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Dreaded Valentine's Day




For a person who's so astute about the motives and actions of others, I'm blind as a bat when it concerns myself and my life. Isn't that always the case?


Right now, I'm in a very sour mood. February is a BAD month for me: that's when I celebrate my deceased parents' birthdays and the anniversary of my mother's death with one of the worst days wedged in-between -



VALENTINE'S DAY


I HATE Valentine's Day. This is one day I dread worse than my birthday. Don't get me started on that... Upon reflection, here I go:

My family kinda dropped the ball on my birthday when I was teen-ager. It doesn't mean to say they didn't stop celebrating theirs. AU CONTRAIRE. Only mine. Hurt, neglected, I didn't say a word until my mid-twenties, when my birthday came and went another year with no happy wishes, let alone any recognition or acknowledgement from my family.

"Suck it in. You're an adult," said my mother.

"Easy enough for you to say," I told her.

"What do you mean?"

"Let's see: we celebrate YOUR birthday, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, your wedding anniversary and Hanukkah." My mother nodded. "Let's see what we celebrate for me... NOTHING." I looked at her with tears welled in my eyes. "It would be nice if my own family acknowledges my existence, let alone shows they're glad I'm alive. Just for one day a year. Just one."

Just to nudge the envelope a bit more, I stopped celebrating all her days. Oh, she got the message all right. That's when I received the first of my annual 99 cent birthday cards until she became terminally ill.

Still, nothing makes me feel as shitty as

Valentine's Day.

It's my black hole. My litmus test. For that day my unsuccessful relationships are thrust in my face, showing me my aptitude for finding unavailable men - either emotional, physical or mental.

The most memorable gift I ever received was from a guy who squirmed in delight as I unwrapped a heavy package in my parent's living room.

Stunned, I said, "A cheese platter?"

My mother sniffed, "Well, that's definitely non-committal."

The guy said, "I know how much you LOVE cheese!"

I said to my mother, "Do you think this Edam would look good as an earring?"

No other guy made the effort to get me anything remotely close to that which I love as much as I do cheese.

Now I'm on pins and needles waiting for Valentine's Day to see what's in store with my current boyfriend. I already gave subtle hints posted on FB: mortgage payments, new choppers, vaginal botox and Jockey camisoles. But, he surprised me in advance and gave me the gift that counts: he posted on FB that he's in a relationship with me. This is a biggie because that's all I ever wanted: to be acknowledged and appreciated from a man who's happy and proud to have me in his life. He made me cry today, knowing precisely what I wanted.

Although I wasn't kidding about those gifts.




Valentine's Day Cookies at The Bake House, Kauneonga Lake, NY


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