My (Empty) Valentine’s Day

As if Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t hard enough to get through without having someone special in our lives, now Valentine’s Day is getting more and more attention in advertising. One of the TV channels has a “countdown to Valentine’s Day” just like they did for Christmas.

I always managed to meet guys I dated after Valentine’s Day…and managed to break up with them before Christmas. Except for one time. I met my first fiance in December two weeks before Christmas and was still dating him in February.

That February 14 he had class in the evening. It was his senior year in college. There was a place on campus I had found that was kind of a “home away from home” for me to use during the week between classes since I was a commuter. I waited for him to get out of class and come to the house so he could drive me home.

I had given him my Valentine card earlier in the day. He said thanks but had nothing for me. I waited all day wanting at least a little recognition of the day. He said nothing. He pulled into the driveway and still said nothing. By that time I was becoming embarrassed by my attitude, as if Valentine’s Day really meant anything to me. I couldn’t help it. I was really disappointed. I jerked the handle of the door to open it and sullenly said, “Good night.”

“Wait a minute,” he said. “Do you think you might like this?” He had a small box in his hand. I’d known him less than two months so I knew it wasn’t a ring. Inside the box was a college pin. That was back in the Middle Ages of dating when college men actually pinned their sweethearts. He was not in a fraternity so he bought one with the college’s initials and crest at the bookstore that day. I have to admit, it made me very happy. After he pinned me, I did get a card after all. I gave him almost everything back the last time I saw him but I kept the pin. I run across it from time to time in my jewelry box and remember a fond memory. I’m able to still retain and recall fond memories of times spent with almost all the guys I dated. I try to think there were more good times than bad.

Moving forward in time, I married my ex in January. That first February I was married to him he took a classified ad out in the local newspaper declaring his love for me on Valentine’s Day. Some of the newspapers did that back then. I thought it was very romantic. Two months later he was already carousing the bars looking for any warm female body that would cheat with him, but at least for two months, I was his valentine. Since he traveled from Monday through Thursday, the great majority of the rest of Valentine’s Days he was out of town. I can’t remember anything romantic after that very first day. I remember getting flowers from time to time the years we were married, but whether they were for Valentine’s Day or my birthday I don’t recall.

I joined e Harmony a few months back, giving love one more last chance. They were running a three-month special. I thought, “What the heck.” I met two men during that time. The first one was about 180° opposite me in my opinions and values. We met for lunch and within the first few bites of tortillas and salsa, I knew I’d just have to keep my mouth shut and get through the meal. I don’t believe in arguing on the first (and thankfully the last) date.

The next guy I met was a very pleasant guy. He made me laugh. We had five dates, none of them around Christmas or New Year’s. I was really kind of grateful for that since I didn’t want any new bad memories associated with those holidays than I already had. After the fifth date he simply disappeared. During those five dates we had shared about five hugs and three good night kisses.  After that last date about four days later I emailed him with a suggestion of something I thought would be fun to do. He emailed me back and said the next week he was going to be busy but would like a “rain check”. It rained several times before I tried to contact him again.

I had called him one time after that on his cell phone and I left a short message which wasn’t returned. He had closed our match on eHarmony by saying we were communicating outside of that site. However, there was never any more communications.

I’m not good at having relationships end with no explanation after six weeks, so I sent him a friendly email. I just wanted an explanation, whatever it was, as to what happened. He had said on his profile he wasn’t a game player. I reminded him of that and told him that I considered just disappearing as playing a game.

He did answer me with an equally friendly reply. He said he thought I was a very nice lady and he enjoyed my company and the time we spent together, but he was looking for sparks that he just didn’t feel. I didn’t feel any either, but I did enjoy his companionship. He made me laugh. I was able to talk comfortably with him, something I can’t always do. I miss that. I understand him however. I told him if he ever had time when he wasn’t dating, I’d enjoy doing something with him as just a friend. I told him I was leaving the door open. I realize very few men want to really associate with women as “just friends” but it would be nice to see him. He lives about 50 miles away so it’s very iffy if  he’ll ever make that effort.

In the meantime, Valentine’s Day is in nine days. The countdown will  again be over and I can get around to forgetting once again that I do occasionally get lonely.

I doubt very seriously if I’ll ever hear from again but I was serious about wanting him as a friend. Guys I can relax with and laugh with are very hard to find.

In the meantime, here comes another Valentine’s Day with all the ads for romantic dinners for two and jewelry etc. and count downs. I’ve had a lot more empty Valentine’s Days than I’ve had romantic ones. I’m used to it. But although I’m trying to live in the moment, secretly I’ll be glad when February 15 arrives so all the push to buy and celebrate love will be over for one more year. Namaste. Attic Annie



Filed under Casual conversation, dating, diary, friendship, general topics, life, musings

2 responses to “My (Empty) Valentine’s Day

  1. Judy

    You certainly speak for a lot of women, including myself. I try not to think about it, but from the day after Christmas when all the Valentine’s stuff goes up in the stores until Feb 15th, you just have to avert your eyes and try to avoid all the hoopla. I feel your pain! Like you, I can then convince myself it really doesn’t matter and I’m not really all that lonely… better luck next year!

    • atticannie

      Hi Judy, after all these years you’d think it would be easy but I am such a committed heterophile. It’s hard not compare to others around without asking “What’s she got that I am lacking?” It’s no longer pain…just an understandable annoyance! The advertising world certainly seems to relish dividing those who have with those who don’t. If I took a course Dating 101 and learned all the tricks of the trade, then I wouldn’t be myself. I don’t want a relationship based on deceit either.