Oh, Valentine's Day, how many Februaries have I spent outwardly rallying against your sugar-coated sentiment, your doomed roses, and boxes of waxy chocolate? And how many of those Februaries have I spent secretly wishing for a heart-shaped box and bouquet of my own?
Before becoming old and married, Valentine's Day was always a day buzzing with possibility. While I never expected anything on this day and generally admonished the commercialism of it all, there was always this flicker of excitement at the thought of an unexpected romantic gesture.
I suppose, every day as a young, single woman, this flicker of excitement existed, but on Valentine's Day such gestures seemed more possible and the hope and expectation seemed a little more realistic.
If my life is a play, I've been waiting, act after act, for someone to swing out from the wings, land center stage, and sweep me off my feet. I've been waiting for someone to connect with, someone that has been cut from the same cloth, someone that is mine.
But life is not a play, and the cloth that I am cut from seems to be incredibly rare.
I married a man that is my complete opposite.
All of my failings are his strengths and his mine.
We are an unlikely match, but a sensible pair.
His mind is rooted in logic and sense, mine in dreams and feelings.
He is the constant optimist, and I the pessimist.
I am quick to anger while his patience knows no bounds.
His heart is tender, while mine has hardened.
We are cut from entirely different materials and fastened together with the sturdy stitching of marriage. Stitches that he is constantly repairing as I, in my own self-destructive way, try to pull them apart.
This time of year, when I lament the loss of that buzzing excitement and possibility of Valentine's Days gone by and console myself at not having married a man of grand romantic gestures, I must remind myself that, though they are not wrapped in a bow or nestled inside a gaudy heart-shaped box, I am treated to an endless string of loving gestures daily.
Where I am selfish, he is selfless.
|feeling like a lampshade. fringe is fun.|
This Valentine's Day, there was no fancy dinner or flowers. There was the gift of grocery shopping, done by him, and the surprise of chocolates discovered as I filed away cans and boxes into the pantry. There was the gift of not having to leave the house today, and the gift of understanding when sometimes, rather often lately, I do not feel well and only accomplish a fraction of what I should.
|there were vultures circling the neighbor's house|
Had I left the house on Valentine's Day, this is what I would have worn. An outfit that simultaneously nods to my obsidian past and to an apparently fringe-filled future. An outfit that is less a holiday confection and more in line with my heart-hardened pessimistic self.
After the closet purge of (2014? 15?) a couple years ago, I swore that I would stop purchasing such frivolous tops in favor of more versatile garments. I swore that I would stop buying glaringly synthetic fabrics opting for simple cotton, silk or wool where possible.
That said, there is no rule I could have made that would have kept me from glorious pintucks and satin covered buttons.
The thing about being old and married is knowing what to expect.
So, while I had conjured up this ensemble for Valentine's Day, knowing it wouldn't get worn, I wore it the day before-- not for a night on the town, but for errands and shopping, feeling like a rockstar while prowling the aisles and driving my minivan.
|a bit disheveled and covered in cookie crumbs from the day's outing|
I still keep my eyes peeled for that same-cloth person swinging in from the wings. Someone, not to sweep me off my feet (I've already been swept), but a friend, a companion to share the dreamy, irrational side of things. Someone who can appreciate the frivolity of life, someone who, like me, cannot resist all those pintucks and satin covered buttons life has to offer.