Posted by: drrozkaplan | February 14, 2010

Valentine’s Meditation

Valentine’s Day.  So is this a good day or a bad day for you?  Depressing if you don’t have a ‘Valentine’, I suppose, disappointing if your Valentine isn’t very romantic, elating if you are head-over-heels and you get the whole package.  Me?  Well, I’ve been married a long time, and I’m lucky to have a husband who is still romantic, so we’ll do cards and little gifts and go out to dinner.  But honestly, I see the Hallmark Holiday here, and I know we’re playing into it.  The biggest kick I’ll get will be watching the younger couples in the restaurant trying to ‘do’ Valentine’s day.  Last year, I watched a couple, definitely on a date, early in a relationship, I’d say.  She was underdressed.  I don’t mean not dressed up enough, I mean not enough clothing on.  He was staring at body parts and trying not to grope her under the table.  I was giving my husband a blow-by -blow description, since he couldn’t see what was going on…

This year both my kids have Valentine dates.  My son is up at college, and his girlfriend is visiting.  She goes to another school, but they are together this weekend.  I think they probably celebrated Valentine’s Day last night, since today there is a huge wrestling meet that he will be wrestling in, which means he is starving himself this morning til weigh-in, then wrestling and/or supporting his teammates all day, and then dropping exhausted at the end of the day.  I know his girlfriend is planning on being there to watch, but she has to be back at her own school by tonight.  So last night would have been it.  My son was raised right, though.  He’s very romantic.  I’m sure he gave her chocolate and probably something else, like a little piece of jewelry, and, because he is an artist, he probably made her a card.

My daughter,too, is excited for her first Valentine’s day with a serious boyfriend.  The one who is sweet and sensitive and romantic.  He is taking her out somewhere- he won’t tell her where- and there were texts about whether she liked milk chocolate or dark…  She burned a CD of a video she made for him and created a label with pictures.  I saw her carefully wrapping the CD and something else, and applying heart stickers.

There really is nothing like young love, is there?

It is bittersweet for me, watching all this.  I feel so old!  My kids are having romances, and I am being a voyeur in a restaurant.  Am I jealous?  I mean, I’m not going to be walking around showing a whole lot of skin and getting groped under the table!  And I don’t have all that anticipation that the kids do, of everything still in front of them.  Yes, I’m a little jealous.  But also relieved to be past all that.

Let’s be honest.  It’s really cold out.  I don’t want to be half-naked.  I want to wear sweaters.  And I don’t want to worry if the person I’m with only wants me because I look good .  And I don’t want to have the anguish of wondering how long a relationship will last, or if he’s looking at someone else.  I really do have more important things to think about now, and that’s a really good thing.  Romantic love is good, but I also love my children, and my dogs, and my friends, and assorted relatives.  I have work and writing and myriad other things that occupy my life.  I’ll do my Hallmark Holiday, but it’s only a blip on the screen.

I try to be honest with myself.  If I didn’t have a partner, would today bother me?  Probably a little.  Because having a partner in this difficult, crazy world makes it less difficult and crazy.  And today makes me really think about that.  But the the medical literature tells us that single men and married women are the most depressed and most unhealthy.  Obviously it’s not just about having a partner,especially for women.  It’s about having the right partner and about making it work.  And making it work is WORK.

So if I didn’t have a partner…I guess I would try to celebrate everything else I have- my kids, and friends, and family and dogs and work and writing- and maybe I’d have a party today and give all the people in my life valentines to tell them I love them.  Might as well support Hallmark on this Hallmark Holiday, right?

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