Back when I was teaching in a public school classroom, I would often try to offer my students historic perspective on holidays, both official and unofficial. Valentine's was one of those days. If you've ever spent time around high schoolers, you know that Valentine's Day can sometimes be a big deal.
Hell, I remember taking Valentine's Day cards (the little baseball card sized ones with the white envelopes) to all my classmates back in 2nd grade, and wanting to be careful to not forget everyone, and trying to make sure that the girl I had a crush on got the coolest one in the box.
Did anyone else do that?
And going home that afternoon with a stack of those same cards, and occasionally getting a real card from some kind soul. I was neither cool nor popular as a kid, and I can now look back as an adult and recognize all the moments someone did something like that for me that made me feel special. I often sat outside of the circle...whatever circle it was.
I still do.
And so it went. Now, well into my middle ages, Valentine's Day is one of those things that I think is cool. Personally, I don't think we ever show each other, in general, enough attention, or enough affection. I have no problem with a day dedicated to showing some extra love to that someone special in your life. Perhaps venture to that favorite place you don't often get to, or do that favorite activity that you swear you're going to do, but never really get around to. Maybe a little overnight trip, maybe take a day off work and get in a one-day staycation.
I like having fun. I like adventure. That all sounds really good to me.
Now of course, Valentine's Day would be cooler if I wasn't single...but such is life.
However, I'm sure not everyone is feeling the good vibes.
Case in point:
I was walking down the street today, in Streeterville to be exact. I saw a car pull up to the curb, and a young man get out. Out of the building walked a woman. He handed her a beautiful bouquet of flowers. She said something akin to "oh wow, how thoughtful" and gave him a huge hug. This was the moment in which we made eye contact.
His face screamed, "FML", and I gave him a weak half smile and a nod, in acknowledgement. I had half a mind to raise a fist to him and say "Stay strong bruh!" but I contained myself. When she gave him a big kiss on the cheek, he smiled, it was at this point that I moved past them, and quickly out of ear shot. If I was betting man, I'd bet the farm that she proceeded to tell him about the dinner she's so excited to have with the guy she always complains to him about.
I've been there. That was always my favorite part of the friend zone.
I think we often criticize women for dating men that they are convinced they can change despite all the red flags. I've had several female friends tell me that that's a real thing.
The male equivalent of that is chasing after a woman that obviously has no inclination to date you, certain that one day she'll see how obviously amazing you are.
"I'm the one who comforts her when her dirtbag boyfriend shows his true colors. I'm the one who tells her how amazing she is, and how she deserves so much better."
I think men also do the,
"I'm gonna date this woman that I have absolutely nothing in common with because she's drop dead gorgeous and the sex is fire!"
Do women do that too?
Anyway, we all fall into traps when it comes to desire, infatuation, and occasionally love. I'm past faulting people for that. I get it.
But with time, and experience comes some wisdom, and I know now that you can't make someone "see" you...either they do with time and exposure, or they don't. The control we have over that is equivalent to our control of the weather. I can attest to that more than anyone.
And this Valentine's Day, for the first time in a long time, I'm enjoying all the hearts, and the cards, and the balloons, and chocolate covered strawberries...
...I'm enjoying this super cute couple sitting 10 feet from me munching on donuts and iced coffee. Their body language says they're not in a relationship, but it's on the horizon. He gave her two chocolate roses. She can't stop smiling, and their interaction is so animated. Even with my headphones on, I can feel their banter.
Moments like that make me feel good, even as a bystander. I may find something like that someday with someone. I might not. At this juncture in the game, I'm equally comfortable with either proposition.
And on this Valentine's Day, that revelation is a relief.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, and thank you to Stan's Donuts for having a mad proper Nutella shake and great atmosphere to write this to. I appreciate y'all.
So, do you have a Valentine today? Are you a fan of Valentine's Day? If you have a significant other, do you all do something special today?
Let me know your thoughts and comments down below. I swear there is a comment section down there among all the pictures and ads.
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This post was created on an HP Pavilion x360, at Stan's Donuts Michigan Ave.
P.S. I hate this computer.