Tuesday, 17 February 2009

I have a secret

I don't like Valentine's Day.

*Waits to be hit with rocks*

Sorry, I just don't. It's a life long dislike, regardless of the fact a few boys/men/whatever have wanted to use this day to spoil lil ole me. I've refused all but one year, and 3 weeks later, my 4 year relationship was over. No, I don't blame Valentine's Day, it's more like that day really highlighted the fact we were all but over.

Let's go back a few years, when I was 14, and a boy came to my door with a teddy bear, a plastic rose and a card, and asked my mum if I was allowed to go for a walk. I was, and we went. Me, completely overdressed and feeling completely awkward, and he, hands shoved down his pockets and face firmly down, walked along the road, going nowhere in particular, and silent. All my friends were boys, and I didn't understand why this boy wanted to give me these gifts and walk along a silent road when the other boys wanted to give me a dead arm and cycle along country roads to find dead things. I was a tomboy, and a good one! After 20 excruciating minutes, I made my excuses, and fled. Yikes. I swore then I would avoid him like the plague and continue being the tomboy I always was. Boys were stoopid anyway.

When Valentine's Day rolled around the next year, I was curious if I'd receive anything. I didn't, and I realised then that suited me fine. No worries about getting presents, which even given my "spoilt brat" status, has always made me feel uncomfortable, and no competing with the other girls in school as to how many I received. Sure, I wore skirts now and shoes were fast becoming an obsession, but the boys still seen me as one of the lads, laughing at farting and playing football. It simply didn't occur to them I would want one. The girls tittered, the guys looked confused, and I didn't care. I was happy.

When MD and I first got together, we went to see Slipknot (oh yeah, I loved them!) on Valentine's Day. More because it fell on that day than as an actual *date*. I warned him not to get me a card, and he did. He thought I was kidding. I wasn't.

Cue rant.

"Do you love me?", I asked slowly, dangerously. "Of course I do", he stammered, not sure what he'd done wrong but knowing I was pissed about something. "Why then, do you feel the need to 'prove' it on a particular day of no real relevance to us as a couple? Do you think I wouldn't know unless you handed me a card with bunnies and glitter on it?", I demanded, watching him go from careful, to confused, and then upset. "Well I know you know I know I love you, and sorreee for wanting to give you something nice and treat you! I just thought you didn't want anything because you never got anything before and you were pretending to be ok with that!"

Cue explosion.

"WHAT!? How dare you! You think this is nice?", throwing the card toward him, but watching it pitifully flutter to the floor. "I tried the whole romantic thing and felt nothing but weird and awkward and I don't want that in exchange for a crappy card and some roses!" I stormed off to pour myself a long steamy bath. And I locked the door, loudly. I calmed down, of course, we went out, and never spoke of it again.

That was 14th February 2001.

Fast forward to 14th February 2005. Long story short, our relationship was dying a death, and neither of us were willing to admit it. Feeling like we owed it to ourselves to try. I tentatively suggested a meal at our favourite restaurant, Underworld (may she rest). Going against everything I held to be true for so long, I done the dress up, the romantic meal, the cheesy card, the rose. We sat through that entire meal saying nothing. It had become the cliche of "How's your food, dear?", "Fine, sweetie". I was reminded of how uncomfortable I felt years before, trying force a connection. We went to a friends gig after, and gladly lost each other for the rest of the night. We broke up 3 weeks later.

Since then, I've been in an almost relationship, and a very definite one. I've never tried to celebrate Valentines with them. This past Valentine's Day will have marked G and I's second together. During the day, he was working while I was nursing a cold in the comfort of his home. He came home, cooked dinner, and we had a few glasses of wine, curled up on the sofa, and watched DVD's. This is our routine, and nothing about the day made it any more or any less special than it already is.

I can't imagine trying to force romance between us. For such a self confessed cynic, in this relationship, I'm disgustingly sappy with G, and he with me. We joke about it. I really don't need a card once a year, when he gropes me every day to show he cares!

All the tackiness of Valentine's Day is over for another year... think it's safe to go out yet?

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