Megan Again: The Angst Of Valentine's Day (Thank You Alanis)
By Megan Wirts
During my middle school and high school years I absolutely hated Valentine’s Day. It started in the 5th grade when the student council held their annual Carnation Sale. You could buy a carnation for your special Valentine and have it delivered to them during class on Valentine’s Day. It was extremely romantic in my 11-year-old eyes and I couldn’t wait for my boyfriend, of a just a few days, to buy one for me.
He and I never actually spoke words to each other, but I had one of my friends tell one of his friends that I liked him and his friend told my friend...
...that he liked me too and so it was official. We were boyfriend/girlfriend and I was going to get a carnation!
Those few days leading up to the big day seemed to drag on. Then on February 14, 1992, instead of a receiving a pretty pink carnation, I got a message from my boyfriend’s friend that he wanted to break up with me. I sadly sat and watched everyone else get flower after flower and my name was never called. It was heartbreakingly sad. I mean, stuff that movies are made of. Tragic even.
Every year after that I would dread Valentine’s Day and the carnation sales. However, being the hopeless romantic that I am, I would hold onto a sliver of hope that some secret admirer would send me a flower and confess their undying love for me. I have a serious case of optimism that I just have never been able to kick no matter what, even though every year it never happened.
Then every year I would tell myself that it was fine and I didn’t need a boyfriend or a flower to validate me and I was a smart and talented girl with lots to offer and…Umm…Actually, all of that is a lie, I would go home and cry into my pillow and eat a pint of ice cream. Then I would turn up my Alanis Morissette CD and angrily write in my journal through tears about how I was the only without a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day and wonder if anyone would ever love me, etc... You know, the usual teenage angst type of stuff.
Then I met my husband when I was a freshman in college. Well, re-met my husband. I have known him since we were in the 3rd grade when I crawled under the tables in our library to sit next to him and made him give me a piggy back ride at recess one time. Then in the 5th grade, he was the boy that broke my romantic little heart on Valentine’s Day.
He told me that he broke up with me that fateful day because of the pressure of the carnation sale and he didn’t have any money to buy me one.
CURSE YOU CARNATION SALE!!
I had to forgive him because it wasn’t his fault that he felt pressured by society to buy a carnation for a girl that he gave one piggyback ride to two years prior and hadn’t spoken to since, but happened to be his girlfriend.
I don’t blame the guy one bit.
*BEGIN RANT* I blame society for perpetuating this commercial holiday created by the greeting card companies to make money thus causing undue stress and pressure on couples. Causing fragile pre-teens and teenagers to have extraordinarily high expectations about Valentine’s Day leading them to feel crushed and sad when they don’t get a carnation during homeroom because their boyfriend dumped them because OF ALL THE PRESSURE!!!! *END RANT*
The first year that we were together as a real grown up couple on Valentine’s Day I totally told him that it didn’t matter if he got me anything because all I needed was his love.
We all know that wasn’t true and thankfully he knew that I was full of crap and that if he didn’t deliver it would be a disaster. He started out the day by sending red roses to me at work and then took me out to a fancy dinner (which at that time in our lives meant anywhere that wasn’t fast food).He must have impressed me because I ended up marrying him just a little over a year later.
Throughout the years, I have let go of those expectations I had as a teenager. Honestly, I would take an extra kiss and a folded load of laundry over a dozen red roses any day of the week. That isn’t to say I don’t love it when he surprises me with something sweet or sentimental. Like when he found our wedding video that we both thought had burned in our house fire and he surprised me with it on Valentine’s Day a few years ago. Now that was romantic.
Sometimes we go out to dinner and sometimes we stay home and go to bed at 9pm, but we always make time for each other in one way or another. Love isn’t always a grand gesture, it can be when someone makes your coffee just the way you like it in the mornings, lets you sleep in on the weekends while they get up with the kids or comes home with your favorite kind of ice cream when you didn’t even know you wanted ice cream.
Yes, I totally agree that love should be shown all year long and that people in strong relationships do not need Valentine’s Day to prove their love to each other and this is true for my marriage. For real, I’m an incredibly lucky lady. I absolutely hit the jackpot with my guy and he hasn’t done too bad either, if I say so myself, but, seriously, if he hadn’t gotten me that box of chocolates and told me ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ this year and every year before this?
I know I would have cried into my pillow and blasted Alanis Morissette again.
Some things never change.
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