To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about Valentine’s Day until I started reading the various blog posts. Then, as I ran my 11 miles today, (which actually turned into 15 because I’m all about fighting against what anyone but me says, and think I know better, and it was only 4 more miles, and it wasn’t raining, and my run felt strong, and I felt like running 15, dammit! Alright. End of justification rant) I spent some time thinking about February 14th.
This February 14th will be the first time, in 25 years, that I am not married, or with a boyfriend. I told my ex I wanted a divorce in March 2009. A few days before his birthday. Nice, huh? I still carry guilt about that, but whatever, it is what it is. Some shit can’t wait. But February 14th of 2009 we were still married. Our marriage was in trouble and he was kind of, sort of aware of this, even though he refused to think he was in any way responsible for it. To try to make it better he suggested the family go to the coast for the weekend. If I remember correctly, Valentine’s Day fell on a Saturday. He knew I liked to “go places” so he knew he’d be making me happy. Since we could drive to the coast he was happy because he was not about flying. It was a win-win. We packed up the boys and went to Newport for the weekend. It was a nice weekend, but I remember multiple times thinking it wasn’t enough -it wasn’t addressing the REAL problems in our marriage – it was a little fluff, a bit too late. Anyway as far as Valentine’s Day was concerned it didn’t leave me warm and fuzzy. In fact, I remember being annoyed because we were staying in one room with our boys. Two queen beds, and somehow he thought I would be up for having sex with him once he convinced me they were really asleep in the bed right next to us. Right. Um, no.
The next year I was divorced, but I had a boyfriend. “B.” Valentine’s was on a Sunday and since Sunday is the day I get my kids back (at 6 p.m.) he took me to dinner on Saturday, bought me flowers and a beautiful pair of earrings. It was nice and it was thoughtful and after 23 years with a man who I never found thoughtful I was pleased about the change in my circumstance.
Last year I was still dating “B.” And Valentine’s was on a Monday. That Saturday he took me to a play. The Screwtape Letters. It was the best valentine’s gift I could have asked for. I had seen the ad for the play in the paper and had wanted to go, but I had never said it out loud. Somehow he knew that and surprised me with seats up front in the middle. He also took me to dinner, bought me flowers and gave me a book of poetry. B was nothing, if he wasn’t thoughtful.
This year I am alone. Thankfully. Happily. Contently. Alone. Granted it’s taken me almost 7 months to feel this way and I’m not entirely alone. I have a couple of guys that make themselves sexually available to me, as needed and even take me out and pay for dinner and movies to boot. But for all intents and purposes, I’m alone. As I ran this morning I thought that realization would cause me some grief, but it didn’t.
The fact is that while it might cause me a twinge of loneliness when I see others getting their loves notes, flowers, and cards this Tuesday and feeling that amazing sense of being loved, I’m holding out. Holding out for feeling that amazing sense of being loved everyday (without flowers, candy, gifts, etc.), not just Valentine’s day, by that one man. I haven’t met him yet, and truthfully I’m not currently looking for him, but I know he’s out there and I know our paths will cross eventually.
Hallmark, and sadly, women, have made Valentine’s Day about couples, cards, flowers and candy, but shouldn’t Valentine’s Day be more than that? Shouldn’t it be more about opening our hearts to those we love, and even those we don’t. Giving of ourselves to those who give without thinking to us? Selflessness, generosity, tolerance, and love. That’s the bigger picture. I wish there was a card for that.
This Tuesday I will run, because I love to run and it makes my heart happier than a box of chocolate and some flowers. I will spend the evening with my kidlet and probably make him a heart-shaped brownie, because he loves brownies. I’ll take my dog for a long walk, even if its raining, because he loves that more than anything. I’ll be nice to random people throughout the day. I will be tolerant of even the slowest drivers in the left hand lane. I will be happy when I see someone receiving their valentine’s gifts and I will be hopeful that this feeling will stay with me, and everyone else, beyond Tuesday.
Have a Great Week People!