Valentine’s Day and The Single Senior

 Valentine’s Day and The Single Senior

     Valentine’s Day was always an important holiday for me. It meant candy and cards. When I was in elementary school, my mother would buy me an oversized cardstock book illustrated with cupids, flowers, hearts, and birds. I punched out the Valentine cards from the perforations and agonized over which classmate got which card. Candy hearts with the printed messages would be included in the envelopes. I would receive a card from almost everyone in the class. These were delivered to a special Valentine’s Day mailbox that we made in school. It was unmitigated bliss. It was all about friendship and crushes.

     Valentine’s Day was ruined for me in 2002. My husband decided that was the day to tell me he had rented an apartment and our marriage was over.

     The first few Valentine’s Days after that, I was without any date or beau. It was very lonely. No flowers, no dinner out, no candy, no occasion to wear a new skimpy nightgown. The next few Valentine’s Days I was seeing a fellow, but we weren’t exclusive. He lived in Scottsdale and worked half the month in Chicago. Naturally he was always out of town for V Day. No card, no flowers.

     There were a few more years of V Day alone. I’d learned to buy an engrossing mystery book or do a complicated craft project.

     Last year I finally had a beau who lived in town. We’d been going out for seven months, so I was excited about celebrating with him. He had told me about hiring singers, when he was married, to serenade his wife in a local restaurant. Nothing like that happened, but it felt good to be with someone who wanted to be with me. That relationship has gone by the wayside. I found out that sincerity is in the eye of the beholder.

     This year I again have a beau, but he got lucky. He doesn’t have to worry about coming up to my unrealistic expectations for Valentine’s Day. I’m going to be out of town at a writers’ conference. I think we both lucked out.


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