Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Valentine to myself

i've never been a particular fan of Valentine's Day. In general, the holidays that feel compulsory just get to me. The annual gorging of Thanksgiving, forced jolliness of Christmas and the party or else pressure of New Year's make me uncomfortable, but there's nothing like the Oh, I Must Be in LURVE attitude of Valentine's Day to make me squirm. After the early elementary days of mandatory cards for everyone, Valentine's Day often became a day for people to see just what they don't have. No deep, abiding love, no secret admirers, no special friends, no chocolate covered strawberries, no roses, no champagne, no romantic cards, no silly heart shaped balloons, no delectably sweaty intimacy -- all while it seems that everyone else has all of the above and more.

The daughter delighted me by giving me a white rose and reminding me that the meaning of white roses is pure love. (Yes, it made this mother's heart melt.) As for the rest, I don't want it this year. Well, chocolate covered strawberries would be nice, but I just don't have the points. (Don't remind me about the zero points option of dipping strawberries in fat-free, sugar-free chocolate syrup. They're just not the same as the ones created by my favorite hometown confectioner.)

The goodies aside, what I really want this Valentine's Day is to find within me the celebration of myself, to enjoy who I am, to trust my abilities, to know that I can make it on my own and be at peace with that again. In my life, I have been a serial monogamist.

Kindergarten to fourth grade, there was Paul with the dreamy, puppy dog eyes who invited me, the only girl, to his birthday party. From 5th grade through 8th, in my new school, there was David with the cutest freckles, the most soulful eyes, the sensitivity of a poet and the mind that led to him becoming a physician. I'll always remember the heart shaped box of chocolates in seventh grade, the gold ID bracelet my parents made me return, him calling me in college after he transferred there and spotted me walking across the campus. Paul, David, thank you for the smiles you've given me today and yesterday.

In high school, three years of on again, off again with Mr. Wrong who taught me just what a broken heart feels like. No thanks to you. My ugly side rears its head now. I laughed when I heard you had daughters. Though I wish them well, enjoy the ride you deserve. Then came Mark with another set of puppy dog brown eyes, whose shoulders still hold a fond place in memories. Oh, how I loved those moments when I took your glasses off. Thank you for your tenderness, for the long, rambling letters of pure friendship we shared, and for patching my young heart back together

Then college, and I was on my own. I dated. There are guys I remember fondly now and wonder if they're bald or gray and what their families are like, but no one special. No one crept into my heart, and I was essentially alone. This is when I came into my own, and I loved it. Then I met my husband and fell in love with him, and I loved that too. It was great knowing that I had what it took to be alone and happy, and great knowing I was loved, appreciated and not alone.

Now, twenty five years later, with twenty years of marriage and all its ups and downs, I want to recover the former feeling. For years, my time alone has been taken in snatches and used to restore myself. The restoration has been as piecework as the time I've grabbed in moments here and there. I want it deep in my heart again. I want it so secure that I can take it for granted. I want to fully live the art of being Cyn.

So my disgust with Valentine's Day isn't disgust with love. That's the greatest treasure on this earth, and it deserves celebration. So, in the process of uncoupling, it's not that I want to turn my back on love or rush to another pairing. I stand alone, and I will enjoy it again.



Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Maybe it's time for you to be serialy monogomous to yourself for a while.(?)

I never could understand girls (women) who just could not be without a man...

February 14, 2007 2:48 PM  
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

(((Hugs))) Happy Valentine's Day, Cynthia.

February 14, 2007 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I think the existance of Valentine's Day actually acsentuates (sp---you know I'm a redneck) the value and beauty of gifts of thoughtfulness on the other 364 days of the year.

Flowers on March 29th mean more. Candy on June 3rd, means more. Jewelry on Oct 18th means more. Because the urge to give, to do, to express comes entirely from within. - Barbara

February 15, 2007 10:11 PM  
Anonymous postmodernpetah said...

I agree. I think that's what I hate the most about most holidays is the forced feeling you get. I"m usually uncomfortable on all of them, especially Valentine's Day and New Year's.

February 16, 2007 8:42 PM  

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