Valentine’s Day is almost here again. Every year, millions of couples do the dance - buy the cards, make the reservations, get the chocolate. Some dances end in tousled sheets, historically mine ended with stamped feet. I never quite got the dance moves down, always tripping on hems, wearing shoes with untied laces. My dance partner would leave unfulfilled and generally the air was of disappointment. Could have been because I worked in restaurants and Valentine’s Day is one of those shit-show nights when deuce after deuce clog up your chit machine. Customers ordering the same things over and over again (another steak…another salmon) become your Valentine’s date. If you are lucky enough to have someone waiting for you at home, by the time you see them you stink and just want a beer. So, I became a little jaded about Valentine’s Day.
I always considered myself quite the romantic. I had an image of myself as a nice guy who cared deeply for his partner, and would do anything for them. I thought “being in a relationship means sticking your neck out and putting someone else’s needs before yours”. And while that is true, age has taught me that I’m actually not the best when it comes to selflessness. I have been in a couple of relationships that ended poorly, and as much as I would like to believe I’m not at fault, I’ve learned that I needed to really work on myself. The person who helped me realize that is the woman with whom I share a life, a house, and now a child. Alia stood beside me as the shop was built. As it grew she backed me without question. But at a point a few years into the business, we realized something wasn’t right with us. It took quite a few months before I finally realized I was putting my business and my success in front of our relationship. Over the last few years I have worked very had to change that, and again Alia was there beside me, supporting the growth of me. She is the best person I could have ever ended up with, and together we have a great life. With the addition of Desmond; a great family.
All this to say I’m not jaded about Valentine’s Day anymore. Yes, it’s a Hallmark holiday. Yes, it’s a bullshit automaton relationship holiday. Yes, it’s not the impulsive romantic gesture you should be doing anyways. But if you think of it as a public holiday celebrating the connection we have with that one person you care deeply about (unless you’re polyamorous, then the group of people you care deeply about), it can be quite a nice day. Think of it like Christmas for people who see each other’s private parts. That doesn’t sound too bad now, does it?
Happy Valentine’s Day! Now get your heart on!