Several years ago, a friend’s mother died a few weeks before Mother’s Day. On the holiday, not thinking, we went out to lunch, and the restaurant was handing out carnations to all the women. When the woman handing out flowers got to our table, my friend broke down crying. It was only then that I truly appreciated just how cruel holidays celebrating relationships really are. Not everyone has a mother. Not everyone has a father. And some people’s significant others up and die on them.
I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day for a number of reasons. Over the course of my life, I’ve been single on Valentine’s Day more often than not, and when I haven’t been single, I’ve been in shitty relationships that weren’t worthy of celebration.
But, there’s a big difference between not celebrating Valentine’s Day because it’s a stupid, made-up holiday to sell chocolate, and not celebrating because the love of your life died. It’s not that I suddenly want to go against a lifetime of bah-humbuggery by celebrating Valentine’s Day; it’s that it’s not even an option because he’s dead.
We always thought there would be a next near. “When I finish law school…” Well, I hate to tell you this, my friends, but not only is there not always a next year, sometimes, there isn’t even a next week. Sometimes, after fifteen years of orbiting, someone promises you the rest of his life, which turns out to be less than two months.
So, yeah, I’m a little bitter about the whole love thing, but I don’t begrudge your happiness. Really, I don’t. I want you to have love and joy in your life. I want you to have those warm and fuzzies that come with loving someone. I want you to be happy, but I just don’t want to hear about it. I can’t hear about it. It hurts too much.
This weekend, we’re supposed to celebrate love, but the person I loved the most died alone in another time zone not even a year ago. That doesn’t really seem worthy of celebration. I’m not feeling very festive. So, I’ll be in hiding this weekend. Go ahead and write your Valentine’s Day posts, but don’t be offended if I don’t read them. I’ll just be over here in the corner trying to pretend nothing’s happening.
P.S. Sunday is my dog’s fifth birthday, so at least I can celebrate that.
P.P.S. I love you all, Valentine’s Day or not.