Ed. Note: I wrote this on Valentine’s Day, even though it won’t be posted until the day after. Just so there’s no confusion.
I have a complicated relationship with Valentine’s Day. I have always professed to hate it, and I do, mostly, but it’s for more complex reasons than I normally admit. I would tell people when asked (and sometimes unprompted) that I deplored the commercial aspects and being told that I have to buy lavish gifts to demonstrate my love. I firmly believed that you could show your love in many different ways at any time of the year, and I didn’t need Hallmark to dictate when I should display my love, damn it. That was all true and sincerely felt, but there was a deeper, darker reason I hated it so much–it’s because it consistently let me down. Yes, even I, as jaded and bitter as I was, I had bought into the promises and dreams Valentine’s day had fed to me, lies, really, during my teenage years and into my twenties. I wanted the romance, to be wined and dined, and to be made to feel like a queen. I wanted happily-ever-after that was the bailiwick of fairy tales and Harlequin Romance novels. When I was in a relationship during those years, even though I would pooh-pooh Valentine’s Day, I would secretly hope that my partner would surprise me with a magical night. It never happened, and each time it didn’t, I became increasingly bitter. Even though I tried to pretend I was fine with having a low-key Valentine’s Day, I wasn’t. In other words, I was a lover scorned being spiteful towards my ex-lover.
During my thirties, I tried to make my peace with Valentine’s Day, even though I dreaded its arrival every year. I was not in a relationship more often than I was, and each Valentine’s Day was a stark reminder that I was single. Our society is very couple-centric, and it’s not like I need another day to shove my alone-ness in my face. I get enough of that wherever I go–you really can’t escape it anywhere. Back in my thirties, I desperately wanted to be in a relationship, although I would have vigorously denied it. I was an independent, strong woman, damn it, and I didn’t need no man or woman to make me complete. Yet, there was something inside me that longed to be one half of a couple. I couldn’t squash the feeling, no matter how hard I tried. So, much of my bluster about Valentine’s Day was because it made me feel my lack of a romantic relationship keenly, and I hated feeling that way.
In my late thirties, I was able to reach more of an equanimity about the day. I still hated the commercial aspects of it and the notion that I needed to be given expensive gifts in order to feel loved. I really hate jewelry commercials because they basically equate all women to very expensive whores, and the diamond industry is bathed in blood, anyway. However, I began to see that I could celebrate love in all its variant forms on Valentine’s Day, and not just romantic love.
I am lucky to have friends and family members I love, not to mention my cat, Shadow. Back in my late thirties, it was Shadow’s brother, Raven, who sadly died two-and-a-half months ago. Raven and Shadow were the loves of my life, and they’re the ones who were with me every day. We were a tight-knit little family, and I was grateful to have them in my life. I still wanted to be in a relationship, but I was more realistic about it. I knew I had a lot of baggage that wouldn’t be easy for someone else to deal with, even though my BFF said the aim was to find someone with complementary luggage.
I didn’t think that person could exist, and I still have my doubts. I’m weird in so many ways, and not all of them are amenable to being with another person. That’s one of my oddities, by the way. I don’t want to live with a romantic partner. I’ve never cohabitated with a lover, and I have no desire to do so. The reason is two-fold. One, I need a lot of space. I’ve spent most of my time alone, and I prefer it that way. I’m an introvert, and I don’t really like talking to other people. There are a few people I can be with and it feels as if I’m by myself (that’s a compliment), but for the most part, being around others is draining to me. Even if I’m enjoying the activity, there’s a part of my mind that wants to go home so I can be in my sweats and lounging on my couch with my cat on me or near by. The second reason is because I’m codependent, so when I’m in a relationship, my mind is focused on the other person to an unhealthy extent. I put that person first, which is not a bad thing in a relationship, but not if it’s detrimental to my mental health.
