Friday, February 13, 2009

Days of wine and roses and disappointments

Valentine Day is second only to Christmas Day for disappointing people.

When I supervised junior highs and high schools dances,there were always young people in tears by the end of the evening. Something between the expectations and the reality did not align. All the fuss and the dressing up and the decorations and the hopes and dreams would invariably come crushing down at the end of the evening. Even if just one person was crushed, everyone else would go to her rescue, (yes, usually girls) and spend the rest of the evening in the bathroom. Some people had their hearts broken just by watching one of their friend's heart being broken. Valentine Dances were the worst.

What our hearts wish is always bigger and grander than what our lives can provide. We dream big dreams, wish upon stars, buy lottery tickets because we want to believe that our dreams will come true.

By the time I got home after these events, usually the last person to leave the ship as the administrator in charge, I would ponder these things and wonder why. I would train myself to avoid expectations, and be happy with whatever. By the time I arrived at home, things had changed.

When my wonderful man produced the usual chocolates and flowers, feeling proud and happy to have remembered to stop at the various shops on his way home, he got a tepid thank you from a tired, overworked wife.

Honey, did you have a hard day?

I just supervised sixhundred teens during a Valentine Dance. Nobody got what they wanted in that place. You know why? Valentine is overrated. Why? Because you guys follow the same script, every detail. How about giving us tickets to Paris or Venice?

Well, why didn't you tell me?.

Well, if I have to tell you, it won't be a gift from you.


Natalie said...

I agree, R.
The young are especially vulnerable to these things, and yes dreams are more often than not,grander than reality.

It is a shame. It is the blatant commercialism that annoys me the most.

I have found however,that people who are loving everyday,are the ones that 'do' Valentines Day in the spirit of what dreams are made of.


lakeviewer said...

Well said.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Such a good post and so true. Even as an adult I have been disappointed many times by my spouse -- not the current one, but prior to this marriage. Seems like we girls would learn not to get our expectations raised. It's probably true that women are from Venus and men are from Mars.

Mary said...

My two girls have renamed valentines day as 'dooms day'. Sad really, all they are doing is protecting themselves against the disappointment of not being someones special person on that given day. I hate V.D. I hate it that the one who supposedly loves you more than life itself thinks that an over priced piece of cardboard with 3 roses sticking out of it, bought at the last minute while you were lugging the shopping trolley with wonky wheels all around the shopping center,represents their undying devotion. I say, prove it by helping with the dishes every night and taking out the garbage as all men are pre-destined to do (the last bit is a bit of a stretch;))

Now Venice sounds nice!

lakeviewer said...

Cheryl, no explanation could ever be valid enough to excuse the behavior. I say, regardless of our predisposition, we ought to go out of our way to declare our unconditional love, especially when there are expectations.

Mary, good to see you. Yes, you said beautifully,Valentine is now a dreaded day. We ought to start something else, like Suprise Your Loved One week, chosen at random, and shared only by the individuals. No. There is no cure for this ahead of time.

Matawheeze said...

The part about disappointments? Well said, though we all must learn to cope with those as we grow up.

As an adult married woman I don't play guessing games with my husband nor expect his male mind to read my female one. Gift lists work, no disappointments there. And when I get his home made offerings of card or tissue paper flowers I praise exceedingly, recognizing his love and training him to continue expressing it.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Wisdom indeed, lakeviewer - Today and yesterday I have sent wishes to my readers, because I feel strongly that so many feel left out and unloved (even those of us in relationships!). People should not feel that much pressure, nor do we need to depend on a significant other, or a card, for our happiness...

Anil P said...

Do expectations ruin surprises while allowing for disapointment?

How things change as we age.

It must have been very difficult for you as well to watch over them while they hurt. Only they'll ever know how the hurt changed them i it did.

Amy said...

Lovely post.

I have experienced many a sad Valentine's Day. The bad ones began in my high school years and ended when I divorced after 14 years of misery. By that time, I'd learned to disregard the day completely and any feelings I did have for it were ones of contempt.

Now I have a partner who makes every day a Valentine just by being completely shameless in showing his love for me. I'm getting the love every day that I used to hope I'd get once a year.

I consider myself one lucky girl.

My wish is that every person will find their Every Day Valentine and settle for nothing less. The world is an entirely different shade of blue when you do.

lakeviewer said...

M, You've got a great guy.

Woman of...I like the phrase that we must not depend on others to feel happy.

Anil, you posed a good question about expectations. I do not have an answer.

Amy, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you found better companionship.

Everyone? We could be evolving into women that put all these holidays on that back burner; as times change, so will we. We can establish new rules of courtship, new rules of mutual appreciation.

We can put dates on the calendar to celebrate the tests and hardships we overcame.

Renee said...

I must be horrible, because of being touched and sad. I laughed my head off. Probably hit too close to home for many years.

Love Renee