Monday, February 15, 2010

VD is Rampant in Planet Hollywood!

Who is glad Valentine's Day is over, raise your hands.

Ok, ok. I'm feeling your relief.

Now – who's glad they have someone special in their lives and did something really, really wonderful and romantic and you're just SO flippin' happy to be in love...raise your hands...

Bite me. And I mean that in only the nicest and most loving way possible. You may as well just quit reading now. Go hug your honey and bust out in song (and maybe dance) to express your warm fuzzy feelings.

I intensely dislike Valentine's Day. Because I am feeling sorry for myself. It's also because I was a latch-key kid in the 80's. I'll explain that in a minute.

Here's the deal. This is my second single Valentine's Day since my ex-husband and I split. All you awesome happy couples aside (really, I'm thrilled for you. For really reals. REALLY!), I'm just trying to decide which is worse: 

1. Being single and knowing you're not going to get jack BUT the rest of the year is pretty amazing because you enjoy your freedom and it's just ONE over-saturated marketing day twisss-TING the chocolate-covered dagger right through your oneness...


2. Being in a relationship and going through the machinations of "Here, honey, I got you flowers. Cuz it's expected. And I'd be a bad boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse if I didn't do this. Heh heh.  What? SEX? Really? But....can't we...*sigh*...but the CSI marathon is on!"

You know what I mean, right? If not, you're lucky. My verdict is it's worse to be in a dead-end relationship where you know the over-priced and -arranged bouquet doesn't mean much, the card only comes as close to the truth as you could produce without grimacing – or laughing, and the dinner varies from tasteless to bitter. It hasn't just been two years of Cupid Needs To Be Bitchslapped! for me. It was probably a good, solid 8-year block where VD mirrored the degeneration of my marriage. 

VD = Valentine's Day. Thought I should clarify that a bit. 

Anyway, trying to resurrect, for one special day, something inevitably dead is the worst kind of bittersweet. So as a onesie, yeah, it does kind of stink to see all the happy lovey couples smootchy-coo and slaver over each other as I stomp around waving my Proud Single Woman banner while secretly wishing I was smothering some special guy – or being smothered by him...*grin*... BUT, at least I know what to expect and I can make arrangements to enjoy the OTHER loved ones in my life.

For instance, I make sure to have a sweet Valentine's Day planned out for my daughters, letting them know they're my angels and we girls can have fun without stupid boys. Nyah.  And, it's my dad's birthday, so I've ALWAYS had that as an alternate focus. Getting out of myself and thinking about his happiness takes a bit of the pity-pot sting out of the day.

I must say I stop short of buying myself flowers and candies and doing the self-affirmation "I don't need a lover to know I'm loved" crap. That does NOT fool anyone. It's one thing to buy yourself flowers to brighten your room and make your soul sing, it's another to send yourself $120 worth of long-stemmed roses on V-day. One is for beautification, the other is trying to keep up with the women in the office whose men know what'll happen if they DON'T send flowers. It's obvious and a little uncomfortable, like a rash. Oh, yeah, I also avoid being anywhere with a bunch of lonely-hearted women hanging out like sad carcasses in the desert for the vultures to land on, just in the name of being appreciated. I know how to appreciate myself. In ALL ways. I'm totally good with not being desperate, thanks.

As for that latch-key kid comment. Here's the flipside of all this. I squirm on Valentine's Day because I'm a dyed-in-the-wool romantic. And I blame Hollywood for that. You see, when I was a kid I had just regular television with 13 channels for after-school entertainment. It was usually on Channels 9-13 that I'd watch some classic romance/comedy/musical. My baby-sitters were Doris Day, Judy Garland and Debbie Reynolds. Those perky little bitches set a standard I still have yet to find in any real-life romance. The manipulative broken-hearts-get-fixed-with-tears-and-a-clever-plan just hasn't worked on planet Earth, no matter how successful the formula has been for planet Hollywood. 

And what about Cary Grant? Robert Mitchum? Gene Kelly? (Or in today's movies...Brad Pitt, George Clooney and – my personal favorite, rowr –  Gerard Butler...) The suave, maybe tough, always romantic guy who makes everything alright when he takes his girl in his arms and lets her know with a passionate kiss she's his, will always be his and that's just the way it is woman!...where IS that guy? Oh, he just got back on the bus to go home to Pretendland. Or to his happily-married wife. Gah. I know happy married people exist, I do. It's kind of like effective political leaders and reindeer. You've heard the stories, you know they're real, even if you've never seen a live just have to close your eyes and BELIEVE.

Over the years, I've grown up, which is natural I guess. I've discovered the lame truth that unless you make plans to go on a date during a rainstorm and purposely kiss in the middle of the street in front of a church during choir practice, passionate embraces don't usually come with background music or sexy weather. There's also the risk of being hit by a bus in the middle of that street. Don't forget that part. I also found out when you see someone across the room and you fall hopelessly in love at first sight, you should probably run away. Fast. Far. Maybe even change your name. And remember that love and lust sound deceptively similar, especially with all that club music blaring.

But I'll never be completely cured and hardened against the possibility of true romance. I do know what it feels like to know someone when one minute you're friends, talking – he's just a cool, goofy guy-friend who's kind of cute – and the next minute you have to get up and walk away because you feel like you just got hit by a semi-truck. You keep walking and realize you have just fallen cinematically in love and you fall a little more as each step hits the ground – and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. I know what it's like to lose sleep, no matter how tired you are; to think of him and your knees and gut start shaking; to try like hell to slow it down, or even stop it by convincing yourself this kind of thing doesn't really exist outside an AMC Theater. But I can't shrug off my belief that it does exist, because it has happened to me (only twice) in my life. Ironically, neither time was with my ex-husband. Huh. 

Life is such an adventure. It's meant to be lived, not endured. Someday it will be a pleasure to share the adventure with someone I am finally ready for. To finally be able to exhale after a lifetime of holding my breath. Because I really do believe there are guys out there who show up on your doorstep out of the blue with wild flowers. They don't all live on Mars, in Pretendland or Hollywood – nor do they need a restraining order. They're just nice, loving, romantic guys and it's a beautiful thing when you're actually as happy to see them as they are to be there. 

I will admit that the biggest lesson I've learned is I've always tried to turn Mr. Wrong into Mr. Right. See, guys, well, they don't like when you do that. It makes them grumpy and unruly. This time, I'm letting God write my love story. So, I'll go about my business, travel, scuba-dive, enjoy raising my daughters, get myself flowers because I WANT them, not because I've guilt-tripped myself into getting them. And, yes, occasionally I will take a walk by a church in a rainstorm...just in case. No, just kidding. That'd be silly. ("Hey, Kris, where'r ya goin? It's pouring! "Yeah, I know....I'm, um, I'm gonna drive over to that church. Just walk back and forth in the rain awhile. In the street. No biggie. I'll be back by 6." "Ok, watch out for buses.") ha ha...jeesh...


...where was I??? 

Oh yeah...But honestly, I just don't think there's anything to do about it...I AM an incurable romantic. No matter how hard Valentine's Day tries to ruin it.


  1. You're doing just fine kitten.

  2. Why thanks friend! You're a sweetheart!


Thank you for reading! Your comments are not only welcomed, they are cherished! Feedback does wonders for a writer, and connecting with readers makes this site a lot more human :)