So, I’ve mulled over what to post this weekend and of course it’s hard to avoid the big so-called ‘holiday’ that is Valentine’s Day. Sigh. I don’t try to hate anything much these days. Hating takes so much energy and effort and quite frankly I just have better things to do with my time. On that note, I strongly dislike Valentine’s Day. I’m starting to dislike Christmas, too. I think if I had to pick a favorite holiday it’d probably be the Fourth of July because that holiday involves tons of food, the weather isn’t blistery cold like it is during the Thanksgiving/Christmas/Valentine’s Day period and there are no gifts or debt involve. I mean, it’s just a perfect holiday and you get fireworks! You can’t go wrong with explosives spawning bursts of color and flair in the air.
Valentine’s Day … I just am not a fan. Yes, I am single. A rare fact few know about me … I’ve always been single. Yes, always. I think there are just some people destined to be bachelors or Miss Havishams and I’m probably in that category of folk. I’m not wired for relationships! Every little thing sets me off and has me ready to amp out or leave the room – heavy breathing, uncontrollable sneezing, the use of really stupid pet names like ‘boo bear’ or ‘honey’. And being queer/gay simply throws a wrench into it all because gay relationships – and yes I know, there are exceptions – tend to be about physical attraction, sex, clubbing and then a different combination of those three. I’ve yet to really encounter a gay couple personally that’s lasted over, say, 3 years and even that sort of commitment and longevity is a special accomplishment.
I’ve been out there, I’ve had my experiences. My experiences testing the waters probably would read like a ‘Sex and the City’ season of episodes – there was the guy from Turkey who wore Capris pants and laughed uncontrollably who said if I went back to Turkey with him men would be all over me and he’d have to hide me away. Oh, wow, charming to know. There was the minuscule Yankee who corrected every sentence for grammatical errors and then flirted with guys … while out with me! There was the cross dresser that after a movie wanted me to accompany him to buy a new dress for his big night out on the town. There was the guy with the speech impediment that sounded like Elmer Fudd. The universal guy who expressed interest, we went out twice, and then I got the, “I’ll call you” and the call did come … but it came about 2-3 months later! No, people, I’m not making any of this up, these guys are real and I had the misfortune of dealing with them.
Now, I’d say I’ve had relationships but they aren’t of the romantic, ‘ooh la la’ sort. None of that. There were two – one with a guy I shall just call ‘Mr. Lawyer’ and one with a guy I’d call ‘Peter Pan’. Both were guys that I was friends with that I expressed interest in. Both were associations that were filled with drama, angst and everything that makes shows like ‘One Tree Hill’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ so darn appealing. At that time in my life, I’d say I needed those crash-and-burn situations. Utter rejection, the put downs, the ‘oh, you’re a nice guy but just aren’t my type’ sort of thing. From those two horrible experiences (and no, I don’t talk to either of those guys anymore. That’d really be too Carrie Bradshaw of me) I learned valuable lessons that really have shaped me into the person I am today. Mr. Lawyer got me to realize that really, the only person you can depend on is yourself. The moment you start leaning to heavily on someone else, depending on them to make you happy, planning your day around their needs and their presence in your life … you lose. I did that with Mr. Lawyer and like a great ’80s soap, I found myself depressed and at the end of my rope. From Peter Pan, I saw how dysfunctional people in relationships could be. He was in a long-lasting relationship that just ended because one day he woke up and realized or felt he’d out grown his loverboy. Almost a month later, he was not only in another relationship but he had moved in with the guy! In between his relationships, I found myself in the position of being the typical support system. I checked in on him, talked to him, gave him nice speeches and words of encouragement that’d make Mike Seaver (from ‘Growing Pains’ for your youngins) proud. Of course, I had that typical movie feeling during this bonding period that maybe there was more to us since we’d found that level of trust and support all of a sudden. WRONG.
