Valentine’s Schmalentine’s

13 02 2014

Yep. Here we go again. Another of those dreaded Feb 14ths tomorrow. Outside my window the rain is lashing about like some sky god is having a heartbreak. A sky god who also has an anger management problem and an unfortunate case of wind, that is.

I’m sure everywhere all over the internet tomorrow people will be posting smarmy love notes to their various significant others, so I thought I’d get a lead on it all so I can stay off the net tomorrow. I don’t like smarm. I’m not a romantic kind, and no one is sending me overpriced flowers tomorrow and expecting a romantic evening in return.

(Good thing too as I still haven’t put together my story for the New York midnight short story contest and it’s due in Saturday at midnight.
If only I could stop watching the Olympic luge and focus. I mean, what is so compelling about people sliding down a tube? And yet, full days have passed….)

In any case, I do have a few people I’m fond of – not Valentines exactly, but people I think of when this day comes along, people I feel an irrational urge to buy a heart-shaped box of chocolates for, if only to have an excuse to share.

-My kids, of course. I loves them. I love, too, my younger sons’ partners, wonderful women both. I’m so glad my boys have them in their lives.
-My ex, somewhat surprisingly – we had 25 years together and though I know he’s remarried and happy and I’m glad of both, I still have a fond corner of my heart for the old lug. I hope his wife lets him have some chocolate for the big day – she’s much more careful of his health than I ever was.
-My women best chums, and you know who you are – you build me up and support me and make me feel significant even when I’ve done nothing all day but feed the cat.
-My guy friends, too. All of you, from my far away and long agos to the nearer bys and more recent. Whether or not things worked out with us, you’ve all taught me a lot. I treasure your friendships more than you’ll ever know.
-Another guy. Just sayin’

Love you all, in a variety of ways, most of them appropriate.

And then there’s Hallmark and Walmart, sources of cheap sentiment and better still cheap chocolates this weekend, none of which I can have this year, unfortunately, as I am trying to regain a vaguely sylphlike figure or at least less weary knees. Still, the cheap choccies will make others feel good and a bit sticky, and I am grateful for that.

And a big Valentine’s call out for this place where I live, where, despite weather from upset gods, I get to breathe sea air and chat with famous authors (who are friendly and nice and not snooty at all) and where people are generally glad to share an elevator with you. It’s a grand place, this Nova Scotia.

Even with the rain. To be followed by snow, and more rain, and over it all a howling wind that’ll rip your lips right off of you.

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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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