Valentine's Day true terms of endearment
For many young people, yesterday's steadfast rites of passage -- marriage, moving out, university -- don't offer the same assurance of long-term domestic bliss they once did.
Grumpy old men have been telling us for centuries that things aren't built to last anymore, and in 2008 maybe they're right; absolutes aren't as absolute as they used to be.
This is why I was elated when my girlfriend put me down as her next of kin for her BC Hydro account. I remember it well because it was the first time I knew the relationship was serious.
Much more so than expensive "commitment" jewelry or poetic promises of longevity, a BC Hydro next of kin designation means something. It says, I know you, I trust you completely, you're my family.
With the institution of marriage going the way of the dinosaur (or at least postponed by a decade or two), being chosen as a contact in the event of a natural disaster is the best Valentine you could possibly receive. In fact, a proposal would be redundant.
I returned the favour a few months later when I named Jackie my emergency contact at a new job. The gesture didn't go unnoticed and our relationship went through a lengthy spirit-renewing renaissance.
Of course symbols of everlasting love take other forms as well.
Keys are a telltale sign. If your keychain allows you access into the vehicle, apartment or safety deposit box of your loved one, chances are you're in a committed, loving relationship that feeds your soul.
Facebook is also a huge indicator. Confirming what your friends already know with an official "in a relationship" declaration is the equivalent of an engagement in 1956. If you go one step further and specify "in a relationship with so and so," you've eloped. Expect some free drinks from concerned friends should you ever change it back to single.
This all might seem a little unromantic, but even my married friends tell me the greatest benefits of wedded life are economic. My best friend says the best part of marriage is splitting the cost of Ikea furniture sets.
I'm certainly not one to get all sentimental about Valentine's Day -- I'm actually spending it this year with my parents. Between the BC Hydro contact info, my janitor-calibre keychain, and the Facebook relationship status that tells total strangers what I feel in the innermost regions of my heart, I'm sure of where I stand.
Valentine's Day surprises are nice, but personally I think it's cool when couples don't need them to prove anything. When you know, you just know, and you don't need any Valentine to convince you.