For the past two Valentines Days, I have been single.
A thank goodness said not with cynicism, but with relief; content.
I am single but I’ve never felt more whole.
More myself, more secure.
Free in spirit, high in energy.
When you’re in a relationship, the first problem is that of expectation.
Your first Valentines Day is everything, the make or break especially if early on when capitalistic propaganda still has leeway to intrude into a relationship.
My worst Valentines’ Day was the first Valentine’s Day I had a boyfriend. I had expected nothing to keep my ego in check. Nothing is exactly what I got.
Imagination vs reality-
I imagined something, whether you got 1 flower in my favourite colour or that bracelet I liked, those cookies I’d been dying to try. One, or two or three words.
I imagined laughing at how silly this whole day was because we both know we love each other every day (right?) I mean except February 13th when you said this relationship is a distraction for me, and you want the best for me (not your own less-than-subtle projections).
You always knew how to speak for me and turn away when I spoke.
Can you include that in your cover letter for me if you wish to speak again?
I imagined the most normal day, the only difference would be that this was one social norm that I would have been happy to conform to.
You knew that it was my first valentines’ day in a relationship, so I naively thought you would make it a memorable one. Waited and waited, the sun rose and set and you were somewhere doing something and I was somewhere doing something but we were not together.
No material things, no words, no phone calls, no messages.
No real interest, no feigned interest.
I gave you things I made myself. You hugged me with one arm and one sentence “I totally forgot”.
Finally a lacklustre few hours together, the last possible ones before the day was over.
Saying goodnight too soon. Streetlamps catching the shock in my eyes.
You went to pick up milk and dropped me off at my house. Your car engine still running, waiting on me to close the passenger door.
Anger in my eyes and nothing in yours.
Why did you act as if we were strangers?
No, not strangers because even strangers smile when they catch each other’s eye on the street. Acquaintances; there when it is convenient, until one overstays their welcome.
Someone to keep around; minimal effort.
Was it 12:01, February 15th already and you free of any expectations?
Must I really have brought up your faltering in action?
Must you have faltered so drastically?
I hardly knew you then, I know you even less now.
The difference is now we don’t speak the other 364 days either.
Is that when the gradual slope downhill began?
Nothing ever goes away until it teaches you what you need to know.
Valentines Day I learned if someone couldn’t care less when social norms suggest “love”, they will care even less when you tell them on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.