Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

"I get about as many Valentine's as a dog."
--Charlie Brown

I used to enjoy Valentine's Day. I used to get candy and little cards and it was like a bonus gift day between the celebrations of Christmas and the joy surrounding Easter. That lasted until 6th grade.

I went to school where K-8 classes are all held in the same building. It's a small school, but one with a very strong sense of community. From kindergarten until 5th grade we had to make Valentines boxes or bags and pass around Valentine's every year to everyone in the class. We also had Valentine's Day parties with lots of cookies and cakes and drinks.

In 6th grade that all stopped. Valentine cards were optional and instead of a party there was an "upper pod" dance held on Friday night. I didn't get any Valentines that year and I didn't get to dance with any girls at the dance.

For the longest time, I tried to be upbeat about Valentine's Day. I researched the history of the holiday and tried to keep the "true spirit" of the holiday alive. Until about my sophomore year in high school I bought gifts for my Mom. I'm not sure any of that helped how lonely I felt every year Valentine's Day came around. It got worse the older I got. I attended a few "Single Awareness Day" celebrations in college and just after. For the longest time, I meant what I said and I said what I meant that if I was ever in a relationship there really shouldn't be a reason to celebrate Valentine's Day because I would want to treat my partner that way every day of the year and not just on one particular one. Still, even though I know that most people don't know anything about St. Valentine and that the holiday itself was one that was kidnapped by card and candy companies to make up for the lull in sales between Christmas and Easter, I can't help but feeling alone on Valentine's Day.

I was semi-busy this year, but today was worse than in the past. My Dad always got my sister a card for my Mom, sister, and Grandma and every year he always had a special gift for my sister and Mom. Last Thursday I was thinking about that and decided I should get them something, too. I was in the middle of the candy aisle at Wal-Mart looking for something for my sister when I started crying. I couldn't help but think that I really shouldn't be doing this. My Dad was supposed to be doing that, not me. I love my sister, but she's Daddy's little girl. To me she's just my sister and my Mom is my mom. But, my Dad isn't here. He's gone on to his reward and I'm here trying to keep things together, trying to keep a bit of normalcy for my family. I am so inadequate. Of course, this is all on top of how alone this stupid holiday makes me feel, especially now since all of my close friends who care to be are involved in relationships are.

I hope that one day I can enjoy Valentine's Day again. But right now, I don't.

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