Every year I try to prepare myself for the horror that is Valentine’s Day. I try to come up with a game plan. For how to handle it in a way that helps me not feel inadequate, unlovable, and downright defective. I know rationally that this day is a social construct and means nothing. I believe that monogamy, marriage, and everything else that is so highly upheld in our society is also a meaningless social construct. I have come to accept that I don’t fit into that ideal and I never will. I have intimacy issues. I get bored easily. I have mental health problems that affect my ability to have healthy romantic relationships. And, finally I realize that monogamy, marriage, and happily ever after isn’t even what I want anymore.
So why was I not mentally prepared for all the emotional distress that the holiday would bring? Because years of social conditioning are hard to reverse. Because I don’t fall in love with the types of guys who buy flowers and chocolates, express emotional accolades, or take their special someone out for this special day. I fall in love with assholes. I date assholes. I fuck assholes. And I find them thoroughly more enjoyable than “nice guys”.
My game plan this year was to celebrate the loving relationships I have and not have any expectations in return. I made Valentines for my son and my two boyfriends. Then on February 14th, 2017 at 3 am in the morning my 7-year old son woke up, went to the bathroom, and started puking. I tried to get back to sleep. But, instead I laid in bed 2 hours, until he woke and puked some more. I called in to work and hunkered down to make the best of it and be there for my most special Valentine.
I decided I might as well get into the holiday spirit. After all this year is different. I accept myself as a polyamorous, masochistic submissive. I accept my boyfriend for the imperfect man he is. Thus, I thought I could handle the romantic comedies. Bride Wars had me in tears before 10 am and there were still hours left in the day. My anxiety started to build. I felt that old familiar feeling inside. A message that says, getting married is what validates you as a woman. I am going to be 37 this year. I married my son’s father because he demanded we do it after we purposely got pregnant together after dating for four tumultuous months. I don’t need to tell you how long that lasted. That was almost ten years ago. The whole get-your-love-life-together-and-on-track-like-everyone-else ship has passed and my last attempt at it rendered me a single mother of a child with mental health problems.
By the end of the second romantic comedy, I had eaten two breakfasts, two lunches, and the little amount of candy available in my home. I also had been waiting to hear from my boyfriend and was losing my patience. My attachment related anxiety was already at an 8. There were still several hours left in this horrible, horrible holiday.
My boyfriend did text me and wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day, but it didn’t look like I would be seeing him at all that day. My anxiety turned into hateful anger. I said a lot of mean things. Even as I texted them I knew my anxiety was controlling me. I felt that feeling in my gut that I felt justified in my anger but at the same time couldn’t pinpoint why I was so upset. I changed my movie selection to horror, much more fitting to my mood.
Later, Sir called and asked me why I was so upset. I tried to focus on a rational reason, but quickly reverted to lashing out in anger, nearly breaking up with him, and, for the grand finale, the whiny, crying voice as I desperately tried to get my anxiety resolved. He promised he would come see me the next day and told me I could have anyone over that night to keep me company. I got permission to have the 23 yr old who had been banned from fucking me. He quickly got off the phone. As I hung up I wondered had I subconsciously manipulated the entire situation just to get my way? The anxiety was so high I stopped at the store for chocolates, candy, and junk food. I barely stopped eating the rest of the night
My mother, who I have been avoiding, stopped by to bring me a rose. I held myself together. She couldn’t be trusted with my self-pity. She brought me a red rose. This was sweet, but then came the punchline. “I only got you one, not your sister. Because she has a boyfriend and you don’t.” Passive aggressive behavior is the weapon of choice in my family. My boyfriend, my Sir will never be accepted as a legitimate romantic partner to them. Even my sister is still holding out for me to settle down with that one nice guy who will marry me and take care of me. It’s hard not to get sucked in to that, but I stood up for myself. “I do have a boyfriend,” I said, ” He just isn’t here or romantic.” There was no room for her pity, because my self-pity was all I could bear. She stayed long enough to comment that I had lost a lot of weight in my “upper body”, mostly my boobs. This is why I have problems with female friendships. Because my own mother can so covertly tear me down with what sounds like a compliment.
While I waited for the 23 year old to come and fuck the shit out of me. I discovered via Facebook that my sister’s boyfriend proposed to her on Valentine’s Day. I was happy for her, but cried for myself. For the loss of that dream. That is a huge part of growing up and growing older. We grieve the loss of dream after dream. Who knows maybe someday my Sir will be brave enough to pin me down with a trinket and a piece of paper. Maybe it will be a ring and marriage, but I would be just as satisfied with his collar around my neck and a promise to be there as long as it makes us both happy. Right now, we have our hands full balancing D/s, polyamory, and vanilla life. We both have our own brand of intimacy issues. When I get this way he wants to run away from it all. He said it makes him afraid cause he can’t control me. I tell him he mostly can and when he can’t I am getting stronger and better at controlling myself. I tell him I don’t want to walk on eggshells for him, trying not to scare him away. As I say it I know that anyone who loves me has to do the same, just in a different way.
It felt 10 times harder to be human on Valentine’s Day this year. I hope I don’t underestimate the power this stupid day has over me ever again. I do have to say though that the next best thing to flowers, chocolates, and jewelry from the man you love, is being fucked hard and fast by a hot 23 year old. I may not fit into societal ideals of love and relationships. I may have let that pressure turn me into a crazy woman for the day. But, hey, at least I kept it sexy in the end.