Thursday, February 14, 2008

Opalescent Pocket Lint

A girl in a coffee shop at a table by herself is an interesting sight, plucking away on a laptop, especially on a day like today.

It's Valentines. It seems hard to acknowledge little else even if you try. Everywhere there are people in love and today is the day you're the most acutely aware of it whether you're one of them or not.

It's also my mission birthday. I got a plane in Dulles to come home 7 years ago today. So naturally it's a more than a little difficult to ignore today and all its implications in my life so I've decided to admit to all of them and embrace them, prickly or not.

I don't have a valentine. I have a beautiful circle of people who love me, but no valentine. This saddens me. Not down the levels of black lipstick and Mazzie Star, but no matter how loud my inner Oprah charged feminist screams "I don't need to love anyone or anyone to love me but me (which I do)" it doesn't change the fact that there aren't any flowers for me somewhere and it doesn't change the fact that it hurts. It hurts every year, every time I think about it. No matter how much I have willed that fact to go away it remains. My capacity to shoulder the pain has increased but the hurt still there. Every time. Every year. I've concluded that its because no amount of self help reading or paradigm surgery can change The Programming. I'm of the XX chromosomal persuasion. I'm a woman and it is not meet for me to be alone. Those are just the facts and I need to deal with them.

I heard this song the other day on the Hotel Cafe site that had a seemingly trite lyric but now comes to mind -

"girls need attention and boys need us"

So no matter how many cards from mom, or "True Love" conversation hearts from friends, a girl at a table by herself who isn't meeting anyone will still look up every time the door opens with just a little bit of hope, not matter what day it is.

I've cursed the fairy tales whose fault I've thought it is that I should have a happily ever after. Tori says they've poisoned me. If I didn't know of a Happily Ever After I wouldn't want one right? The logic seemed sound. So I shut off the Barbara Streisand movies, hugged my Jane Austen tight and busied myself with errands, chores, hobbies, work and school. But dissonant living is a terrible thing. To be about one thing but talk yourself into another is right out. I was an idealistic hypocrite because even then, I still looked up when the door opened. I was praying to be proved wrong. I desperately wanted to be wrong which meant that I was on the right track before. Because, in all actuality, the fairy tales don't lie. They're true. Life isn't nearly as well dressed and there aren't any FX personnel on the set, but people do fall in love and stay there. It’s possible. It’s real. It happens everywhere all the time and it’s the most beautiful thing this life has to offer. It’s the best part of us and a head-in-the sand stance on the issue isn't nearly as therapeutic as I once thought. I was painfully wrong because I've found that whether you love or hate the fairy tale, Valentines day still comes and I still look up when someone comes in the door.

I love today.

I love it because I love the fact that I get to tell people I love that I love them. I love the fact that we take a day to think about each other and what we mean to each other. I love the novel chocolate and acceptable frills. I love the fact that the more tulle and fake dew drops on the silk roses the more packed it is with accolades and devotion. I love how people sometimes screech the brakes of their lives and schedules and run to hug the person they might take for granted the rest of the year. I love all of that.

I just wish, a wee bit of it was mine to have instead to observe.
I'd love a single flower and a kitchen slow dance after work. I'd love an obnoxious cross-eyed stuffed bear from an off ramp vendor with a greasy hand print on it from my breathless fella.
I'd love to see that searching, love filled look he might have after giving over said cross eyed bear and being able to give him one in return.

And it’s OK to want that.
It doesn't make me weak or pathetic or needy.
It just makes me a woman.
A woman who needs to be needed.

A woman who still looks up every time the door opens, just for a second, hoping, just for a second, at a corner table by herself and deciding to stop resenting herself for it.

1 comment:

Liz W. said...

Oh, Liz, I hear ya, sister...