[Originally written 2.13.09]
Before presenting this year’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Sentiments™, I wanted to reiterate the fact that I have actually felt this way for quite some time now, despite what some people may think. There are no signs that I am lonely, jealous, bitter or any of that other bullshit that you placate yourself with to feel as though somehow you are better than me. If you would like to make an attempt to call me out, please bring your skank ass to Philadelphia, as I would take great pleasure in ripping that kindergarten art project off your head [and hope some roots come out with it], knock you off your platforms and introduce you to the grit and grime of the Hostile City. That way, you can truly be the reeking piece of trash that you are, and baby girl, ain’t nothing glamorous about that.
Reading back on the entries from years past myself, I know that not much has changed in the six years I have expressed my disdain of V’Day in blog form. That certainly doesn’t cover the four years of high school in which my punk friends and I protested the blatant celebration which occurred in those hallways. Still get a kick out of the fights that ensued because one girl was carrying roses from multiple suitors and that was the moment young men discovered they were not the ‘one and only’ in her life, or the spoiled brats who cried because they did not get what they were hoping for.
The hardest part of reflecting on past memories was the time I had spent with my best friend Jon. It will be almost three years since he passed, and many moments I find myself expecting him to send me an e-mail out of the blue, telling me that he has missed me and can’t wait to see me again. Losing Jon was totally soul crushing, and it took a long time for that pain to go away. For the most part, I tried not to talk about it, because quite frankly it was really that hard to even form words without convulsing into tears. There were moments I did what I could to keep from dwelling on thoughts of him, but that made me feel worse because I wanted to honor his memory in a variety of ways.
Now I have the ability to look back on these good times with fondness, even if there is still a hint of tears in my eyes. One must understand that I was truly in love with him, which is something we knew without ever really having to talk about it. In fact, I often expressed that no one would get it unless they knew us, but to be honest, there might be a few individuals who can truly appreciate the bond that we shared.
Of course I am currently in a much different place than when I first came to the Hostile City, and even more so since I cut all those toxic people out of my life. Unsurprising, they have continued on with their fakeness, never once stopping to ask where I have been or what I have been doing or any of those things one would expect from real friends. A younger version of myself would have sent angry e-mails demanding an explanation – and yes, I have talked shit, but I have also kept that in the open because I have nothing to hide. This entry is not about those things, however, but I just wanted solid evidence that I honestly have no time to care since I moved on with my life.
There are many reason I wasted time on other people who I thought I loved, and those situations turned out to be very different from what I wanted them to be. Which I suppose can be seen as lessons – while these things were not easy when I was going through them, it is difficult to deny that they have made me a stronger, better person. In the past I lamented in written word how much I wanted to be with someone who was genuine. Someone I could laugh and cry with. Someone that understood me and appreciated me for who I am. So many things that at one point I began to doubt even existed all in one person. Foolishly, I kept focusing on the wrong things, mainly outward appearances, and continued missing the mark when it came to being in love.
To me, there is a big difference when it comes to love and being in love. You can love your relatives and friends and a whole bunch of intangible things like songs and movies and whatnot. You can have love for someone and not be in a relationship with them. That is where I kept finding myself – giving love without really feeling like I was head-over-heels, and subsequently there was always an emptiness inside. Being totally in love with Jon is something that will always be uncomparable, and part of me loves him still. He was my best friend for six years, and that doesn’t get erased just because he is no longer here. There will always be memories of all those good times we had together, as it is the best way I can celebrate his life. For a long time, the void that was created by his death lingered. Attempts were made to fill it, but in the end, I couldn’t stop myself from feeling incomplete. Perhaps this is just the way things are meant to be, so I might as well just deal with it and move forward. That’s what Jon would have wanted.
The one thing that hasn’t change, is my total disgust for feeling like I must participate in this thing called Valentine’s Day. Since I am a semi-hermit these days, I have not been bombarded by what I like to call the Invasion of the Gooey Pink, i.e. cards, stuffed animals, boxes of chocolate and other assorted items that carry the colors of red, pink and/or white along with images of hearts, cupid, roses, etc. However, as I am typing this entry [on Live Journal], there is an advertisement staring me in the face suggesting that I send a virtual rose. Why is this a focal point of just one day? To me, it’s like cramming ‘Christmas Joy’ down people’s throats during that whole corporate-based season and pretending that we actually give a shit about each other. While I can appreciate the half-assed attempt to maintain some sort of consistency with the celebration of these supposed ‘holidays’ [which by the way were inventions of the Christians to detract from Pagan worship], there is little to no meaning attached to the materialistic items now associated with them.
Perhaps as my old school punk roots dictate, I am still disgusted by the mass-produced bullshit that fills stores and entices customers to purchase. It takes little to no effort to choose a card written by someone else to express your own feelings. What is with all this stuffed animal crap? Sure, there are some people into that, I suppose, but I am almost thirty. Things like that have no appeal to me, so why do I have to see it every time I walk into a store? Don’t even get me started on flowers and jewelry and whatnot.
To me, it doesn’t make sense to equate how much someone loves you with how much stuff they buy for you, whether it be for V’Day or any other reason. That is what has bothered me most about this whole alleged ‘holiday’. Why is it not enough to just tell someone those three little words? Is it because they have been said countless time before, and if they are not expressed in some sort of materialistic form, you cannot have evidence that it exists? If this is what you are basing your relationship on, honey, you need a serious reality check.
Love is knowing that you are loved. Being told is an extra bonus that puts a smile on your face.
Love is enjoying everything about your partner, because it’s what makes them who they are. Focusing on certain points to create the relationship you want is just living in Fantasy Land.
Love is looking into their eyes and getting lost in how intense they are.
Love is being held close at times and being distant at others, so that you have an opportunity to truly appreciate what you have.
Love is knowing that you can ask for anything without being lectured, and occasionally being spoiled because it makes your partner feel good to see you happy.
Love is elusive, and doesn’t come pre-packaged, ready for purchase at your local store. It cannot be bought, for investing in people is far more valuable than most will ever realize.
Too many people think they love each other and have very little in common, but stay in the relationship “because I love him/her”. The sad reality is, while the sentiment may be genuine, if one is not truly in love, there will never be the great reward of an entirely satisfying relationship. It took many years and lots of failure for me to realize this, and while I am proud to admit my faults, there is no reason to linger upon them any longer.
Today, I will continue to celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day, dressing up in all black as I have done in previous years, and I do it to honor the memory of my dear friend Jon, along with all of the things that I enjoyed about him. It is a tradition that I have upheld for several years and will continue to do so because it is what I believe in and worth putting my effort into.