We–most of us–have a month or an event that becomes hard for us. As the years go by, maybe the hurt gets a little better, or you just learn to adjust. Or, like me, you either suffer in silence or burst onto the world, somehow.
February has always been a double-edged sword. In previous years, it was because of Valentine’s Day. Oh what, that commercialized thing that I shouldn’t care about? It’s awfully hard, when all you’ve ever gotten is pity gifts. It’s…kind of worse when you see endless adverts for what to get s0-and-so, and people are saying up and down “oh it’s just a holiday, I show him/her/them love all the time, sooo…”, but end up getting their boo something nice, or THEY get something nice. It’s kind of like you KNOW the whack to the head is coming. You see it, you hate it, you anticipate it. Meh. Anyway…
Usually in the corner, sigh of longing escaping my lips. Sad eyes, wondering when’s it going to be my time to get a gift. I mean, I LIKE HEARTS, OKAY? I like pretty hearts and campy candy. I like fuzzy bears and love mugs. I like cards. I’m a sappy yutz. You don’t have to break the bank, but for fuck’s sake–I love love. I don’t think V-Day is THAT bad. The USA is one consumerism machine, anyway. So we can’t act like we don’t like stuff. Maybe not ALL the stuff, but you like stuff.
The interesting (not really.) part is that for the exception of one beau/boyfriend/boo, I have had one pretty decent Valentine’s Day. He had to work that day, but eventually found the time to slip me a little white bear, some chocolate, and some good ass lovin’. I was TOUCHED. He was the only one, bless his curly-haired, Undertaker-loving self.
The rest of them?
“I don’t believe in this holiday.”
“It’s a commercialized [insert variation of what it is here]”,
And I’m sitting there all defeated, trying not to show it. Just agreeing, but not really. It made me feel like my worries and confirmations about not being worth it were true. Not even worth a campy gift? Oh dude, if he can’t go to Walgreen’s to at least try to throw some shit together, throw in the towel. NOW. What else won’t you be worth enough for?
Then I also felt bad and stupid for asking them what THEY wanted. Like a child, if you will. Here I am, all wide-eyed and idiotic, asking these non-believers what they want. How innocent, how basic, how…embarrassing.
I sort of did it again this past month.
When that old feeling came back–the stupidity feeling, the not feeling worth it thing, I started to ask myself why any of this mattered. Why I wanted a gift, beyond my love of hearts and shiny baubles. I didn’t need the entire world, but I just like celebrating holidays. I can give and get love at any time, despite very few people crushing or desiring me. And yes, I was right there with A–but even that was complicated.
I was already feeling like extended time with me sort of turned him off from me. Which…really branched off into some soft ass feelings. I didn’t want to keep bothering him with my feelings. He has so much going on. I’m…here, you know? But to chase him and hound him isn’t my style. It also felt stupid/pathetic/odd to be defending the holiday, let alone hinting I wanted something/wanted to give him something, and he’s so…not for it. It means nothing to him, but the world to me. Anyway….
It wasn’t about being selfish or ungrateful. He did a lot of nice stuff for me. I realized that maybe–like most moments after February 1988–I just wanted comfort. I wanted to forget that one of the worst days of my life happened the week of Valentine’s Day.
To be honest, I never knew the exact date until I read a program almost two decades later. I knew it was cold when she died. I knew my dad didn’t want to take me to the funeral. I have written about this before. Yet as I get older, smarter, and mature–I realize that what my dad says is true; you never really get over the hurt of losing someone when they die.
I get that this day is crap to some people. I get that stores and websites pounce on it to get sales. I get it. I get that love should be given daily. Believe me–being a single loser idiot for so long gives you a lot of time to think. Trying to cope and pretend and adjust will do that too. I just wanted love, okay? It’s hard getting sad in front of all these people I live with. Which makes no sense, but I sometimes don’t want them to know I’m like this. That I am 31 and weeping for my mother, whom I barely remember. That holidays colliding with the week of her death mean something to me. That I have so many memories of pity gifts and family gifts, and held on to the entitled comfort that there would be more.
How dare I.
I will never ask for the moon. Just something nice. Just some consideration.
I spent a lot of time online trying to find other sad souls. Reaching out to them, saying something nice. I wanted to spread the love. I still kind of feel like…an idiot for having these mushy feelings.
Then, last year, something happened.
This beautiful, loud, wiggly nugget of softness and perfection was born. I started watching her February 2016. I think this was the first year the loneliness wasn’t as bad as it used to be. It gave me hope. I always feel like I have so much love to give, but nowhere to put it. Or that I’m so repulsive or annoying that people don’t want it. Then Imani was born, and it became different.
Her birthday is the 4th of February. She will be one this year.
I love her. It was instant. I don’t care if we are not blood related, she is my beautiful step-cousin. Loud, silly, and a little diva, but she is my heart.
That pain will not disappear. The embarrassment of liking what I like won’t go, either. I guess there will always be an innocent coping method within me. I don’t really like my birthday either, and sort of need to escape the fact that my grandfather died the day before it. But, you can’t escape it. You can only soothe the soul for a little while.
I don’t think I will ever be able to voice my defense of Valentine’s Day. I hated it for a while, too. Whole neighborhood full of men, rushing to get their girl something. My dad, rushing to get his girl something. He got some some candy too, but….I mean…I wanted romance. I like romance. I like giving people attention and care. I like getting it back. It’s been a while and maybe I’m rusty, but romantic affection is nice. I’m grateful for the gifts I have gotten, though. Can’t stress that enough.
I then realized that love comes in more than the lust and romantic forms. Perhaps that is what I wanted, but love is everywhere. Love is within me. It’s lonely sometimes, but maybe I need to look a little harder to find other people to love. What if they’re lonely just like I am, and don’t have the Internet?
Please don’t think I’m a selfish and needy person. Or that I need a lot of stuff to feel a certain way. I like stuff, but I like the concept of giving behind stuff. Maybe I want the kind of love my uncle and aunt have–imperfect, but so often it is in sync that the little things seem so big to me. I wish I had that.
When A tells me to slow down, it kind of makes me feel like I am going too fast. It’s just that I know what I want. I’m not trying to rush it, but I just want my hands on it. I don’t want to always silence myself. I want to show someone I care about them all the time–even on campy holidays.
I like camp, sometimes.
My mother was a Pre-K teacher, for crying out loud. Campy decorations were sort of her thing. She was sort of sensitive like me, so…yeah.
So I’m starting my own tradition. Party City and Dollar Tree–just get V-Day stuff. Enjoy it, like it. I’m not going to hint at wanting stuff. I’m not going to bring it up again once the topic has been put down. I’m going to enjoy my campy commercial thing. I’ll…sort out the moist feelings later.
Get more used to them?
Love you, ma. Miss you.