We've all fallen victim to it at some point in our lives, because we thought we had to. The true fact is, when love is real, or you have love in your life, you don't need any sickening, fake-assed holiday to show it, the only thing that matters is what you're lucky to have in your day-to-day life. Every sweet moment, and even the bad times. If all that is what it should be, then nobody needs to "make anything up to anyone" on some fabricated excuse of a day for 'lovers'. Why would you want it if it was forced or expected anyway? Valentine's Day is just a commercialized holiday fabricated to ignite jealousy, and make people spend extra money, trying to top what the other person got.
I'm not even saying I'm not guilty of it here or there, and that I haven't spent any moments in my life jealous or sad because I didn't get a rose or a shitty box of candy, but I feel stupid having had any thoughts of those things.
For those of you who do love the day, I hope you have a good one. Well I hope everyone has a good one, but not because of the Frankenstein that it has been turned into, just because we should love, respect and appreciate each other the other 364 days out of the year anyway.
As promised, I am posting a very special post today. One that you may have read if you are a long time reader of my blog, otherwise since I have so many more new readers, I am reposting it. I originally wrote it in 2005, but it bears repeating I guess. If you've ever felt the pressure of Valentine's Day, or felt unloved or overlooked growing up, or even now, it is for you.
We all want to be loved, and we all want somebody to love... but sometimes life and the human race can turn that into a pack of lies... My advice is follow your heart ALWAYS, and look to the small precious moments in your life for the real deal.
Ok now on to the story...
"The Sweetest Season", originally written by
Jacqueline Wood around Valentine's Day 2005
Jacqueline Wood around Valentine's Day 2005
Winter being 'not quite over', but summer being so far away, things didn't seem very hopeful (as usual). It's not as if this year was any different than any other year. The halls were abuzz with laughter, chatter and romance was in the air. All of the girls and guys awaited the weekly school newspaper even more than ever this week because they knew that they would surely find a romantic dedication from 'that special love.' It was a magical time for any teenager… 'Any teenager…' I thought, 'Except for me.' Nevertheless and as hopeless at it seemed, I would await the same prospect with great eagerness.
The season was always one of bright intensity. Every storefront and every isle was laden with hot pink, saucy red hearts and candy. With flowers blooming everywhere, roses were on the verge of a nervous breakdown begging for sales. It was as if Cupid himself went on a reckless night of alcohol binging and puked up a Love Fest!
The big day finally came. As always, the excitement would grow, waiting… wondering (Is it possible? Maybe this year I will have my secret admirer and he will illustrate his passion in the form of a beautiful, single red Rose and/or a frilly balloon that screams to the world "I LOVE YOU!!!" Well, maybe not the whole world but at least the whole school). Just once I wanted to be like all those other girls, to walk into the office and the secretary to say "Jackie, we have a delivery for you." However hopeful, Valentine's Day was never momentous for a girl like me… and most of the time a crushing disappointment--Until I got home, that is, to find that Dad had bought my mother and me a big heart-shaped box of chocolates without fail. So, I would once again, drown my loveless sorrows in the sweet confection.
Adulthood hadn't been much better. Either spent my time depressed and crying over someone who had stood me up, or someone who was unattainable. Every year was the same, except for Dad's Old Faithful box-of-chocolates. In fact, I can count one year—the most memorable year—that I was surprised by a gift so thoughtful, so sweet. It was from a man! And it wasn't my Dad and it wasn't candy!!! He brought me a ceramic angel with a sweet card that read "So Glad We're Friends! From Me to You, Z" (Z was his 'nickname'). What an intense-long month we'd spent, meeting after work, flirting all through work, even taking Friday off and spending the whole day together. Holy Cow, this is it—this is L-O-V-E… what everyone had been shouting about forever, and what I'd been waiting for since I was probably 10 years old and in love with 'The Fonz"! But as sweet and special as that moment was, and as much as I can never forget it OR 'Him', it wasn't Love. It could've been, I guess at the expense of someone's family, and that wasn't me... not deep down.
That perfect Valentine ended, but life went on with or without my happiness, more Valentine's days came and went. Still, I waited, hoped and prayed and continued to make my mistakes and failures. Someone should have told us that life was this sour. Shouldn't our parents have warned us that it was this way? Instead, I remembered my parents telling me "You've only just begun, and you have your entire life ahead of you—the best is yet to come." ("Phooey!" I cursed)
This past weekend, as I deemed 'Valentine Weekend' (much to his chagrin), my husband and I spent it doing almost nothing. We went out to eat a couple times, watched movies, played video games and laughed. Many hugs and kisses were shared as they always are in my house—It was the way I was raised and luckily, he fits right into it—even though he wasn't raised that way. We are from opposite sides of the track: I was overprotected, and he could've stood a good bit more protection growing up… I guess our childhoods make us who we are and he's pretty good in my book.
He's just not your classic 'Valentine-Romeo', doesn't do 'flowers' or 'romantic poems'. He says the right thing about 70 percent of the time and the wrong thing maybe 30, and he forgets to pick up after himself a lot of the time, and he takes the garbage out 3 Fridays out of 4. He loses his tools and he can't find his socks and screams "Bear! Bring me a towel' when I've forgotten to leave one in the bathroom. He loves me, and I don't need a single beautiful rose (or even a dozen) to see it. Ok. He's not perfect, but he's my family he feels like "Family"—like my Mom and Dad and sisters. It's real and it's love--THAT is the greatest gift… Every day is a 'teenage slumber party'. I can't remember him not being part of my life now.
He called me at the end of yesterday to ask me "What's the name of your company?" I told him, but I asked "Why? You need it for the income tax forms or something?" He tried to be evasive but it was apparent that he was trying to do something sneaky in honor of the 'over-exploited, marketing scheme of a holiday' that we love so much. I felt as though my stories of my childhood and my 'hinting' (thinking I needed some gift to show it) had possibly pressured him into thinking he had to—but he says it was something he just wanted to do. (Yeah?)
By now, the frilly balloons of 'the pretty girls' in school have surely busted, and their Valentine's Days may or may not be good ones. I used to think that I wanted what they had, but I ended up with so much more than that—I ended up with the real thing, a true heart, not just one filled with chocolate or helium.
Winter is not quite over, and summer is still a bit far away, but that's just fine because I am 'Home'.