Valentine’s Day used to be my second favorite holiday behind Christmas. As a kid, I loved making the stupid Valentine’s boxes, doing heart-shaped art projects (even though I couldn’t cut out a heart for the life of me and most heart-shaped art projects resulted in a pile of shredded paper, mangled scissors and me laying in the fetal position sucking my thumb…), wearing cool clothes and accessories in various shades of reds, pinks and purples for the special day, and exchanging some kick-ass treats and cards with classmates. I mean… what’s not to love?
Even as an adult I loved Valentine’s Day. Even when I was single. There was just something exciting and anticipatory about it. You never knew if your secret crush might just give you a Valentine or ask you out, and that excitement and anticipation lasted most of the day until later that evening when you realized you had no secret crush, no one was going to give you a Valentine or ask you out, and you would clearly die alone with no one to love you. And thus an evening of eating an entire package of Double Stuf Oreos while watching Friday the 13th (or some other equally gory, definitely un-romantic film) would ensue.
So, when I was married, Valentine’s Day was a HUGE deal. Flowers were gotten, cards and gifts were exchanged, a romantic evening was planned… except for last year when we literally did nothing except go out to dinner because he didn’t want to “spend the money” on a bunch of frivolous things since he was too busy fantasizing about a romantic evening with someone else.
Why do I love this holiday again?
Anyway, the point is… I pretty much love everything about Valentine’s Day despite the disappointment and heartache and inevitable devastation it carries with it.
What’s funny about my affinity for this holiday is the fact that I am just about the most un-romantic girl on the planet, hands down. As much as I appreciate being appreciated and acknowledged on this holiday, I find grand, romantic gestures uncomfortable. The romantic scenes in movies that every girl dreams about, are the scenes I have to leave the room for because I cannot handle the level of corny schmaltz involved. When I see couples who constantly hold hands and touch each other, I have to look away and roll my eyes because… seriously? What are they trying to prove? Plus, it’s just uncomfortable. And most of the time I eschew romantic gestures by screwing up my face, laughing uncontrollably and telling the giver of the romantic gesture to “shut up”. (Note to self: This could be a big part of why you are single.)
For instance, one time while on a romantic moonlit walk with my new husband, he picked a nearby flower and stuck it in my hair. Rather than swooning at the romantic gesture, I immediately jerked away from him fearing for the condition of my hair and demanded to know what he was doing. And once he explained himself, I gave a little pout, lamenting the fact that now the flower would now die because he picked it. (Looking back, this probably wasn’t the best route to take, and was possibly embarrassing and humiliating for him.)
In another instance in college, I was enjoying lunch with some friends and a new potential love interest when the new love interest reached across the table, clasped my hand, and tried to explain to me how special and wonderful I was despite the fact that I had just received a “D” grade on one of my recent exams. However, because I am me, I screwed up my face and spent the next few minutes obsessing about how to get my hand out of his grasp because there were other people at the table, we were in the student union, everyone was probably staring, this was so incredibly awkward and OH MY GAAAAAAWWWWWWSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH.
And in one final instance for your consideration, I present to you the case of the thwarted kiss, in which a new boyfriend wanted to kiss me but rather than just going in for the kiss he began to trace the outline of my mouth in what I can only assume was his attempt at a romantic gesture, and again, because I am me, I burst out laughing and asked what he was doing. Again… emasculation complete. (WOW. I am really good at this whole humiliation thing…)
Good grief, I am a terrible human being.
So, you see… I SUCK at any and all kinds of romance mainly because I am WAY too socially awkward to participate in this strange little dance known as “love”. And clearly, looking back at my horribly awkward interactions with men, the whole “being single” thing totally makes sense. Because, albeit unintentionally, I may be the meanest, most horrible woman on the planet. (I obviously need someone with a good sense of humor and self-confidence who is unphased by my awkwardness.)
However, even though I may never, ever, EVER celebrate another Valentine’s Day with someone special (Because I’m not exactly selling myself well with this post…) I still love it. Because love and hearts and special gifts showing appreciation is good… even if we don’t deserve it.
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