Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 14, 2004
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – February 14, 2004 – Ah, the day of coupledom – couplets – pairs – bonded ones – partners – mates – the enchanted – the hopeful. Alas, also the day of the dis-enchanted, the forced by protocol to be ebullient – and finally the day of ‘singles’ like myself, who will come home and have some yogurt for dinner, or order pizza or Chinese.
I worked today, so didn’t have much time to focus on my single status, but I must admit that the song, “Here it is another Saturday night and I ain’t got nobody” – popped into my thinking from the nether reaches of my mind. Valentine’s Day is for lovers. It is a day of celebration expectation, dis-appointment, proposals, proposals that don’t come, chocolates, fine dinners, gifts, longed-for phone calls, e-mails or letters, assorted flowers and red roses.
I wonder how I really feel about being alone on Valentine’s Day? I think back to times when I belonged, was mated, welcomed at Couple’s Gate and invited inside for the festivities. I’ve had some beautiful, romantic evenings with men. I’ve also had times when I pretended to be thrilled with my surroundings and my ‘mate of the moment’.
I remember once, when the death knell was about to toll in a relationship and I was sitting across from my partner, smiling and nodding as women are prone to do. I may have had a red rose stuck behind my left ear – I don’t recall. I watched him eating and wanted to smack him. Even the hair on his arms bugged me. Now let me see – if that were today, I would much rather be at home with Augie and Ziggy, a murder thriller with a twist and a good belt of single-malt Scotch, than grinning like a hyena across the table from a man I simply do not adore.
In fact a man who wants to be in my life these days needs to feel comfortable saying the word “cherish”, and the feelings would have to be mutual. Oh dear – do I sound bitter? Okay -I’ve just re-read the last couple of paragraphs and I’m happy to let them stand – no changes.
It’s not that I wouldn’t like to have a dear, wonderful man in my life. Nothing would please me more. I’ve been on my own for a decade – I’ve lusted after and been lusted after, been entangled, but not in love. I miss sharing. I miss knowing that someone genuinely cares about my day. I miss loving and being loved. I miss intimate sex, I miss smiling across a room at someone who gladdens my heart.
I miss dancing and hugs and shoulder massages, romantic dinners with candles and foot rubs. But I don’t miss snide comments, jealousy, the withdrawal of affection, coldness, dismissive behaviour, lack of respect, mis-communication, twisting myself into a pretzel to protect another person’s ego and pretending that things are great, when in fact they are not.
So I will survive Valentine’s Day – this Saturday night, this evening for lovers. I am content with who I am as a woman. I am healthy. I have a good life, great family and friends. As I write this, there are thousands of single men and women just like me, who are at home alone. Some of us may be lonely, but loneliness won’t defeat us. It’s not fatal. I think sometimes, I’m like a lot of people, in that I don’t put much effort into finding a mate.
Perhaps this period in my life is as it’s meant to be. It has been, and continues to be a time of learning, reflection, honesty, personal realizations, setting boundaries, forgiveness, commitment to career and a long awaited celebration of self-acceptance. Yes – I’m liking it!
The continuation of the above-mentioned song says … “Now how I wish I had someone to talk to, I’m in an awful way”. Well, I’m not in an awful way. I’m marching to my own drum these days, and mostly happy with the tune. Not to say that a dozen roses and a beautiful dinner would be amiss in my life – but the man sharing Valentine’s Day with me needs to be some special guy.
While I’m waiting to bump into him – I’m thankful for a blessed life. So if you’re on your own tonight, feeling like something the cat dragged in, instead of bemoaning your lack of a romantic interlude on this night of hearts and flowers, take a personal inventory and think about all you have to be grateful for instead. Valentine’s Day will be back again next year!