Valentine’s Day

I admit to extreme Ugly Duckling syndrome with no reversal whatsoever.  At no point in my life did I morph into a swan.  I merely came to accept my appearance and hope others could too.  As such, I’ve never had reason to believe that someone was pining over me, secretly hoping to capture my attention.  It’s not a pity-party, it’s fact.  My siblings, Michael and Christine, are physically beautiful.  I, my dears, am interesting.  Sometimes, charismatic.

Because of this, I was NEVER into Valentine’s Day.  It was a day to be reminded that Janis Ian was killing me softly with her song, “At 17”.  I received Valentine’s cards because my teachers, like all teachers, insisted that you give cards to everyone.  Eh.  So it goes, right?

As I grew older, my cynicism towards the day grew even greater.  For some reason it became the lynch-pin which holds a relationship together.  I watched as women dictated the rules about what was and wasn’t acceptable about Valentine’s day to their partners.

I think, honestly, there are commandments written in stone somewhere.  One of them, swear to God true life story, is “Thou shalt send the flowers to work so that other women will envy me.” It’s followed by “Flowers sent must send every woman within 200 feet into a fit of jealousy and rage or you will have RUINED Valentine’s Day.”  Not to be overshadowed by, “What do you MEAN you aren’t proposing on Valentine’s Day?”  If I were a man, I’d break up on February 1st and get back together on March 1st.  I’d celebrate St. Patrick’s Day — green beer seems pretty safe.

There are people, I’m sure, who find my assertion that this is a card holiday to be avoided at all costs, naive and steeped in petty jealousy.  After all, did I get anything?  Well, sometimes I do.  There’s a very sweet CD upstairs that Taed gave me years ago called, “My Heart on My Short Sleeve.”  It’s filled with the love songs he picked out from a site.  It’s very sweet.  It shows that he was putting it out there for me.  Of course, I was too stupid to know that.  But he stayed anyway.

Have I mentioned that at least two or three times he’s made homemade cards for me?  Out of construction paper and doilies.   I think I still have them in a box upstairs.

Personally, I believe that having someone cuddle me, help with chores, and sit with me under blankets on the couch eating popcorn and watching whatever is on a pretty precious gift.  I don’t need flowers, a Hallmark card, jewelry, or dinner reservations to know I’m loved.  I have 17 years of being with someone who loves me despite myself and could have easily walked away many times without incurring criticism from anyone, but he stayed.  And he still loves me.

Perhaps, that’s the greatest gift of all.

Happy Valentine’s Day Taed.  I hope you liked the ice cream. I love you.

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4 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day

  1. Jolene says:

    I have enjoyed this! I do disagree, I always thought you were prettier then Christine.

    Valentine’s is my favorite Holiday. It’s not the gifts but the meaning LOVE. It has always been one of LOVE, the only one where my Dad did not get drunk. I agree, I don’t need gifts either, just being with someone.

  2. Marian Wynn says:

    I can’t believe that you don’t know you are a beautiful woman. I have a picture of you and Michael taken with Jolene and you could be twins you looked so much alike. If you believe that Michael is good looking you need to know the same about yourself. One of your dad’s friends couldn’t believe that we had such good looking children since neither one of us was good looking.

    • Suzanne says:

      Mom, I tend to consider myself plain; more like Dad. However, many of my friends think you and Chris look a lot a like. I always thought you were very pretty. I remember pictures when we were kids where you were absolutely stunning. 🙂

      To both, thanks for the compliment.

  3. Morocco says:

    Your post reminds me of a song called 143 by Musiq:

    How many times have I called you
    While you were working just to say
    Left messages on your answering machine
    About three or four times a day
    There aren’t many more ways in words that I can say
    So I’ll just say numerically from my heart to you – 143

    So many times I’ve brought roses
    Just to see that smile on your face
    I can’t remember how many e-mails I sent you
    Just to tell you about my day
    There aren’t many more ways in words that I can say
    So I’ll just say numerically from my soul to you – 143

    Girl you know you are so special to me
    And you deserve to be treated exclusively
    I treat you like Valentines Day 365 a year
    Make sure that everything you need will always be right here
    I just refuse to be your typical ordinary run of the mill
    Garden variety lover
    I’ll make sure everyday you live will be like Christmas Eve
    I wanna make you feel fine
    Just like a summer breeze
    Cause I refuse to be predictable average run of the mill
    Garden variety love
    See sometimes words may get in the way
    Of things that you really really meant to say
    So I wanna out this time to make sure that how I really feel
    Gets through to you
    Cause listen
    There aren’t many more ways and words that I can say
    So I choose to tell you how I feel in a numerical way’
    Got so tired of trying to find the most complicated way
    To say it to you so I simplified and broke it down
    To 143 – and that means I love you

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