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Seeing Red

February 11, 2020

 

For a holiday that’s all about love, it’s amazing how closely my feelings toward it resemble hate.


And I say this as someone in a happy, healthy long-term relationship. 


It’s just that once we’re past the age when everyone in class gets a Valentine’s Day card, it makes the lonely hearts club members feel that much lonelier. 


I know because I was in it for the majority of my 31 years. 


Now, as candied heart sayings clutter my feed, I can’t help but cringe with flashbacks of my singledom -- the days I deluded myself into thinking soon he’d Be Mine -- and feel that slight twinge of heartache this “holiday” invariably caused.

 

 

“Am I good enough?” and “maybe next year” and “why not me?” are the phrases that should really coat those chalky hearts, because every year spent without a special Valentine dredged up these questions. 


Once when I was thirteen, Valentine’s Day fell on a night I had soccer practice and for some unrelated but conveniently coincidental reason, our team mom gave each player long stem flower-things (maybe celebrating a recent kickass performance?).


At any rate, fed up with feeling a bit excluded from this exclusionary holiday and hoping against hope as 10 pm rolled around that my crush would send me a sign the feelings are mutual, I decided I’d pretend the long stem flower-things were from him. 


Of course my mom asked the obvious, “Who are those from?!” and I sheepishly said they’re from a boy at school before disappearing upstairs. 


While I wish this was me pulling a Cher Horrowitz sending herself love letters and flowers and candy as any normal girl would do, my little play pretend moment had quite the opposite effect: I felt even more pathetic; the reason no normal boy sent me flowers and love letters and candy. 


So here’s the T...


You're not alone if Valentine’s Day has always felt more like Validation Day -- a day that spotlights insecurities and casts doubt on relationship worthiness.


I'm happy to realize more than a decade later, countless bags of deeply discounted chocolates post-V Day, and as an ex-member of the lonely hearts club that this day of prescribed romance is bullshit. 


Ignore Valentine’s Day. Buy the candy the day after when it’s priced appropriately and finally, leave it in the red



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