I wrote a blog before this one that I submitted it, but I wasn’t happy with it. It made me really think about my hate for this particular day, and I felt uncomfortable talking about it. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable so my writing was a bit off. I am used to sharing when I want to, but for some reason, I had a hard time tapping into why it was that I hated this day. I asked for an opportunity to write another post. So here goes. I didn’t realize that my hatred for this day had to do a lot more with my expectations than the actual observation of the day.
Valentine’s Day is a lot of things to a lot of people. In grade school, it was fun to get the little cards from your friends in your homemade valentine box. In middle school, you had the candy grams from your closest friends. In high school, you walked around with all of the things that your significant other gave you. That is, of course, if you HAD a significant other. Otherwise, this is when Valentine’s starts to suck for you. In college, you see some of the same trends from high school, but the balloons and the bears diminish the older you get. As an adult? You kind of just pray that the day goes on without a hitch and no one asks you what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, but then again, this could just be me.
I have never participated in the Valentine’s Day things. I have never done the chain restaurant, movie, chocolates, and bear thing. Well, at least not as an adult. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I was single in my 20s. When you’re single, Valentine’s Day is just another day to feel bad about yourself because you don’t have it figured out. I used to hang out with my other single friends every year. We would discuss our current “situations.” By “situations” I mean the guys that we weren’t really dating, but currently fucking. We would vow to keep our tradition of getting together on this day, and of course these were lies. Some years certain friends would be gone, because they now had a Valentine’s. Other years they would be back because they were single, again. The one constant in the room/restaurant/bar was always me.
I guess I didn’t realize that in a weird way, I was doing a “Valentine’s Day Thing”, but I just wasn’t sure it counted. I truly looked forward to being with the people that I loved on this day. I genuinely loved talking about how love just wasn’t our “thing” and laughing at how terrible we all were at it (even the ones that thought they had it figured out.) People would ask me what I was doing and a few times, guys wanted me to do other things, but I just wasn’t willing to give up my friends. Overtime, everyone moved on. People moved. Friendships ended. It’s the way life works. Valentine’s Day just became just another day, yet again. It was time for a new tradition.
On Valentine’s Day 2013, I received a text message from this guy that I had been friends with for about 4 years. We randomly started talking again and within a month or two, we were dating. Holy shit, right? Ten years of being single and all of a sudden on Valentine’s Day, I begin to talk to the guy that would be my boyfriend. You would think that this was enough to change my views on the day, right? Wrong. Valentine’s Day 2014 came around and I found myself really overwhelmed and anxious. I couldn’t explain it. I wanted to do all the things… You know, the Valentine’s things! I had no idea what they were, but I assumed it included going to a chain restaurant, eating shitty food, going to a movie, where a baby would cry, and eating chocolate, because… Duh. Chocolate. I had a boyfriend. I was in love. I bought a gift. I was set.
Then a fucking snow storm hit.
I remember getting the text from my beau explaining that he couldn’t make it because of the ice on the roads. I remember the disappointment I felt. I turned to my friend, which happened to be by me at the time, and let her know what happened. I watched this same friend dance in my cubicle at work, because it meant that I could hang out with her, instead. I spent the rest of the day checking the roads in Charlotte to see if the ice had melted enough for him to be able to make it, and nothing had changed. I was so angry with myself and with this fucking day. I drank a lot that night and I vowed to myself that, boyfriend or not, I would NEVER celebrate this day again.
Valentine’s Day 2015 came around. I drove to Charlotte to be with my beau. I kept telling myself this was just like any other weekend we get to see each other. We did buy gifts for each other, but we do that anyway. Everything was fine until I got on social media and saw all of the gifts and trips to fancy restaurants. I saw the photos that were posted online of everyone dressed to the 9s and I felt left out. But I had a boyfriend this year, so where was my Valentine’s Day stuff!!! Forget the fact that I made the beau promise me last year that we wouldn’t do anything. Forget the fact that I have never actually celebrated this day with a significant other… I lost my shit. Like…bad. I started screaming at my boyfriend because we couldn’t agree on where to eat. I threatened to drive back home to Atlanta. I was a spoiled brat. I ended up falling asleep crying and hungry.
The next day, my boyfriend was curled up next to me like nothing happened. He woke up and said he loved me like he does any other day. I stared at him bewildered expecting him to love me less than the day before. I was so stupid. I was so caught up in the rituals of others that I failed to see that my boyfriend does the Valentine’s Day stuff every day. The restaurants, gifts, and doting isn’t something that he reserves for one day. I realized that I had this Valentine’s thing all wrong, and I felt terrible. I won’t sit here and blame social media or society. I will take the fault all by myself. I realized that I bought into the whole you-have-no-value-unless-someone-spends-Valentine’s-with-you frame of thought. I realized that THIS was my problem with Valentine’s Day. There is so much emphasis on showing people you love them on one day, but we need to do it every day. I choose love every day. I choose happiness every day. The fact that society relies heavily on one day to show someone that they love them, just proves that none of us have this love thing figured out. I dunno man, I just wish more people chose love every day.