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15 February 2009 @ 11:53 am
War over love?  
Who knew that there could be such dissent over something as cheerful as Valentine's Day?

I am trying to understand the perspective that celebrating Valentine's Day is the same as intentionally being mean to single people. I didn't feel that way when I was single. [From 1983 to 1996, with short unsuccessful romances along the way!] I didn't feel deficient because I couldn't enter Noah's Ark with my other half. I felt that love was out there for me somewhere, and celebrated the day and the possibilities. I celebrated the love I already had in my life, good friends, wonderful children, and I looked forward to someday adding to that list. I exchanged Valentines with my loved ones and even went out to Valentine--centered events and readings of erotica. If I made love to no one but myself, I at least had that, self-love.

Is celebrating Mother's Day unkind to every woman who wants children she can't have? Should women with children never mention them for fear of hurting childless (not by choice) women? Should those with parents not mention them in front of people like me who've lost theirs? If you have a great relationship with your dad should I demand that you censor any mentions of him because mine abandoned me? No, not at all, and I will be happy for you because I know how fortunate you are! I am glad that someone somewhere has such a relationship with their dad, even if it makes me sad for a moment or two.

I remember sometimes being discouraged and doubting that romantic love would happen for me. Sometimes my faith lagged, as an abandoned daughter, a large woman, an outspoken and stubborn person, I couldn't imagine I'd find someone who valued my traits. The very things other people have a problem with are the things Dave is attracted to. I can't believe he is the last man on the planet who loves strong women.

But if I hadn't done a certain amount of work on myself to be open to a wider variety of people, I might have overlooked him. His qualities weren't on the narrow list I had made in my head years before. I also had done some work on learning to be better at relationships, something I wasn't taught in my family at all. I practiced on my friends. [Thank you all for your patience!] Without that work maybe I couldn't have sustained this relationship. It hasn't always been smooth sailing but we've managed to communicate well enough to get through. Maybe I couldn't have done that even a few years earlier.

Also, if I had met him sooner, HE wouldn't have been ready, because he was entangled with someone who rather exploited his good qualities and had him tightly hooked. So I had to wait, though I didn't know there was someone specific I was waiting for.

Perhaps another way to look at it is that if all these other people can find love, I can too, I'm just as smart as they are! They don't have any special quality that I haven't got!

Romantic love isn't better, just different. I can't say I love my husband more intensely than I do my children or grandchildren, or friends, for instance, or delight in him more. He fills a different role, certainly, but I was just as quick to buy cards for my family as for him this V Day.

I don't know if it helps anyone, but that's how I looked at V Day when I was single. I celebrated the love in my life then, even while hoping for more. On a planet of over 6 billion people, I do believe that not only is there someONE for everyone, but more than 1 someone may be compatible with any prospective lover.

I certainly don't wish to hurt anyone's feelings. Perhaps I can set up a V Day filter and those who don't wish to hear about it at all each year can choose not to be on that filter. I could even use the same filter for those who don't want to hear about my anniversary. But I'm not going to stop delighting in Valentine's Day, even if fate should find me single again one day.
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Matrinkamatrinka69 on February 15th, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC)
Also, if I had met him sooner, HE wouldn't have been ready, because he was entangled with someone who rather exploited his good qualities and had him tightly hooked.

That's how it was for Tim and me. We did meet, much earlier, but neither of us were in the right place to be a couple way back in '93. When we met again in '03 we still weren't ready, but we needed to find one another before we were fully ready. Now, we're one of those nauseatingly happy couples who adore one another.

I love to hear that others are happy and have great relationships, even when I'm alone. Censoring our happiness for others or insisting they do the same for us seems, well, a bit silly.
Tapatitapati on February 15th, 2009 11:06 pm (UTC)
Sometimes things are meant to be a certain way, and we only see that after the fact.
litlebananalitlebanana on February 15th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess it depends on the circumstances of being single. If you're single because your SO recently left you for another woman, V-day is probably kind of painful. Regarding mothers day, I probably wouldn't talk about it in front of a woman who lost a child or is desperately trying to have a baby or something like that.

