.
Why do I do this to myself!?!?
And it just gets harder and harder every year. Now, you can’t escape it. What, with email and MySpace, I have every fuckwit in the galaxy sending me dozens of insipid, sparkly little Arbor Day greetings. I just want to grab those bastards by the throat and tell them that the only—THE ONLY—happiness, the only shred of joy I’m eking out of this day is the knowledge that by filling up my journal, I’m killing another tree. And I swear to God, I swear to the holy, fucking heavens that if one more person smiles like a tool and says, “Happy Arbor Day!” I will slash my wrists and ask them if they see sap flowing out.
I don’t fucking need this! I don’t need this stupid-ass holiday. And I don’t need trees.
Fuck Arbor Day!
never green and ever alone,
—Shadeless in Chicago
PS – Diary, sometimes I think you’re the only one who really gets me.