In addition, I’m not very good at compromising. Again, I think it’s because I’ve lived on my own for so long and because I had to give in all the time when I was younger, so now, I just want to do things my way all the time. I resent having to change my plans for someone else, which is not a good thing if you want to be in a loving relationship.* I either give in all the time or I don’t give in at all, and neither are conducive in a relationship. I know it’s possible to remain two individuals in a relationship, but you do have to consider the other person when you’re making decisions–if you want to be a good partner, that is. You can’t just disappear for days without a word and expect your partner to be fine with it. You certainly can’t make a major purchase such as a house or car without input from the other person. Well, you can, of course, but you shouldn’t.
In addition, romantic relationships are hard work, and I’m not sure I’m willing to put in that kind of work. I have friends who give me emotional support, so, honestly, what I really want is sex. I’ve said this a time or ten, but I would really like a fuck buddy right now. My ideal would be someone I saw two or three times a week. We’d go out to dinner or s/he’d cook for me (and I’d do the dishes, of course), before watching a game and then fucking for hours. Honestly, I would like to have sex every day, but I’m not sure I want that much social interaction with someone I’m just fucking.
The problem is, I’m in my mid-forties, so it sounds juvenile to say I want a fuck buddy. In addition, I don’t want to use the internet to find one. I’ve tried in the past, but it’s an arduous process. I had to slog through hundreds of boring or offensive replies, and there was rarely one that interested me. I’m a snob when it comes to writing, and if someone’s response was filled with typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors, it was an immediate no go. In addition, if someone had no panache as a writer, that was a turn-off as well. Not to mention dick picks. I got plenty of those unsolicited, and my advice to dudes–just fucking don’t. I also got tons of guys who had yellow fever and would gush about how much they loved ‘Oriental’ girls. Even when I explicitly said I didn’t want anyone with an Asian fetish, I would get them.
Side note: Guys, please explain to me how you can read, “Nobody with Asian fetishes and no dick picks” and still talk about how much you loved Asian girls and/or send dick pics? It flummoxed me at the time, but I figured out years later that they probably didn’t read my ad. Once they saw that I was Asian, that was enough for them. The ones who did read it and still proclaimed themselves Asian lovers or sent dick pics, they must have thought they and their cocks were just that special that they could ignore what I said I wanted. Or, they just thought they knew better than I did. Or, they simply didn’t care. None of the explanations showed the respondents in a good light, which was one reason I ignored the vast majority of them.
I know a better way to meet people would be to actually get involved in local events and to allow things to occur organically, but that’s not easy for me to do. I am very much a home-bound person, and I have a hard time interacting with people I don’t know. I’m better at it now than I have been in the past, but it’s still something I have to brace myself to do. Still. Since all I want is sex and–oh, that’s another point I want to make. I say all I want is sex, but that’s not exactly true. I want witty companionship as well (and, yes, I’d like someone who would cook for me, too), and that’s why it’s hard for me to fuck just anybody. I remember when I was in my twenties, I was about to do a threesome (long story, not exactly relevant to this post) with someone I used to fuck and his boyfriend. His boyfriend was tall and slim with dark brown hair that reached his waist, and he was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen in my life. Seriously. I gasped the first time I set eyes on him, and when it became clear that the three of us were going to have a tryst, I was stoked.
However, on the way to my ex-lover’s (let’s call him Bill) place, his boyfriend (let’s call him Ted) started acting like a baby–literally. We stopped for smokes, and Ted said in a baby voice, “Daddy, baby wants his ciggies.” In that moment, I was totally turned off to Ted, no matter how gorgeous he was, and fortunately for him, he stopped that shit right away, or he wouldn’t have gotten any that night. For me, sexiness is heavily connected to intelligence, wittiness, and behavior, which means I can’t fuck just any Tom, Dick, or Harry who comes my way. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, this year my number one resolution would be to get laid.
This year, Valentine’s Day crept up on me without me even realizing it. When I saw all the VD (snicker) posts on Facebook, I was momentarily irritated, but it quickly passed. I’m pleased that it doesn’t mean anything to me this year, either positive or negative. I consider that progress.
*Let’s not even talk about if you’re a parent. The main reason I didn’t have kids is because I didn’t want them, but one of the ancillary reasons is because I’m too selfish. I would be screaming at my kids all day long to get the fuck away with me and to leave me the fuck alone, which isn’t good for a kid, I know that much.