Getting ready this morning, I heard one of my favorite songs:
"Watch out cupid stuck me with a sickness
Pull your little arrows out I wanna live my life..."
Yeah. What Metric said.
Then I got to thinking and I realized that there are lots of different arrows when it comes to this time of year.
There are arrows of love.
There are arrows of happiness.
There are arrows of loss.
There are arrows of bitterness.
There are arrows of disappointment.
Arrows. I has them.
I was watching a Hallmark commercial the other day and part of me was like "Awwww... that's sweet." and part of me wanted to blow my TV up. It said some gobbledeegook about "Valentines day isn't about how much I love you, it's about how much I love US."
On one hand, it's a lovely sentiment...if you're in that season of your life. On the other hand, doesn't Hallmark know how many SINGLE people there are in the world?
Now, I try really hard not to be sad this time of year. I'm not one of those singles who goes around saying "I HATE VALENTINES DAY WITH THE INTENSITY OF A THOUSAND SUNS!!!" It's just not like that. Yes, I'm sad that I don't have anyone to share the holiday with ROMANTICALLY, but that doesn't mean the day is a total loss.
Even when I was in a relationship, Valentine's day was never made into a big deal. (The expectation was always there...)
How many non-singles are just as dissatisfied with the day as singles are?
I remember one Valentine's Day in particular. It was 2007 and I had a friend living with me in my apartment. Boy, THAT seems like a whole lifetime ago. Haha. My friend and her boyfriend were going to Wichita for dinner and a movie. At this point, my ex and I were engaged and we'd never really done anything special for Valentine's Day. After 3 years together, we decided we'd actually go out of town and do something for once. I was elated.
I was working for a local Optometrist at that point and on Mondays and Wednesdays we made popcorn for customers. We had just gotten a new popcorn machine for "Patient Appreciation Week" and we were getting used to using and cleaning it. We were all scrambling with closing procedures so we could get out of work on time and onto more exciting things. (Haha.)
One of the women I worked with had a really bad habit of starting something and then leaving it so I would have to finish it. I did not like her, but that's beside the point. R had set the popcorn machine a'cleanin and ran off to do something "more important". I asked her how many cups of water needed to go in the popper to clean it. "Six!", she said as she rushed around the corner. So I put six cups of water in the popper and set it for it's second cleaning. After the 15 minutes it was supposed to go, I got out the pot to put the gross popcorn water in and tilted the popper. Instead of the the slight trickle of water that to came out of the popper the first time, a torrent of boiling water poured onto my left hand.
I tried to hide it. I calmly walked over to the sink and started putting cold water on my hand. Another one of my co-workers, MB, came around the corner and noticed what I was doing. It didn't take her long to figure out what had happened. All she had to do was look at the dripping popcorn machine and then at me with my bright red hand in the sink.
"KATE BURNED HER HAND!!!!! OMG!!!!! CALL THE EMERGENCY ROOM!!!!!"
The office manager comes in and asked what happened.
"I was just cleaning the popcorn machine and..."
R comes waltzing over.
"How many cups of water did you put in the machine?" she accused.
"Six... like you told me." I managed to squeak out.
"I NEVER TOLD YOU SIX!!!"
"Um, yeah. Ya did. But let's not argue at this time. My flesh is melting off." I wish I had actually said that, but I did not have the presence of mind at that time. What came out instead was "Whatever. Just finish it up. I'm going home."
They decided I needed to go to the Emergency Room. (After they pryed my engagement ring off my finger.) So here I was, walking down the sidewalk with my office manager, on the way to the ER. On VALENTINES DAY.
I called my Mom "I'm ok, I'm just on my way to the emergency room because I burned myself at work."
I called JP and left him a message "I'm fine, but I'll be late getting to my apartment. I'm going to the ER because I burned myself."
It was awesome. My office manager, my mom, my fiance, and myself all crammed into a tiny room while I was receiving conflicting information on my burn from a nurse and the Dr.
Bottom line, pain meds.
I spent my wonderful Valentine's Day evening in my pjs, high on Lortab, and eating McDonald's chicken McNuggets.
Expectations. They're killer.
But even if we aren't celebrating the way we think we should be, we can still concentrate on those that we love.
I still have every Valentine that my Dad has ever given to me and to this day, he's the only guy who's ever given me chocolates on February 14th. Like the year I was fourteen and I had just gotten my braces. He had to look all over town for something I could eat because everything had nuts and caramel in them and those are no-nos when you have a mouth full of metal. He ended up getting me a box of Russell Stover truffles. Every chocolate since then has been compared to those truffles! They were THAT good.
Things aren't always (or ever) going to happen the way we hope or plan. There are people in our lives who love us (pretty much) unconditionally and we just need to soak that up and be thankful. We need to be present and not running so hard after something we think we should have RIGHT NOW. If we do that, we can lose sight of what we have right in front of us.
This year, I am going to be single and I'm going to try my very hardest to be happy and content on Valentines Day.
Stupid Cupid, quit imposing on my life.
Make a card for THAT, Hallmark!