I used to love Valentine’s Day. Next to Thanksgiving, it was my favorite holiday because it celebrated love. I loved the little cards and candy hearts with phrases on them, the holiday parties at school and the decorations everywhere. It was as if love had thrown up all over the place. I loved this stupid holiday so much so that when I was 17 years old and knocked up, I decided to get married on it… Seventeen years ago. That was a horrible day. I was too young, newly pregnant with my first child and sick in a way that had my head permanently in the porcelain 24/7. We went to the courthouse and I spent every few minutes on the way there, begging for the car to be pulled over so that I could throw up on the side of the highway. Which continued while in the courthouse and up to the point where the court clerk yelled out our names to go see the Justice of the Peace.
We had just moved into our new apartment the entire day and night before so I was already sore and exhausted from lugging all of my crap up three flights of stairs and because I am compulsively obsessive when I move, I had to have the entire apartment unpacked, set up and everything put away before I could go to bed. That morning we stopped for breakfast after our nuptials which I do not even remember reciting because I was so busy chocking back vomit the whole time. Then, we headed back to our new place. I got out of the dress that used to fit me so well and into a big t-shirt that left plenty of room for my expanding baby bump. My new husband, went downstairs to work on the decrepit old car he had just purchased for $500 dollars the week before, that was no longer starting. I laid down and slept.
Every Valentine’s Day thereafter, equally sucked. No signs of love anywhere to be found and definitely no acknowledgment that it was A. Our wedding Anniversary and 2. That it was Valentine’s Day. Now I’m not that girl that expects chocolates and gifts, but a hand written little note or an I love you would’ve been nice. Nope. For seven more years this was the steady pattern that this holiday followed. Which was basically just a bleed through from any other day of that relationship, so it didn’t at all come as some huge surprise. Nonetheless, it proved to be a crappy holiday and my now least favorite day of the year.
Since the end of that marriage 10/11 years ago, I made it my mission to only celebrate this holiday by doing something special for my daughters. This year one of my girls isn’t here and the other is being a total butthead, so the last thing I’m going to do is go balls out getting her all kinds of cute gifts and making desserts when she’s throwing temper tantrums at every turn.
I woke hoping this day would pass as quickly as it came, with zero expectations. To my surprise there was a love note from my present (and future) husband laying over my phone. It was exactly what I would have wanted for this wretched holiday.No flowers, no gifts, no chocolates. Well, okay – I will never turn down some chocolates y’all, but you get my point. I save every card, every letter, every sweet post-it note, anything sentimental — so this is something I hold dear. It was a sweet token of affection written on paper that I can save until we are 100 years old and have begun to loathe each other. Something to look at and say, “hey you did used to be kind of alright!” Who knows, maybe this day of love has finally turned a corner to something worth getting excited about. Well, maybe not. I won’t put too much stock in it, but at least it changed my mood ring from a filthy brown to a dull beige.