I asked Peter Pan how he could just fall in so quickly (though I wanted to say in ‘ in lust’ because I don’t even think he could define what love was for him). He said he didn’t want to be like his mother that didn’t seem to want to accept the fact that she was getting old and her youth was behind her. So, Peter Pan did what he could to stay young – meaning he didn’t own a suit because he wanted to always be able to sport is posh Wal-Mart hoodies and Hot Topic shirts, he wanted to ditch the old boyfriend and trade him in for a newer, younger model and instead of pursuing a writing career and degree (he was a decent writer at the time) he just felt like sticking around his college town after graduation. Doing what, I don’t know, but that’s what he chose to do. So from Peter Pan, I learned that even though relationships can look pretty and appealing from the outside, there’s always something astray with even the good ones. I also learned a bit about vegetarian and vegan stuff from Peter Pan so I have to tip my hat to him for that. The moment our friendship fizzled was when I channeled all of my effort and energy into getting healthy and losing weight. And I did just that and now looking back … Peter Pan nor Mr. Lawyer are all that appealing.
Getting back to the theme, my issue with Valentine’s Day is that it’s about everything love isn’t. Huh, confused? I mean, it’s the holiday that’s supposedly about love and about expressing your affection to that big squeeze in your life. Just one day a year and you’re expected to wine, dine and drop tons of cash on your loved one … or simply put out to make him/her feel happy and loved. Are you kidding me? That’s not love. Love isn’t those nasty, fattening dollar store candies that no one can identify; it isn’t in a dozen roses that’ll wilt and die within a week even though you dropped 20 or 50 dollars on them; it isn’t in a Hallmark card or in picking up the tab at a posh restaurant. I think if you’re really in ‘love’ then Valentine’s Day should be unnecessary. You should express and do things every damn day of the year without being asked or prompted. There should be no doubt in your mind that flaws and all, you’re addicted to and hopelessly devoted to your guy or gal. Mary J Blige defined what she felt love is in a song from her album ‘Growing Pains’ and it rings true in my view or observation: love is that one emotion that encompasses them all. It’s joy, pain; it’s sunshine and rain, an excuse for dying and reason to live. Real love is going to make you angry at times and yet at the end of the drama and saga, you’re back and working things out.
Personally, I think more people are in lust than they are in love. Lust is cool; it’s, in my opinion, all about the hot bodies, the physical attraction, not really caring about the person’s personality. It’s basically like leasing a car; you like it, but you’re not in love with it enough to make a life-time commitment to it. People need to figure out which they want and stop kidding around because I am definitely one of those people who sits around laughing at the ‘It’ couple that suddenly falls apart for no apparent reason other than things got old, predictable, looks faded or someone hotter came along. If they’d admitted to themselves that it was all about lust, then hey, no sweat and tears at the end of the day!
So, on Valentine’s Day I won’t be doing anything. These days, I don’t date. I haven’t dated since losing weight. I tested the waters once last year and found that guys hadn’t changed and that I didn’t have the patience or time to devote playing the game so I’ve removed myself from the scene for an undetermined period of time. Do I want a romantic relationship? Well, yes … at some point with the right person. As Dolly Parton once sang, “I refuse to settle for something less than great; and if it takes a lifetime, then that’s how long I’ll wait. ‘Cause all I want is everything, is that too much to ask? Want romance, love and passion – a magic that will last!” Hey, I’m 25 … I’ve accomplished more than I expected to at this point in life. I can wait another couple of years or decades for the right person to come along. Us single people need to rise on days like this. We easily get depressed and mope around with the ‘woe is me’ stories of heartbreak and tears. Well, get over it. Being single has it’s perks! You can be selfish and only be concerned with your needs; you guy buy yourself gifts because you’re not wasting money on some lame, undeserving loser; and let’s just say should any needs arise, you can take care of them yourself or recruit some help and don’t have to worry about cheating on your end. So, happy Valentine’s Day! Err…. not.
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