My Issues With Valentine’s Day

Okay…that’s enough advertising companies- I’ve had it.  If I see another well placed, horribly timed add for some sort of piece of jewelry that every woman just has to have on Valentine’s Day- I’m going to take out my computer.  Then I am going to proceed to listen to sappy music on my ipod for hours on end as I eat my Ben and Jerry’s.  I know why the advertisers are doing this, I’m just saying that I’d like for it to stop…for the next week or so.  Then life can go back to normal.
As I have perused some of my favorite websites today, I have seen no less than ten different advertisements.  I have also seen no less than a hundred (there may or may not be a slight exaggeration there) products that are just ‘the perfect thing’ for Valentine’s Day.  You know what would really be the perfect thing for me?  A Valentine’s Day where it is NOT thrown in my face that I am single…yep, I’d rather like that, but considering that that does not seem to be an option- this is my alternative.
For the next six days, I am going to try my darndest not to get snitchy about all things that concern this holiday.  I am going to try to avoid the the ice cream aisle at all costs and I am going to try to be happy for those people in my life who are in good, solid relationships.  If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of ‘trys’ in those previous sentences- I will not make any of these things a guarantee.  Because at this point, I can admit, I am still a bit bitter about all the lovey dovey, froo-froo stuff that goes on this time of year.
If it sounds like I might begrudge my friend their happiness, I don’t, really- I don’t.  Everyone deserves to have some happiness in their lives and everyone deserves to find someone that will be good for them.  You just have to take into perspective that this time of year is exceedingly rough of those of us in the general population that find themselves alone- with little or no prospects for a date (or even a card) on this sacred holiday of love.
I have explained that I am a late bloomer. I have even explained how all of my awkwardness and shyness have put me in the position where I am today- that is, the position of having to learn many ‘skills’ that other people learned as a teenager.  Now, I am going to explain just why I am a bit (okay…maybe more than a bit) bitter about Valentine’s Day.
I’m am fairly certain that most people can remember what it was like when they were little- making Valentine’s cards for everybody in their class (mainly because Mom said so) and then delivering them into little baggies that we had decorated sometime that week during class. At a certain age, however, this ceases to exist.  So, at the age of around twelve, I started dealing with Valentine’s Day in the way that I deal with many other unpleasant occurrences- I avoid it.  My parents always asked if I wanted anything, but in truth- I already knew that they loved me, I didn’t need a teddy bear and some chocolate to have that reaffirmed.  So, year after year- I watched my classmates get flowers, balloons, candy, stuffed animals and jewelry- while I got nothing.  Or at the most- I would get a card from the football team sent out to all the cheerleaders- anyone else out there who has experienced this knows the pain.  It is the pain of knowing that no one thought you special enough to take the time (i.e.- go pay two dollars to whatever booster club was making candy grams that year) to get you something.
Now that I am older, I can’t say that Valentine’s Day isn’t treated the same way in my mind.  Most of the time, there is no one that I would even think interested enough to send, make, or buy me something and that is okay, it is rough to live with, but it is okay.  This year though, Valentine’s is getting to me again- probably because I have actually started working on the ‘me’ bit that is the problem in the Valentine’s (or any other relationship) equation.  It is time to face facts- I am just as much at fault in this situation as anyone else.  It takes a rather large dose of humble pie to deal with that one and an even bigger one to admit that I have pushed people away in the past.  Yep- I’m admitting to it- I have pushed people away by the way that I have acted, by being too shy and not knowing what to say or do.  Some of this I can blame on the fact that I am a naive person, other bits and pieces- I have no excuse for.
So- here’s to making it through the last week before Valentine’s- when I am going to want to jump through the television set and wring the neck of the actor that is portraying the perfect Valentine’s.  Here’s to a week when walking through stores is going to be a bit painful.  And here’s to a week that makes me face certain facts about myself that I would rather pretend didn’t exist.  For anyone else out there, who is just like me, remember- Ben and Jerry’s is your friend, you can buy yourself chocolates, and there is always a Lifetime movie that will perfectly sum up how you are feeling.  And if all else fails- just pretend that the day doesn’t even exist.
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