Thursday, February 16, 2012

Unnecessary Valentine's Encouragement, & Other Stuff

So, I know everyone was waiting around with bated breath for my Wednesday post, and I know you were all heartbroken when it never appeared.  Riiiiight. 

Well, I did write a Wednesday post.  I scheduled it to post yesterday morning, and for whatever reason, it didn't post when I told it to.  It doesn't really matter, because basically all I said in that post was that I didn't feel like writing a post and was going to go to bed instead.  Because sometimes we all need to do that.

Anyway, I'm making up for the lame/nonexistent post by giving you a bonus Thursday post.  I know, you were all on the edges of your seats for that one, just praying I'd come through and not leave you hanging with just two posts for the week. 


So, it's a couple days after Valentine's Day.  The kids' sugar highs and crashes are all slowly tapering off.  I've still got about a dozen and a half pink mini cupcakes in my freezer.  I've still got a small stash of chocolate given to me by kids (or their parents) and friends and coworkers, and hopefully that will last me a while.  But all in all, I'm feeling almost like it's a couple of days after Christmas.  It's kind of a sad, wistful feeling.  I am sad because it's going to be a whole year before Valentine's Day season comes again. 

Soon, I'll be packing away my Valentine's decorations.  I'll be taking down the Valentine's cards that I taped to my bedroom door.  I'll be eating the chocolate.  The season has passed and won't come back again until next year.

I love Valentine's Day.

I love pretty much any day that allows me to celebrate and share gifts with people that are important to me. 

There are some people who don't like Valentine's Day, either because it's too commercialized, or because they don't like the idea of having just one day set aside to share with the love of their lives, or because their spouse is deceased or is separated from them because of work, military, etc.  There are people who have been divorced or who have ended meaningful relationships since last Valentine's Day.  There are people who simply can't face another year of being alone and single on Valentine's Day.

I'm not making light of these peoples' pain.  I am not saying that they're doing anything wrong by hurting.  I don't know what's going on in their hearts, what's gone on in their lives.  It's okay to be sad on Valentine's Day.

But I've just got to say that it makes me flat out mad when someone expects me to be sad on Valentine's Day.  A few well-meaning people have tried to offer me some consolation for being single on Valentine's Day.  These consolations came without provocation; I wasn't asking for it.  The problem is that these people with good intentions just automatically assume that all single people are miserable, and that really bothers me.

First of all, I'm not miserable.  I LOVE Valentine's Day.  It irks me when people call it "Single Awareness Day," because that's not the way I look at Valentine's Day at all.  I'm not sitting around wallowing in self-pity because I don't have a boyfriend or husband.  I don't see Valentine's Day as a day to receive material gifts from one particular person who loves me.  I don't see Valentine's Day as a day just to celebrate the love between myself and one significant other.  There are PLENTY of others in my life whom I view as significant.  I like to see Valentine's Day as a day to express my love for all the significant others in my life.  To me, Valentine's Day is a joyful day, and it's really annoying (and even confusing) when someone comes along trying to offer me consolation in the midst of a day that I love and greatly enjoy. 

Second...dude.  Stop perpetuating the "all single people are bitter hags" stereotype.  I'm not bitter because I'm single, but I AM angry at people who won't accept any other attitude from single people.  It's wonderful that you love your spouse so much that you can't imagine not living life without him or her.  I'm really happy for you.  For me, and a lot of other single individuals, we can imagine living life without a spouse.  We can imagine it because we live it day in and day out, and guess what...there is life without marriage, and it's not just surviving.  My life is full and blessed.  Does that mean I don't ever want to get married?  No.  I wouldn't mind having a husband and adopting some kids (or so I think).  But I'm more than okay if I don't get married.  I've got a lot more than I deserve.  I love my life, and it's frustrating when people tell me that I can't love my life simply because I'm not married.

Look, it's not that I don't appreciate the gesture from these well-meaning people.  I do realize they were trying to be supportive, and their effort counts, even if it was misguided.  The thing is, these attitudes are born in ignorance.  People often feel as though they have to say something, so they say the wrong thing.  And I realize that I'm also very ignorant of things that are going on in other peoples' lives.  This is one of the biggest reasons why I'm hoping to get the new website up and running soon (praying God will let it happen at the right time and in the right ways, because my tendency is to get discouraged that it's not happening as soon as I want it to).  My hopes are that a lot of stereotypes and wrong attitudes will be corrected, and that people who do have legitimate pain and needs will have a place to gain some support from others who can relate, or who, at the very least, care.

And caring, even in ignorance, is still a pretty good thing.  So I guess I'm blessed to have friends who care enough to try to encourage me--even if their encouragement is totally unwarranted.

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