The perils of Valentine’s Day

10 02 2012

 

And Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and all those Hallmark made up holidays that are created to cause you to go out and overspend on gifts and/or feel guilty that you haven’t…

I hate these days. New Year’s fits among them. I don’t know why my animosity is so strong. But it is. I start to get hostile when I see the massive displays appear.

Valentine’s day at our house meant heart-shaped chocolate boxes for all the kids and maybe my mum got dinner out. At my “married” house, I don’t have a lot of memories associated with the big VD. I probably didn’t do much for my hubby, and so he didn’t do much for me. And when dating – well, it’s just horrid. I am always afraid someone will expect me to do something or will do something himself that I have to react appropriately to and I just know I’m going to screw it up.

So, I preemptively mess things up to avoid the need to ruin things among the tension.

I have a poor friend who knows this. Not only have I told him to not ask any questions of the serious variety, not give me anything, not bring flowers, last year I even fired him and then ate his Valentine’s chocolate

This year I haven’t even bought him any, poor lad.  I’d just eat them myself. I know it.

It’s all about the expectations. I went looking for a Valentine’s card and stood helplessly in front of them (with a few puzzled men, I might add). They all seemed to say either:

a. I love you more than life itself and I cannot exist without you and you are outstandingly special and I am overwhelmed with the glory that is knowing you. Ergh. This sounds sick.

b. I think you’re hot and I want to spend Valentine’s Day horizontally (well, and maybe vertically and other ways, depending on our mutual energy) These seem a bit trashy, especially the cards with the springs making body parts wiggle.

c. I am hateful and feel tied down by you but I’m sending a grudging card anyway.  Backward compliments cards, like “You still look almost as good as when we met”, or  “Of course I love you! Who else would put up with all my issues?” Ugh. Who wants it?

d. The religious ones. Now I’ve got no problem with God, but I doubt very much (s)he has taken time off from the situation in Syria to worry about my adult accompaniment, and if (s)he has, I’d like it to stop. Others have more need of direct intervention. I am quite capable of messing up my love life on my own.

I was left going to the kids’ section. There the love seemed pure and simple and of the affectionate variety without the extra expectations spread on top. Although “I love you cos you’re cuddly” isn’t quite what I wanted, either.

I’m probably destined to live my Valentine’s Day’s alone. But that’s not so bad. At least I don’t have to pretend to like being swamped in a crowded restaurant charging twice what the regular prices are, watching other couples do the uncomfortable dance of “Do I love him? Do I love her? Why do we have to ask this on this one day? What do we talk about that seems significant? Do we have to buy furniture from Leon’s?”

Why can’t love be year-round?

For me, I prefer the lower-tension every day love. The kind that makes you a cup of tea when you’re ill, who holds your hand unexpectedly, who puts his hand in the small of your back when you need extra courage. The kind that sneaks up behind you when you’re cooking and gives you a hug and a kiss, no immediate sex required. The kind who can be silent with you, or boisterous with you, who can argue with you or agree with you or just discuss with you.

I’ve been lucky enough to know that kind of love now and again. But I don’t need a special day to appreciate it. Chocolate is, of course, welcome anytime.

being forced into things with a spork

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