Time To Address Festering Issues In My Long Term Relationship
Please catch my newspaper column each week in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Dayton Daily News and other newspapers across Ohio. Here’s this week’s column:
Dear Valentine’s Day,
Let’s face it: things have not been great between you and me.
With your special day upon us, I feel no better time to discuss the issues we have had over the years.
All that time I was single and you insisted on stocking every grocery store, drug store, flower shop, shopping mall and airport kiosk with cards, pink stuffed bears,stuffed bears, and heart-shaped candies that I knew would not be coming my way. That really hurt.
Showing Up Way Too Early
This way you seem to show up earlier and earlier every year? Yeah, I don’t like that either. Showing up in stores January 2nd? Really? You’re like the party guest who could be a delight to have if you showed up at a socially acceptable time instead of hours before the party is set to begin. How about I see no sign or scent of you until, say, February 1st?
Yes, I must admit, things have been better between you and me the last few years. Since 2011, when I met the man who went on to become my husband, it became drastically less painful to run into you. But here’s the thing, just like the guy I thought I would never get over, there’s very little satisfaction in not needing you anymore.
I wish someone would’ve told me, that when you finally get your forever Valentine, Valentine’s Day no longer matters much.
Perhaps it’s not nice to start calling names, but I can see why some call you a Hallmark holiday.
Taking Charge of This Relationship
Valentine’s Day, the good news for me is I’m now in charge of defining our relationship, not you and your blaring spotlight who seemed to each February shine on the lack of a certain special, deserving someone in my life.
Now, I get to make you about little gifts for my kids, cooking a nice meal for my family, giving extra treats to my pets.
You Can Still Hurt
Not to say you’re totally off the hook.
See, I don’t think I’m the only one who has had a problem with you.
It still pains me to think of the people you’re hurting yet again this year.
The woman who recently lost her husband of many years, who made it through the holidays, only to run smack down into you when she least expects it. She doesn’t need you to remind her of whom and what she’s missing.
The guy who doesn’t have the budget to live up to the media hype of all the flowers and candy he’s supposed to buy. He’s not crazy about you either.
Valentine’s Day, just to show you I’m owning my part in our relationship, I need to do my best to look for and see your redeeming qualities.
Okay, I found one.
The best one.
A day dedicated to love. Love in all shapes, forms and expressions.
What’s not to love about that?
You’ve inspired me to think of my friends Tommy and Sharon who have a family of 3 adopted and one biological sons. Just don’t ask them which is which. Those lines erased the first moment they held each boy in their arms.
You make me smile by thinking of my friend, Lois, who lovingly spends countless hours taking her 92-year-old Mom, Shirley, from doctor to doctor to get her corneas treated so she can see at least a little bit and doing her best to find humor along the way of their medical journey.
My neighbors who are taking such good care of their dog, Lexie, and bring her unexplainable seizures under control. I smile thinking of how they care for their sweet, precious dog.
This is love.
The part of you is welcome all year long.
Can we spend the next 12 months helping me and others remember this is what love is about? This is what is worth celebrating? It will help us all do so much better.
I might just even smile when I run into you next year, which won’t be until February 1st, right?