Valentine’s Day Post Traumatic Stress

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one good thing about February 14. It’s my best friend’s wedding anniversary. 30 years ago today in fact. Great celebration/party and put together quickly because her husband was shipping out to Japan for 18 months a few weeks after their wedding. (Oooh Rah! Marines!) So don’t anybody ever tell me a beautiful wedding can’t be done on short notice. Because I’ve seen it done, and been involved in the doing of such. But, before it became an auspicious day for my BFF and her husband; it was a day to be dreaded or with luck forgotten by me. I have PTSD about Valentines Day.

I was the kid picked last for any teams, the cheese who stood alone, the kid who didn’t get any valentine cards in the paper bag attached to the front of her desk. I was in elementary school long before schools insisted that kids had to bring valentines for everyone in their class. So of course only the popular kids got them. I wasn’t one of those – I was the one they pulled the chair out from underneath as I was sitting down…. I was gawky, wore glasses, tall, and uncoordinated. Not to mention that I was the “new” kid in a town where you never completely fit in unless your great great great grandparents were born and raised there and related to the town founders. (My best friend was a new kid too by the way- that’s how we met 40 years ago – and we’ve been besties ever since). It always meant to me a day where I could look forward to a whole lotta nothin. (getting a card or gift from my dad didn’t count. Although looking back – what a wonderfully sentimental gesture from a father to his best girls! )

Valentines Day left a bad taste in my mouth – and it wasn’t spoiled chocolate. Even in high school, I was never dating anyone at any of the holidays (we’d break up just before) so I’d have to sit there and watch my friends and others get the flowers, cards and chocolates. Get to hear them giggling and laughing as they planned their romantic evenings. While I got to go home and wash my hair after doing my homework…. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I learned the truth at 17. Thank you Janis Ian – for a song that perfectly described my high school years.

And Thank you God for College! Discovering that there was a world out there that didn’t measure your worth by whether or not you had a boyfriend – priceless. Today, February 14 is just another day on the calendar at my house. I don’t insist my husband get me anything. I’d prefer to forget it even exists. Post Traumatic Stress…. Except for the fact its my best friends wedding anniversary. To me, I think that’s the only reason Valentines Day should be celebrated – if you get married on 14 Feb then you can celebrate Valentines Day too. What do the rest of us need with one lousy day to remind most of us that once we were, or still are – single? Give your significant other flowers and chocolate ANY OTHER day. Don’t give in to the dark side. All it is really, is commericalism. An excuse to spend money. Show people you love them all year long. A special day for it isn’t needed. . Go out and have fun tonight. Do it because you want to spend time with your honey, and not because the dang calendar says you have to. That’s my rant for today. I feel better now….


4 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Post Traumatic Stress

  1. I’ll second (or third, as it were) the observation that blogging gives those of us who never were cool a place to speak comfortably.

    We spent our Valentine’s day helping throw a wedding reception for the daughter of some friends of ours, who married her sailor (and the father of her twins) yesterday. The kids got a good lesson in what love’s really all about — which really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with flowers and candy, although both were present in abundance at the reception. They saw people who didn’t know each other decorating the basement of a lady none of us knew well with streamers and construction paper hearts, people bringing food, people sharing pictures and stories and hugs and prayers. I’m so glad that’s going to be the first really clear memory or Valentine’s Day for our two oldest 🙂 Beats the heck out of staring at an empty paper bag, wondering what I did wrong!

  2. I have repressed memories of junior high and high school, not to mention those “prior administrations”. College certainly introduced a new realm of interesting people (as well as a lot of folks whom I realized I had no need to like or emulate). Blogging is giving a whole bunch of people who sat quietly by those days of populatity a voice.
    By the way, after 19 years of marriage, my wife & I joked that I bought the valentines card and she the present. Neither of us had time for both!

    • I know what you mean about time. We’re down to one car, I’m sick with a sinus infection and the kids still have to do their stuff too tonight. We didn’t have time for anything. I agree about blogging giving us a voice. I was having a rather grumpy moment or three when I wrote this- felt good to though. Thanks for sharing! Donna

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