Why I hate Valentines Day - By Erren H...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
For the last few weeks, every time I see a commercial on TV for Valentine's Day, I huff or make some sort of sound of discontent. Wayne asked me every time - 'What is your problem with Valentine's Day??' I would just shrug it off and move on from the question leaving it unanswered. Wayne is not a fan of the holiday. He thinks it should be done away with altogether, so he's never pushed the issue.
Last week, I made a halfhearted attempt at making reservations for a Valentine's Day dinner. I called a few places, and was told each time that they would have a set Valentine's Day menu and it would be so much per head. It felt like a bad school dance and I envisioned tacky hearts and flowers decorating the restaurants. I just couldn't bring myself to book a table. I was really annoyed by this because I really wanted to make a change and actually do something for Valentine's Day, but the bottom line is - I hate the damned holiday and after much reflection, here's why...
I met my ex-husband when I was 20 years old. Up until then, Valentine's days in the past were tainted by one boyfriend that was a cheat and another that was absent from them because he left for the service very early into our 2 year, long distance relationship. So When I met my ex-husband, I had high hopes for a change, but soon found out that he hated the holiday and saw no need to conform and spend money on a day that was just like any other (much like Wayne feels about it) .
While we were together - every year, I'd see all the other girls I worked with getting their flowers, candy and romantic dinners, but I never got even a card. The more I made a fuss about it - the more defiant he got and it was a source of contempt between us every year for our entire relationship that spanned nearly a decade.
I have tried to blame my hatred for the holiday on him and his stubborn ways, but that's not all there is to it - early into our relationship, there was one Valentine's day that was much more painful than any other and it had nothing to do with him (not really anyway).
I was working in a department store at the local mall. Throughout my workday, all of the girls I worked with got their flowers delivered to them and candy and balloons and all of the other shiny red and pink tacky stuff you would expect. As always, my ex didn't get me anything. All day, I was really bothered by this and when the girl I was sharing my shift with got a dozen long stemmed roses delivered - I left in a huff to go on my dinner break and that's when it happened...
I turned a corner, and there he was - The love of my life (no, not my ex-husband, but the man that came before him. The man I'd been in love with from the moment I met him. The man that broke my heart when he married another woman). There he was, walking through the mall carrying a large teddy bear and big bunch of shiny balloons that said things like 'I love you' on them (all intended for his wife & mother of his baby). It was crushing. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't because he was headed towards me and I couldn't let him see me cry. My heart sank as he got closer. He spotted me and was visibly startled. As he passed, he looked at me with that apologetic look I'd seen so many times before - with big sad eyes and narrowed lips and I wonder what went through is mind at that very moment because he looked as if it broke his heart too...
I'm sure I went and cried it off somewhere, hiding in a corner with a pack of cigarettes until I had to go back to work. I'm sure the argument between my ex-husband and I was particularly bad that year and I'm sure it's a day that will stay with me and it's why I have always hated Valentines Day. I guess there are some things that we just don't forget.

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