Valentine Blues

Tommorrow is a dreaded day for most of America. Sonny calls it Singles Awareness Day. Singles dread it because it's a reminder of Singleness, Men fear it because they either forgot about it or don't know what to buy and are aware of the chunk of money about to fall from their pockets. I suspect that even florists, while anticipating the massive profits V-day must bring, shudder at the sheer numbers of bouquets, balloons attatched to stuffed animals and/or coke bottles, etc . . . that must be assembled and delivered. Then there are the restaurant managers who must schedule and manage waitstaff who either hate V-day because they are single and don't want it rubbed in their faces, or are desperately in love and desperately angry that they have to work on V-day.
So who actually likes V-day? Jewelry stores, Victoria's Secret, hot air balloon folks, newlyweds, newly datings, and popular people.
I personally have mixed feelings about. I was thinking about V-day and my own life experiences and wanted to share them with you.

Birth to 9th grade. Life was simple. My sister and I always got a delivery from Southern Florist from my Papaw and Dad--a rose, or a coke/teddy bear with attatched balloon. Fun cards, heart-shaped doilies attatched to pink construction paper, and a box of those conversation hearts from my Granny were satisfying and nice. For sure, Jr. High brought with it some longings for a sweetheart and anticipation of the future, but it wasn't a big deal.

10th-12th Grade. AHH the torment. I was on Yearbook staff which was supervised by the Librarian who supervised the receipt and delivery of HUNDREDS of Valentine gifts during that day. When the local florist is on the Board of Education, these things will not soon be banned. Valentines found me, the eternal singleton, in the Library all day, viewing each and every arrival that every popular, unpopular and attatched person recieved (K-12). I had to see my friends get absurdly expensive bouqets and roses and gifts from boyfriends and secret admirers. I remember desperately wishing that one of the arriving bouquets would be addressed: To: Paula Blackwell, from your Secret Admirer or Boy X (whoever I liked at the time). But alas, Boy X was always dating a friend of mine. The only consolation was coming home and knowing that my Papaw or Dad would have sent me something.

Freshman year. I don't remember much about that V-day except being asked out for a date by this peculiar guy who had been at Jones for a while. I'm not sure if he was an idiot-savant or what but he lived in this reality that was much like a WB show (dawson's creek, Buffy, etc . .). It actually was a compliment because he was always after the "hotties"--you know, the beauty pageant types. I think I told him that I was practicing Biblical courtship and couldn't accept.

Sophomore Year. One of my best friends and I hosted a Valentine party. We spent an entire day making heavy Hors doevres and had a non-alchoholic cocktail bar. It was a lot of fun and full of mishaps (we had to call everyone and tell them to drive around for a while because we were having issues in the kitchen and weren't ready for guests). The best part of the evening was that two of our guy friends brought us rose bouquets. That was the highlight of my life at the time. I'd never gotten flowers from a non family member, and even though it was platonic, it just felt so good to be thought of. I put the accompanying card in my journal and kept the roses until they died.

Junior Year. My crazy roomate and I stayed up all night the night before and I made Valentines for the folks I worked with. I remember something about our Eurpean tennis team neighbors coming in and out of the apartment, inadverdently using racial slurs and offending a guy whose adopted sister was Korean and then getting a call really late from Tuan, asking me to be his Valentine. :) I was laughing so hard from all the chaos in our apartment that I didn't take very seriously what Tuan had asked. (we were still just friends) But, I did walk around all the next day in a Meg-Ryanish sort of way, thinking, "I have a Valentine." It was nice.

Senior Year. Tuan and I were four months into dating and we went to Red Bluff and exchanged Valentine happys. He gave me a vintage Valentine Card he'd ordered off of E-bay and one of his T-shirts. I gave him a mix CD (that poor sonny had to burn) and a card. It was nice and simple.

Married V-day 1. We kept the Wilckes V-day weekend and after wondering why I felt so bad, I came down with Mono and Strep Valentine's evening. Tuan had to eat both our steaks while I laid in the bathtub moaning. Tuan then had to wait on me hand and foot for the next three weeks as I couldn't move without aching. Poor Guy.

Married V-day 2, 3. One year, I just can't remember and another involved Sonic, Ultimate in the rain, a Map of MS backroads and babysitting for my sister.

This year I am in charge of V-day and as it is a surprise for Tuan, it will be a surprise for you, too, dear readers. It's nice to not have to deal with Valentine blues and just enjoy it, but it's definitely not the big deal it always was. I hope all of you, single, married, or otherwise engaged, have a marvelous Valentine's Day.


renwuying said...
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Caroline said...

Paula, there should be a little trash can icon next to the previous comment visible when you are logged into blogger. Click that to delete it. This is from Blogger's help page: "If you can't see the trash can icon, then that is probably because of a caching issue with your browser. First double check that you are logged in to the correct Blogger account. Then clear your browser's cache and refresh the comment page a few times, until the icon appears. Alternatively, you could try deleting the comment from a different browser."

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Caroline said...

I remember you saying Tuan had asked you to be his Valentine! That's funny!

Leigh said...

Hey Paula! Yesterday was not bad at all. I have had a cold, so I medicated myself and slept off and on until 2:30pm, went to work at 7pm, and got off at 7am, so I really didn't think about it being SAD (Singles Awareness Day, as you said Sonny refers to it as...). Hope your V-day was special!! Love you!!!