Sunday, January 30, 2011

once a lonely catterpillar sat and cried

I used to not like Valentine's Day. As evidenced by this journal entry I wrote my freshman year of college:

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I don't know why it should bother me so much; it's just another day. I guess Valentine's Day is like a magnifying glass to enlargen what loneliness I have that I could otherwise overlook. I live every day single, and most of the time I'm happy with it. But Valentine's Day finds that itty bitty speck of "I want something more" and points at it, laughing. I hate the microscope of Valentine's Day, magnifying my imperfect and flawed emotions and relationships. I don't have a man. I don't have someone to send me flowers through CPO and tell me my hair smells good. There is no masculine arm around my shoulders and no one looks dreamily into my eyes across a plate of chicken nuggets in the cafeteria. I am single. And on Valentine's Day I feel like couples look on me with pity, as if I have the plague.
"Look at the leper," Brenda Sue says to Maurice.
"Don't touch," Maurice says, holding Brenda's hand. "She's one of them."
Then I can hear Brenda Sue distastefully click her tongue and mutter "poor thing" as they turn away to gorge themselves on candy hearts.
I'm single. Saying that on Valentine's Day carries the same ring to it as walking down the streets proclaiming, "Unclean!" What can I do to comfort myself on Valentine's Day?

Following this entry is a tiny candy heart drawn in the corner, with the words written in it, "YOU SUCK."

If Present Me were to visit Past Me (who, at the time would be Present Me and Present Me would be Future Me), Past/Present Me would think Present/Future Me was some sort of pastry-puff shell filled with fluffy cream filling, because I, Future Me then who is now Present Me, like Valentine's Day.

Some people, and with every right, think Valentine's Day is a bunch of hooey. They argue, why have a single day to celebrate love when every day should be an example of cherishing one another? I think this is true. We should live every day in appreciation of our loved ones, showing them how much we treasure them with little post-its on their mirrors and flower petals by their cereal bowls. Aw.

But there's a day to sit down and be thankful, when shouldn't we be thankful all year round? And there's a day to celebrate Jesus' birth and His resurrection, when shouldn't we be celebrating Immanuel, He's ALIVE, all year round?

We are, and we do, in fact. But these days let us do it with a little more pizazz, and a lot more food.

So I like Valentine's Day. Maybe because it's just another excuse to bake cupcakes and make pink frosting, like people use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to get drunk on green beer. I like love. I like hearts. I like sugar.

Past Me is writhing on the floor clasping her throat in agony, as with every word I kill just a little bit more of her.

I don't have a significant other, and, actually, I never have over Valentine's Day. But I do have people I love, and I do have a heart, so why not put it on paper and send it off? Who says V-Day has to be specifically saved for romance?

(Actually I think "romance" is in the very definition of Valentine, but life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter, so don't bring around a cloud and rain on my parade.)

From now until Valentine's Day I plan to think of all the things and people I love, and why I love them and am grateful for them, and I will do it all while eating heart-shaped cookies. WITH SPRINKLES.


Laura said...

I cannot fully and adequately explain to you how much I love everything in this post. From the freshman quote that sounds like something I would have written back then (plus the friendly little heart drawing!) to the Fanny Brice moment. Love it.

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