|What do you suppose the three sisters did while Dracula was out chasing British girls?|
I'm not a big fan of Valentines Day. But this wasn't always the case. When I was a kid, I loved the little cards everyone gave each other, the heart-shaped chocolate, and all the lovey-dovey decorations of winged babies practicing archery. Then junior high happened and it started being about someone special paying attention to you. This didn't go particularly well for me. As an extremely shy, and as I would discover later, an extremely gay, junior high girl, I didn't get all that much attention from the boys. This isn't to say I didn't have a boyfriend in junior high. In fact, that was the only time I ever did. To protect the innocent, let's just call him Jimmie. He didn't understand Valentines Day either and as it turned out, he was just as gay as I was, so you can imagine how little we actually got done when it came to traditional boy/girl, awkward junior high relationship stuff.
|In hindsight, this was an odd card to get from my junior high gym teacher (kidding! I got it from your mom)|
High school was worse--much worse. My high school did this thing every Valentines Day where we had an archaic competition among the men. Everyone would be given little construction paper hearts, about the size of a real heart as my biology teacher pointed out, on a ribbon necklace. These little one-day pendants were to be given to the guy you thought was the hottest. I guess they gave them to the guys so none of them would have zero at the end of the day. I don't even know what the person won or who the hell made all those stupid little hearts on strings since I went to a school with more than 2,000 students. A large percentage of people just chucked the things, myself included. By that point, I was irritated with the world (as all good high school girls are) and I wasn't about to participate in the patriarchal competition of helping a man collect women's hearts...or maybe it was because I didn't want to contribute to a society that valued looks above substance...or maybe it was because by that point I was out of the closet and a lesbian giving a guy a heart for being "hot" was dumb beyond reason...or maybe the whole thing was an antiquated waste of pink construction paper and time. There were so many good reasons to throw the heart thing away, I can't precisely remember which one I went with for the first three years of high school.
|I wish I'd had this design on a t-shirt at the time. I could have pointed to it when someone asked about my paper heart.|
Then something happened between my junior and senior year. Nikki, who had been one of my more vicious tormentors since I came out, kinda come out to me during that summer. She started being nice to me, started calling me, started coming over to see me, and even though my traumatized little brain didn't think any of it was genuine, I still sucked up all the attention I could. I remember, at the time, being completely certain it was all an elaborate ruse to fuck with me. After a couple months of nothing bad happening, I came to the conclusion it was just an odd summer friendship that would end when school started up again and she remembered she was amazingly cool and I was a total outcast. But that didn't happen either. In fact, my senior year, everyone was actually pretty nice to me, or at the very least nobody picked on me anymore. Nikki and I would still occasionally talk, I'd go to her volleyball matches when I could, we even went to lunch together sometimes. She gave me an actual Christmas gift that year. I still have it--a weird pink trucker hat that said "World Champion" on it because she knew I liked 30 Rock.
|Can't we just go back to innocent cards? Not like this one; this one is naughty...maybe, it depends if you know Kirby|
Then, Valentines Day happened with its construction paper hearts on red ribbons. I didn't throw mine away. I thought I had someone to give it to. Now, I can't explain what I was thinking at the time, but I saved it in my locker until I knew I would see Nikki before lunch, and then I tried to give it to her. Girls were supposed to finish the day with one heart or none at all. If Nikki had two, that would mean something strange had happened. Strange like the outcast girl with an oddly masochistic lesbian crush had given her a heart. She wouldn't take it; she wasn't there yet. In my histrionic high school girl brain, I actually believed I might die of emotional trauma. We were cordial the rest of the year, but didn't really talk much after that.
I turned 18 a few weeks after and I started dating outside the school, usually older women and always by lying about my age. Once I started getting my college acceptance letters (by the way I went 10 for 10 and I applied to some really nice schools--SAT prep courses and not having a life paid off), I mentally checked out of high school. I still had to physically go through the motions to graduate and all, but mentally, I was already done and in college. That summer, the 4th of July to be exact, Nikki fully came out to me and explained that she'd been completely gone in love with me for years. I was in a slightly better emotional/mental state at that point than I was at any point during high school, but my brain still didn't think this was something real. It would be a little like Brad Pitt saying he was completely in love with Rachel Dratch and that he was leaving Angelina to go marry her--I think that's actually the analogy I used at the time to describe why what she was saying didn't make sense. She promised to spend however much time it would take to make me believe.
|It went a little something like this...|
It'll be four years ago tomorrow that she rejected the little paper heart and it'll be four years ago this 4th of July that we've been together. We've had Valentines Days since then and they've been really romantic and sweet and sexy and blah blah blah, but I still equate Valentines Day with something really awful and traumatic and the 4th of July with something romantic.
In that spirit, I'm giving away a vampire book this Valentines Day. And not just any vampire book, the one with the most fucked up relationship I've ever written, horrible, depressing, frightening things, suicide, abuse, murders, revenge, and even worse things. This isn't Twilight where misogynistic vampire boys prance around trying to seduce boring girls. The vampires in The Vampires of Vigil's Sorrow are actually scary and for the most part fucked up individuals. Like my own story with Valentines Day, there is something of a romantic happy ending, but it doesn't come in the way one might expect. For anyone who is single this Valentines Day and unhappy about it, or anyone who is like me and still doesn't like this holiday, or anyone who just likes real vampire stories, enjoy a free ecopy of The Vampires of Vigil's Sorrow.