Then again, you can't keep from enjoying every holiday because it's potentially unpleasant for another person. I mean, there are many people who have died on any given birthday, but that doesn't keep us from celebrating.
Tapatitapati on February 15th, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
My great grandpa died on Christmas morning, 1965. I know it broke my grandma's heart, but she kept on celebrating Christmas for the sake of the rest of the family, especially me and my cousins.

I think making a celebratory post in your own LJ is different from being in front of someone who just broke up, is recently widowed, etc. But I'll happily filter my posts for anyone who asks. :)
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 15th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
My biggest bitch about Valentine's Day - and I've had this bitch since I started first grade - is that my birthday falls the day after. People either get me something for one of the two days or never for both. Preston knows I'd break his arm if he did that to me. It always just made me feel like I was being slighted, that some part of me was being underappreciated. Or something. It's something not quite tangible that I can put a finger exactly on. :/

Growing up, I'd get birthday cakes decorated for Valentine's Day. And often, before my aunt Sandhi grew old enough to move out, she and I shared a cake (her birthday is the 22nd). We'd get a 13x9 cake - half decorated for her, half decorated for me. It was absolutely the pits. And as much as we hated it -- when she remarried in the mid-90s, she got married on my birthday! (Preston and I should go get legally hitched next Sunday to make it even! LOL)

I've never understood single people getting all bent out of shape about Valentine's Day. Overall, it's just a date on a paper calendar. The world isn't going to end because of it, you know? ;)

We did meet, much earlier, but neither of us were in the right place to be a couple way back in '93

Mattie, that sounds like me and Preston. We met in either late August or early September 1992. But he was 17, weeks away from his 18th; I was 23 and getting ready to go through a divorce. Neither one of us were in any position or mindspace to be dating each other. When we found each other again at Christmas 1994, that made a world of difference. We were ready for each other then. We're also one of those nauseatingly happy "cute" couples who drive other people up the wall. :}

Censoring our happiness for others or insisting they do the same for us seems, well, a bit silly.

Matrinkamatrinka69 on February 15th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
In 1993 I was still stupid in love with someone I didn't expect to ever actually be with (We were married nine years and together for nearly eleven, but at the time Tim and I met, it didn't look like that was possible) and Tim, well, he was sadly deep in the drug culture of the time and I wasn't going there.

Ten years later we were both in a very different place. But he'd just got out of a very bad relationship and I'd been a widow for less than three months. Neither of us were ready for True Love to come into our lives.

It took a bit, but it was well worth the wait.
Tapatitapati on February 15th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Being a December baby, I get where you're coming from. Fortunately there was just enough distance that my birthday wasn't completely swallowed up by Christmas.

However, you can work it if you want an especially expensive gift, which you can say, "Just combine the two." I worked this really hard as a child. ;)
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 16th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
If I suddenly told Preston to get me one large gift, he'd fall over dead. LOL
Tapatitapati on February 17th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
By large I mean...take the amount you'd normally spend on either day and double it, and get something in that price range instead. :)
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on February 17th, 2009 12:29 am (UTC)
That's what I mean. I've been so adamant over the last 16 years that the days be kept completely separated - if I suddenly upped and changed my mind, he'd think I'd gone crazy, check my temperature, and possibly check me in!
lunaetstellaelunaetstellae on February 16th, 2009 11:18 am (UTC)
Excellent post. I agree with you on just about everything you said.
My husband and I got married on Valentines Day, purposely. We had the formal wedding set for a traditional Saturday, which was the 17th that year. However, we were able to have an evening private ceremony in the ministers office, with just us and our witnesses, on the 14th. We kept our secret, and went thru with the Saturday wedding with our families. So Ken and I love to celebrate Valentines Day, and we love that we did that.
I have no answer for people who are offended by Valentines Day. I don't see why I should censor myself and my cheerfulness on that day just to not 'offend' those who find issue with the day.
Tapatitapati on February 17th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
When I suggested Candlemas for our wedding day I visualized exactly what we do every year, which is treat the entire month like one long celebration. The commercial aspect is supportive of that, with a boatload of hearts and chocolates and silly love-related merchandise, the media is on board too, and it feels like the whole world supports our anniversary. :)

Works for me!