flowers, and chocolates, and stuffties, oh my...
As a younger, single girl Valentine's Day was a dark and dreaded day. Full of anxiety, depression, my cousin Jennifer, and A LOT of Ben and Jerry's. Now, as an older, married mom, Valentine's Day is pretty much any other day, but with chocolate. This has me wondering... Is Valentine's Day more horrid for singles, than it is joyous for couples?
Oh the agony of my single days... watching girls get their bouquets as big as their desks, wearing their low cut red sweaters gushing about the romantic plans their sig-oth had made for them that night. The chocolates, the stuffed animals, the cards as big as my head. It seemed every girl attached to someone was walking in front of me purposefully, to flaunt the fact that they wouldn't be sitting alone with a sappy movie and a pint of Ben and Jerry's that evening. My cousin Jennifer and I would sit on the couch and shove our faces, glad to not have to be all alone on this day. It was as if the whole day existed just to make me feel like I was alone. And i did. I felt alone. I would dream of the romantic relationships I should have been in. Breakfast in bed with a single red rose, and heart shaped toast. Another single rose on the way out the door. At work a big box of chocolates and a mushy love note would be waiting for me at my desk. At lunch a balloon delivery. In the afternoon a flower delivery so big with sweet poetry etched on the delivery card. And a pick-up in a limousine to a fancy french dinner, where the nameless faceless romantic man stood with another single rose. He would order for me, and whisper sweet nothings to me all night. The night would end in front of the fireplace with a sweet kiss, and as a gentleman he would leave, after he drew me a hot candlelight bubble bath. I would need a place to reflect on my romantic day alone after he left...
I have been on the earth for 28 Valentine's Days... and there is one thing know for sure. NO ONE has ever had a Valentine's Day like this. This man, he doesn't even exist. And if he did. I wouldn't be with him. You think I would actually allow someone else to order my meal and control every aspect of my day? Not this girl.
But on Valentine's Day that is where my head and heart would drift, and I would wallow in the fact that I didn't have this man. On that day, it would seem as if I would be alone forever.
I listened to the chit chat around the office yesterday. Two flower deliveries. Just Two. The couples at work didn't have plans. We all hoped for a card, or stepped out at lunch to buy a card. But the singles, they felt more. Wisecracks and jokes and self pity abounded. Single's Awareness Day indeed. They wallowed in the fact they would go home alone, and eat frozen pizza. They were wishing they had someone to open a card from. The only chocolate they would receive was if they bought it on the way home. And I knew just how they felt. Because I have been there. I have felt that lonely sting of pain on Valentine's Day. It would appear every now and again, but never as strongly as it did on Valentine's Day.
The ideals changed the moment I had Matthew. I was no longer alone. I didn't have to feel the sting of pain on Valentine's Day. We exchanged cards that first year, and a bottle of champagne. No fancy dinner, no flowers, no limousine. Every year since has been the same thing. It isn't an important day anymore. It is just another day. Another day to tell him I love him. Another day for him to tell me the same.
The power of Valentine's Day died once I had Matthew. Because I already had the prize. It wasn't about the romantic gestures, or the importance of the day. It wasn't about the flowers or the chocolates or the stuffed animals. It was just a day. I didn't feel alone on Valentine's Day, but I didn't particularly feel anything on Valentine's Day. It is not because I don't love Matthew. It is not because I don't like the occasional romantic gesture. It was just because, on this day I didn't have to be reminded that I had no one. And it didn't matter if the someone I had bought me anything at all... because I had someone. I had someone who chose to love me, not just on this day, but on everyday of the year. He worked hard for me. He sacrificed for me. He bought me chocolate once a month, when I was sad and cranky and craving it. He wrote me a note every so often, just to say "I love you". He hugged me and kissed me and told me I was beautiful each and every day. I had someone on Valentine's Day, but I had someone on every day, so Valentine's Day didn't matter anymore.
Valentine's Day exists for lovers. But ask most a lover, this day doesn't matter much to them. So, then who is Valentine's for? A dreaded day the world over by singles everywhere. I could almost guarantee that there are more people dreading the day, feeling bad about the day, wishing the day would just end; than there is people celebrating the importance of the day, reveling in the day, wishing every day was Valentine's Day.
I can not remember a single significant event of Valentine's Days since I have been with Matthew. But every year I think about what it felt like to be single on this day. I remember the ice cream, and the movies, and the tears and freaking out. I remember my cousin Jennifer. Honestly, this day means more Jennifer to me than it does Matthew. I remember my single Valentine's more than my lover Valentine's.
Because, if you have someone, every day is Valentine's Day- a day you are not alone. It seems Valentine's Day really is Single Awareness Day; it exits more for them than for us.
Happy Valentine's Day to my true Valentine, I Love you Jennifer Lynn.
oh... and Happy Valentine's Day to you too Matthew. I love you. You made my dreams come true.