The big deal is that at the age of 35, I have never, EVER had a true Valentine or Valentine's Day. Yes, I've had boyfriends that endured during and past that date but never, EVER was one a true Valentine.
My mantra my entire dating life has been "Well, maybe next year."
In the beginning of my life as a dating woman, at around the age of 18, I had a boyfriend (if you can really call him that) who I met while I was in college. See, my good friend at the time and I hated being on campus so we would always wonder off to downtown DC or Georgetown or the local mall for a some air and coffee. We always frequented the Espresso Bar at Nordstrom (why do all my roads lead to and from that place?) where we would order mochas and sit and people watch and chat. There was a handsome young barista there named Mohammed who we eventually got to know. He was dark and exotic and a little dangerous. Long story short, we started "talking" or rather he would page me on my hi-tech pager (which was the equivalent of a cell phone back in the day) and I would call him back, and we would talk for hours on end. My pager buddy and I went on in this fashion for about a year, at which time I moved off campus and back home, which was a whole four miles from where I went to school. I had no idea what a "real" relationship was like so I considered him my boyfriend, although we never really went out on dates. You see he was Palestinian and Muslim and I was (and still am) NOT Palestinian and AM Catholic. So to go out on dates with him would break his poor mother's heart and my mother's as well! This made it all the more enticing and exciting. I can see now that it was a very immature relationship, but I was young and he was the first boy to care enough to page me.
On Valentine's Day evening (we didn't go anywhere of course and I didn't get so much as a card or an acknowledgment that it was a special day) we were talking late into the night as per usual and he asked me if it was OK if he told me he loved me. Of course, I was over the moon and said yes. So that was my first Valentine's Day with a boy. Exactly one year later, as we were talking on Valentine's Day, he dumped me for an arranged marriage his family had set up with a Jordanian woman who was also his cousin. And that was my second Valentine's Day with a boy.
After Mohammed, I didn't have any Valentine's Days for a few years. Then, when I was 22, I started dating Kurt. Kurt was the exact opposite of Mohammed. Kurt was very, very tall and very, very blond. My relationship with Kurt lasted a few months, from December until September, but it wasn't at all very serious. We met up once a week (usually on Sunday) for a movie and dinner or some other activity and that would be that. If I knew at the time that I was a booty call, I wouldn't have let it continue for the 9 months that it did. And I'm not going to lie. I did love him. But if my past experiences are any indication, I'm a complete idiot when it comes to love and being loved. And we didn't have a Valentine's Day because he was off in Amsterdam with his best buddy Eric that year. That made me sad, and that was the first year I ever said "Maybe next year." But Kurt was a good enough guy. He never lied to me or pretended to feel more than he did. We even remained good friends for years after our breakup, and that friendship was better than the actual relationship.
After Kurt, I was admittedly heartbroken (although I never let him know that throughout our friendship) and didn't resume dating for some time. Sure, I went out briefly with some guys, but none were boyfriends, and none were Valentines.
Then came Brian in 2005. I was 27 and more than ready for a real honest to goodness Valentine. The first year Brian and I were together, we did have a Valentine's Day. It consisted of ME going over to his apartment in Bethesda, ME buying the pizza, and ME renting The Notebook. There were no cards or flowers, just our usual movie date courtesy of my bank account. And that was the one and only Valentine's Day we had together. The next six years of our relationship, he was in Wisconsin and most likely busy being his wife's Valentine. And he sent me a card in the mail. And every year I would say "Maybe next year." I just knew that eventually we would be reunited and have a real Valentine's Day. But that, of course, never happened.
Travis doesn't care about Valentine's Day. He asked me once what I wanted for Valentine's Day, but it was a half-hearted attempt to please me as we walked by the Hallmark store already brimming with pink and red cards and that cute but stupid Cupig stuffed toy. And since then he seems to not really want to be my Valentine at all, which makes me sad. We have no plans, which I understand because of his job, but then it seems like he gets moody about the whole idea of Valentines Day or angry that such a day even exists. I already have two cards for him that I bought weeks ago in anticipation of what could've been my first real Valentine's Day. I don't know what I should do with them since it looks like we aren't celebrating it. I got a cute one with a pug on it and I ordered one from Shutterfly with a picture of us from Christmas Day. And since no one I know reads this blog, I feel like I can get teary about it here rather than in real life.
Travis brings me flowers all the time and does special things for me on a regular basis, so he's a wonderful boyfriend. All the things men save for one day, February 14, Travis does on any given day, any given month. And I love him for it. But I must confess that it breaks my heart that here I am with someone so lovely and I STILL won't have a Valentine's Day. I don't want ANY gifts or a fancy dinner or any of that stuff.
I just want to be someone's Valentine.
I want someone to Be Mine and I want to be someone's.
I miss being loved by someone and hearing it. I miss that more than I can even express.
Maybe next year.