Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valenf'ingtine's Day

I've always hated the 14th of February.  Oh I've had good Valentine's Days don't get me wrong, filled with romance and gestures I wish would have been expressed other days of the year as well but was grateful for in the dull drums of winter, but even as a kid it really only led to stress.  Who WANTED to make a Valentine for everyone in their class?  There were kids who frankly smelled funny.  But it was expected so I did it.  I made a mailbox and dutifully filled my classmates' mailboxes with a Valentine that meant nothing to me.  I'm pretty good at telling people how I feel about them and not being afraid of that.  I always have been.  I don't generally need a heart with "I Like You" stamped on it to do the heavy lifting for me.

One year I went to traffic court and a funeral both on Valentine's Day.  I thought that was pretty fitting actually.  There were a number of years I hosted a SAD (Singles Awareness Day) party in Seattle.  That was a fun tradition and gave me a reason to look forward to the holiday for a different reason.  I just, like many other people of my generation, feel like the sentiments expressed on Valentine's Day shouldn't be saved for only February 14th.  Why aren't we better at doing it year round?

I got a text message from a dear friend yesterday.  He was upset because a girl who he cares deeply for emailed him to let him know she had gotten engaged.  He was struggling with feeling like he was happy for her and SHOULD be happy for her but that he was also pissed off.  He made the choice to not pursue a relationship with her but it still hurt.  A lot.  Days like February 14th just make that pain that much more acute in a way that feels unnecessary to me. 

I have plans for Valentine's Day this year but they aren't "Valentine's Day" plans.  I purposely and specifically have chosen to not celebrate the holiday - although I will enjoy a very thoughtful gift from Phinney Girl that is a Valentine's Day specific gift.  If SHF and I were still together my desire would have been to do something very "everyday", similar to what I'm planning to do tomorrow.  The offers I had on the table were nice but came with a bit too much expectation.  I've discovered holidays of all types do that - raise expectations which then generally fail to be met.  Yes, I know I'm sounding bitter but really I'm not, I just don't want the calendar to tell me when I have to love someone.  I love people pretty thoroughly year round. 

I believe that is better than a day when society tells me my love should be at its strongest.

Besides - who wants the gifts that are "expected" on Valentine's Day?  Roses die, chocolates rot your teeth and bust your diet.  Give me a surprise card a day that isn't February 14th and I'm happy.
Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast and the taste is... fleeting. So, you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. And if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.
One final and unrelated note - I'm gong to be doing a lot of travel in the next 6 weeks so if I seem a little absent here I apologize and I'll do my best to catch up as I can.  I'm going to visit 6 states between this Saturday and the end of March - 6 states in 6 weeks.  Phew.  I'm tired just thinking about it.

But think of the adventures you'll get to read about.  I'm doing this for you.  Really.  You can thank me for my sacrifice by sending chocolates. haha

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