This year, for Valentine’s Day, I spent a lot of time napping. This is not unusual for me – napping during the holy Sabbath, that is. The Sabbath is, indeed, a day of rest for many. Religious Jews will tell you that for a Jew, it is meritorious even to take a catnap during the Sabbath. For six days, it is said, we toil and work to earn our sustenance. On the seventh day, we rest. This article, however, is not about the holy Sabbath (which in some circles is known as Shabbat, or Shabbos). It is, however, about Valentine’s Day – and the day after Valentine’s Day.
It actually took me a little bit to remember that it was in fact Valentine’s Day when I woke up yesterday. What makes this particularly interesting is the amount of hype that goes on in the media building up to this day. I am not one who has all that much time for watching television (other than a good weekly dose The Gilmore Girls, Everwood, and a few other shows – and yet I managed to get bombarded with messages advertising while walking down Broadway. Then, despite all of that, to completely forget about the fact that it was Valentine’s Day until someone would ask me about it after the early morning prayers. I am one of a small group of people who gets up early in the morning (early for a Saturday, anyhow) to pray with said group at 7:30. The later times for prayer are at 9:00 and 9:30, which allow for just a bit more sleep – though for some people, a little more sleep makes a huge difference.
Someone basically just walked up to me and, as if he were making an inquiry regarding the weather or the color of my shirt, asked me what my plans were for Valentines Day. I was a bit taken aback as I had completely forgotten that it was Valentine’s Day. Of course, as a person who is presently as single as the digits of the simple numbers under ten, I had to sadly confess that I didn’t have any plans. Anyhow, I argued, Valentine’s Day wasn’t the most Jewish thing in the world. Not that it had mattered to me two years beforehand – I think I was the only person walking around Jerusalem with the strings of my tzitzis (religious garment) hanging out and a black Pearl Jam Ten Club shirt with a depiction of a heart as only one of the illustrators of Gray’s Anatomy could possibly have serious affection for. I think the reason I was so serious about wearing the shirt that year was the fact that I realized that I would be the only person that I would see that day that would acknowledge the significance of the day. It was a little bit depressing at the time, to be honest. I am fully aware of the fact that there have been massacres of the Jewish people on this very day in history. Despite the fact that there is always the opportunity to take something good and make something evil from it, the opposite can also be done. This is actually something I would like to write about to a greater extent – how a person can have a certain perception of something (such as their name) based on a negative experience with it and have their perception of it changed by a positive experience.
Valentine’s Day This Year
This year I had approached Valentine’s Day thinking that I was going to have a date of some sort. I had been in Walt Disney World and had thought that when I was going to come back I was going to spend Valentine’s Day with a particular person. I got a Valentine’s Day gift for said person, who ended up telling me that she didn’t think that she wanted to try to date someone over a span of distance, even if the time of being far apart would only be for a short number of months. I thusly ended up giving the gift, which had been a Mickey plush, to my “adopted parents” Mr. Shlomo Bar-Ayal and Ms. Sarah Stambler. They have been, in many ways, my family while I have been living on the Upper West Side, being often as loving and caring as parents ought to be. I am forever indebted to them, the extent to which they will surely never realize.
This was therefore how the week built up towards Valentine’s Day. A lot of people on my friends list on the blogging site that I frequent mentioned how they weren’t exactly happy about that day this year – and that, more than they were looking forward to Valentine’s Day, they were looking forward to the day after. At least on the day after, it would all be over, and the decorations and the sales would just go away. At least it would go away until it was time to put up the clearance sales, but that wasn’t quite the same thing at all.
The Day After
It seems like Valentine’s Day was about a billion years ago, but it was really only yesterday. What could possibly account for this rift in time? It could be related to the fact that I have had an extroardinarily busy day. Or, it could have something to do with the fact that a person in one of my morning classes and informed me that he wanted to set me up with a female friend of his. I was overwhelemed, in a good way, and really touched that someone would think of me in that way. I suppose it really helps that I have been working basically full time hours recently, live in an apartment with two roommates in a nice area (The Upper West Side) and have a set learning schedule.
Who knows what next Valentine’s Day will bring? Perhaps I will be in a serious relationship by then. But then again, perhaps not. Perhaps I will have to take advantage of the visit from television’s Fab Five, the stars of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” so they can set me straight – in a manner of speaking.