So, you know things are bad on the relationship front when the most exciting thing you have planned on Valentines Day is to change into your old clothes after arriving home from work and going to mow the lawn.
I know, the best I could do for Valentines flowers was to cut them out of the garden.
Yep, that was it. My evening on Valentines. A bit sad, eh? It could be, I guess, but I suppose it really just depends on how you look at it.
Yeah, I know, none of you have ever experienced that.
If you measure success by the presence of a relationship then I suppose I am terribly unsuccessful and that is terribly sad. If you measure your value by the presence of a significant other then I suppose I am not so valuable either and that would be even worse.
But to me it is neither. My current status is simply a part of life's journey which provides me with time and opportunity to focus on other things. Relationships with significant others do demand an enormous amount of time investment. In economic terms, they can sometimes be a huge opportunity cost. I think in my life to date, my largest opportunity cost was my marriage. That's probably a highly politically incorrect statement but I think for many women it is probably true, even though we don't say it out loud.
So while enjoying the evening air and the view of my garden, I have come to the conclusion that there are a few things that I have decided I totally do not miss that are frequent occurrences on the relationship front.
The first one I refer to as the butterfly syndrome. I have had enough relationship drama in my life time to know that often a 'significant other' is more interested in what they stand to gain by having you in their life than simply an interest in sharing their life with you and vice versa. And so there is so much effort put into the chase and catch which is soon followed up by the 'lock them up' and put them on show when other people are watching.
You know the desire to catch a butterfly and place it in a jar. The jar soon becomes the place that causes them to loose their lustre because they have lost their ability to fly free.
Yes I know, that has never actually happened to any of you. You all speak your minds when you are not happy with something. The problem only arises when you begin to withdraw your voice from the circumstances and that eventually will also cost you your power.
The second is those who see you as the clay from which they can create their ideal partner or as close to it as they figure they can get. And after all the pruning, one day you look in the mirror and you wonder who the hell that is, looking back at you. I know, that has never happened to any of you either.
My experiences have taught me that there are very few people who have the courage to love the person they're with and see and appreciate them for who they are. In order to do that we need to first love ourselves.
For once, I would like to share my time with someone who sees and values me not what they hope to get out of me, even when I am in my overalls and covered with paint or experimenting with power tools,
Perhaps that is the largest case of wishful thinking there is.
In this day and age, I am beginning to wonder if there are people out there who can still do that?
So that is my little contribution to Valentines Day cynicism, but since there are so few of you who identify, let's leave it there and hope next year will be better...
So here's to the flowers, teddy bears (no, the damn bear needs to go), chocolates and other trinkets on Valentines Day.
Having someone make you feel special will never get old.