I skip Valentine’s Day
Yeah, yeah, I get it. Some of you are already folding me up and stuffing me and my opinions into a neat little box labeled, “Grouchy Old Single Woman”. But before you seal up the box claiming that if I would just smile more often a suitable suitor would enter my life and make me forget all of this nonsense, please hear me out.
#1 Four years ago I met a man through an online dating site. He wasn’t one of those creepers trying to scam women for money. Just to set the record straight, he never asked me for money, stole from me or any of the things that are sometimes associated with online dating. Let’s also note that he lived locally, about 15 miles away.
After about five months of dating and getting to know each other I realized that, while he seemed like a decent man, I just couldn’t picture us together in a long term-relationship. I am not one to continue to date someone just to have to have a secure plus one or to hang on until a better option presents itself. I ended the relationship face to face and as honestly and kindly as I could. He seemed to take it ok. That was late September.
Fast forward to February 14th, four and a half months later. It is Valentine’s night and I am sitting on my couch watching something on television and reading email on my laptop when a new message pops into my inbox. It is his email address and the subject line reads, “Happy Valentine’s Day”. I am immediately creeped out since this is the first contact ( at least to my knowledge) since we broke up. A greater sense of uneasiness started to bloom as I recalled how I had told him back in the summer that I do not like Valentine’s Day and would hope that we could treat February 14th just like any other random day off the year.
The email was long and full of strong negative emotion. He went on and on about how I had hurt him. He claimed that I had misled him, used him and then tossed him out like garbage. I didn’t like that he was hurt, I had really tried to avoid hurting him. Dating is a way to get to know a person and sometimes we realize that the person is just not the right match for us. In my opinion, emotionally stable, mentally healthy adults realize and accept this as part of the dating process. The more I read the more I understood that this man was neither mature or mentally stable, I was scared.
The end of the message told me that I needed to go outside and check my front porch. My fear jumped up three notches to just barely below terror. My front door had glass sidelights and if he was standing there he would have a clear view of me sitting there reading his message. I thought of my gun, but it was back in the bedroom. I tried my best to keep my expression calm in case he was watching me. I didn’t look towards the door but glanced up at the clock on the wall having decided that I would wait five minutes before walking to the bedroom. I picked up my cell phone and pretended to be texting but actually had activated the phone on speaker and tapped 9-1. I tried to look as if nothing was wrong and prayed nothing would prompt me to need to tap the missing digit.
After 5 minutes I walked to my bedroom and went back towards the door. I held the gun ready so that if anyone was at the door they could see it. I announced that I was going to turn on the porch light and that if anyone was there they needed to run now, “If I see anyone on my porch I am coming out shooting”. No one was there. On my porch I found some items that I didn’t even remember being in his possession. A folding stadium chair belonging to me that we had taken to an outdoor concert back in August, A cap I had loaned him for reason’s I didn’t even recall and a few other little things. The stadium chair was set up and on it was a Valentine’s Day Gift bag. The bag was stuffed with dead flowers, cockle burs and post it notes. Each post it note had a message, phrases like, “You hurt me”, “I loved you”, You are not a Christian.”
This was not an isolated incident. He continued to stalk me leaving things around to let me know he had dropped by. He went so far as to use a drone flying around my house at night shining a light into the windows, to one time even having a little cookout on my grill during the night while I was asleep inside. It finally ended when I sold the house, moved and changed my name.
#2 The next man I dated knew about the bad experience described in #1. He seemed understanding when I asked if we could please treat February 14th as if it were any other week day. We promised each other no cards, no flowers or gifts and no meal. It was a weekday and we didn’t even make plans to get together.
When it was close to the time I go to bed the doorbell rang. When I opened the door the boyfriend who had agreed to skip Valentine’s Day greeted me with a kiss, a single red rose, a card and one of those gigantic Hershey Kisses. I was pissed off! I tried not to show my emotion as I reminded myself that he was only trying to be nice. He didn’t seem to care that I had no gift or card for him.
The next morning I see on his Facebook where he posted, “I didn’t receive a single Valentine”. He had over a hundred likes and almost as many comments. I was furious! The big goon didn’t even understand why I was upset until I explained that he might as well have posted, “My girlfriend is a cold heartless bitch.” Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end for that relationship.
#3 Why do married men send Valentine’s Day flowers to their wife’s workplace instead of just giving them to her at home? You might argue it is so she can enjoy them in her office. What if Valentine’s Day is a Thursday or Friday? Have you ever tried to drive while balancing a dozen long-stem roses in a glass vase full of water. I have and I think it is more dangerous than texting while driving. I think the reason behind sending the flowers to her workplace is so that her co-workers get to see the flowers and she can show them off.
#4 Prices on Flowers and candy go sky high. It is Black Friday for Florists but there are no discounts.
#5 The pictures on social media that are captioned about how the person’s wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever the case, is the kindest, most perfect soulmate in all the world and that life without that person would be unimaginable. Even worse are the pictures of the flowers, as if to say, “He isn’t much to look at but at least he buys me over priced roses.” Posting or not posting on social media has nothing to do with true emotion. I think the couple that keeps their intimate expressions private have something more special than those that shout it out on the interrnet.
#6 The pressure to have someone buy you stuff on this day isn’t reserved for those old enough to have romantic relationships. Lots of parents send balloons, candy or stuffed animals to their child during the school day. Do such parents mind that they make other kids feel sad when they don’t get similar gifts delivered for all of their friends to see? I argue that it is the whole point. It is as if they are proclaiming “My kid is loved more than your kid and we have more money to prove it.” If I am wrong, why not just give the gift at home.
#7 Conversation hearts taste like chalk.
#8 It makes new relationships very awkward. Is there a card that reads, “We have only been dating a few weeks so I don’t love you yet. Happy Valentine’s Day!
#9 Why do we need a date on the calendar to tell people we love them? Isn’t it more meaningful to hear those words or get the flowers when there isn’t any pressure coming from FTD or Hallmark?
#10 For those in a committed relationship there is not just pressure to have sex but pressure that it has to be amazing, throw your head back and gasp, multi-orgasm sex.
#11 Just when the single people have successfully made it through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve they get hit with February 14.
#12 Saying you don’t like it or especially saying you hate it makes you sound wretched and bitter.
#13 It is a FAKE Holiday.
There you go. I would love to hear back from you about why you like/love or dislike/hate Valentine’s Day. Leave a comment or shoot me an email and by all means share my blog with others.