Reclaiming Valentine’s Day

Never judge someone by who he’s in love with; judge him by his friends. People fall in love with the most appalling people. Take a cool, appraising glance at his pals.- Cynthia Heimel
_______________________
Today I am giving Valentine’s Day a second thought.
First thought: It SUCKS!! If I were to play word-association, it would go something like this:
Player 1:
“Valentine’s Day”
Me:
“forgotten, last-minute effort, cheating, lies, grasping at straws, shattered denial, pain, accompanied lonliness”
OK, so maybe you’re just supposed to say the FIRST thing that comes to mind, but all of this comes to mind all at once when I think about this day. For me it is the day that marks the beginning of my exodus from denial about what my marriage had become, or perhaps what it had always been. I remember, like yesterday, my husband walking into the house on Valentine’s Day morning at 6:30am, no explanation of where he’d been all night, no phone call, no exuse, just utter contempt for me for daring to be angry and daring to question him as soon as he walked through the door.

You know, it is possible to “have somebody” and still be all alone. I lived in accompanied lonliness for a very long time. Things may have looked fine on the outside, but behind closed doors, a very different story unfolded. I hated anything that required mustering the energy to pretend that things were good. That’s what Valentine’s Day has meant to me, trying to muster the energy and enthusiasm to celebrate at least not being by myself, when so many others had no one.

Today though, I celebrate the freedom of being alone. I love, love, love walking into my apartment without knots in my stomach, without feeling the urge to search for clues for what’s been going on while I was gone, without having avoided home for the last 4 hours. I love, love, love being able to invite family and friends into my space without having to put on a false face, cover up and make excuses and try to make things appear to be something they are not.

It’s funny. I was afraid of being alone for fear that I’d be lonely, only to realize I was lonely all along. Do I still feel lonely at times? Of course. But my dignity is no longer a price I’m willing to pay for the illusion of togetherness.

I have found companionship in so many places, with so many wonderful friends and to each of you I say, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you all to pieces!

Tania, Kwesi, Amani, Trina, Rick, Charmaine, Mike, Monique, Omar, Ricky, Shellie, Ericka, Jackie, Maureen, Nikki, Renae, Kris, Mom and Dad-Have a great day!

Be good to yourselves.

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5 thoughts on “Reclaiming Valentine’s Day

  1. Happy Valentine’s Day! God is good all the time! I am going to use your forum to partially respond and partially testify!! Today I started off lonely too, wanting to be hateful and mean to everyone I came in contact with. I woke up wishing Mr. Man was here to hold me and then to hold Jai… while I took a bath! LOL. I had to get her ready to go to the doctor…I had to pump some milk for her…I had to search for and couldn’t find my new insurance cards. Then it dawned on me that hers had not come…I called the insurance company, no papers on file. I call the job…”oh yeah, I remember you” So…no insurance…”can you pay out of pocket?” No I have not worked in 2 months and I only had 3 weeks of leave meaning… I have no money!!! I used what I had to fix my truck to get to the doctor and work and to pay for the daycare. I did what I was supposed to do so that I would not have to pay “out of pocket” so you do what you have to do. “Sorry Ma’am, it takes 48 hours.” So what do I do now? I am supposed to take her to daycare but I need these health forms filled out before that….hmmmmm “Sorry.” I cried held back cussing and cried some more. Jai cried because I cried. The people in the waiting room stared. I wanted to cuss them out and snatch off all of their nice big platinum diamond rings and profess that I would get some childcare once I got some money back from their bling bling. LOL. My bling would have only covered the office visit and one shot and Jai needed 4. The nurse offered to watch Jai while I went to the bathroom to “get myself together”. I walked in and wished I could call Mr. Man and cuss him out for leaving me in a situation like this on V-day at that. Then I wanted to curse the system out in true scorned black mama fashion. LOL. But no, I prayed and wiped my tears away and did what I had to do. I went back out and pulled out my wallet and every card in it and told them to try them all. Everything was denied. Then I remembered….I am wearing the same jeans from yesterday (I know, I know but yes it is that bad) and I still had $60 in there because thankfully the babysitter pro-rated the week for me since I am only leaving Jai for 3 days so that combined with one of the cards went through! They told me they would go ahead and do the shots. Just as we were about to go back, I got a call saying that the insurance had been changed! We were covered! The nurse brought me the cash back and put the other money on my card! Thank you Jesus! On top of all of that, I got a date for tonight too! LOL. I did not let the devil use me, I continued to Thank God for his many blessings (I have a healthy child who is wonderful a job, two cars, mental stability, etc. etc.) and sing his praises and I got major rewards! V-day is good after all! Yours will be too. Right now, this moment is the start of a new moment in herstory for you…decide which path you are going to laugh, sing and dance down now!! Love you!!

  2. V-day was good but I have to add more to make sure that all know it wasn’t all smile! LOL My date canceled on me because it got too late as I was trying to get Jaidan’s stuff ready for daycare. I was supposed to do dinner and then do a TV watching party…but instead, I fixed bottles and wrote names on tags. No date, no dinner, no tv watching party…but Jaidan did give me a “drool” kiss. LOL.

  3. V-day was good for me. I got stood up by a couple of folks who found sweeties at the last minute, or chose packing over me — but that’s ok. LOL.

    I really felt good about it. I spent time with friends and family. It put a new spin on the day. I didn’t need a designates sweetie, cuz there’s just so much love in my life in other ways. The day has been reclaimed!!

    Sounds like you had quite a day, Kris. I didn’t know you had gone back to work. Glad to know somebody who cries as easily as I do!

  4. Is it bad that the day came and went and neither my husband nor I said a mumbling word about V-Day?

    Could it be that we got home at 8 and still had to do dinner and homework and usher children off to bed?

    Could it be that we’ve been married so long we’re pitiful now? Ma and Pa Kettle??

    Geeeesh. It was a good day though. The grocery store gave us LOADS of boxes for packing!! Sorry, Lexi! 😦 We did watch the program though.

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