That has been my response since I was a teen. Unlike what seemed like most girls I didn’t have a boyfriend through high school. In fact besides poor old Ben, I didn’t have a boyfriend at all until I met the girls. I say “poor old Ben” because I wasn’t interested in him at all, but at some point he had told a friend of mine he was interested and I thought once and for all it would dispel the lesbian rumours that ran rife when a girl chose not to have anything to do with the neanderthals at school and spoke her mind.
Then I met him. I was starting to think maybe the kids at school were right…maybe I was gay….after all boys didn’t do anything for me. We had spoke on the phone before we met. My room mate had met him at a party and she was talking to him on the phone and decided to introduce us. Unfortunately she didn’t get the phone back for 45 minutes. A week later he came to visit with a friend and the second I saw him in the driveway I swooned. Unfortunately it seemed he was more interested in my blonde friend (as it turned out she was more into him and bullied him into “going out”). But 6 months later after all that had ended and calmed down we ended up together.
Our first valentines together was AWFUL and unfortunately we never got out of that slump. We had just moved into our first flat and were expecting a baby 6 weeks later. We were totally broke so I knew valentines wasn’t going to involve huge bouquets or chocolates or teddy bears. But to be honest, I am more of a simple girl. I prefer a gesture to a hastily purchased gift. A friend of our was selling these discount voucher books door to door and as we needed money he headed out with him. He had a pretty fruitful day and came home with a decent commission. Money in his hand rather than bring me home something to surprise me he came home and said let’s go out. Again I thought maybe a surprise dinner or something was in store (I would have gladly had $2 worth of hot chips on the beach with him).
Of course it didn’t turn out like that. Instead I was taken to coles and he said I could get whatever valentines gifts I wanted. I could pick a teddy bear or flowers or chocolates. I don’t know that I had ever been so disappointed. We came home and of course I was upset. He didn’t get it and no matter how I tried to explain it he thought I was being silly. Telling a pregnant woman, who is already upset that she is being silly is like waving a red flag to a bull. I spent the next three hours screaming at him and calling him every name under the sun (I grew up in a woman centred family who use the word cunt affectionately so trust me when I say I have an extensive vocabulary). I wasn’t very proud of myself but not only was I hurt, I was then ridiculed for that hurt. Things went downhill rapidly til I told him for the first time in our relationship that it was over. He cried and begged me not to go and so I calmed down and we tried to move on. Not long after that my gran died. Then we had to visit Sydney for the funeral. Then we had a baby. Then we had a niece and life rolled on.
Unfortunately valentines never got much better. I was bitter and snarky in the lead up and remind him what happened last time. SO he would buy me flowers and chocolates and teddy bears….but there was no real heart to any of it. As I said, I am more a gesture girl than a gift person. Here was the person I laid out all my insecurities before, all my hopes and dreams and wishes for the future and he didn’t seem to get how insignificant it made me feel.
Of course it all seems so silly now. But I never recovered. I loathe valentines day so much. I hate that I hate it. Even if it sucks for me I would love to be happy for the rest of the world …but I am not.
So Imagine my surprise last night when he walked into the bedroom at midnight and said “happy valentines day” and presented me with a card and chocolates. I was a biit taken aback, because while I said he could stay here after our conversation it seemed pretty clear where we stood. It was a nice card but the simple line “I’m not ready to walk away” is what made my valentines day.
No matter how bitter I have been those that know me know all I wanted was for my marriage to work. I would have done anything to hold it together and I did try…but it takes two.
Of course I am not naive. If a simple note could save our marriage we would both be deliriously happy. This doesn’t mean we are back together. All it means is there is still hope and today, that’s all I need.
Happy Valentines Day