How I Arrived Here
I didn’t arrive at this anti-Cupid perspective out of nowhere, as you might have guessed. Beneath strong points of view usually lies a ridiculous experience, or at least, so tends to be the case in my life. There was this one guy I dated a few years ago, who I was crazy enough about to give the whole romantic Valentine’s Day thing a shot. I decided to go all in and wore a fancy dress, got my hair blown out, and bought fancy Valentine’s Day lingerie. I made reservations at a restaurant that was offering an overpriced 5 course Valentine’s Day menu with wine pairings and a dessert table. I approached the day with an open mind and heart, because I figured if other women I knew enjoyed this stuff, why wouldn’t I? I anxiously searched for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and spent way too much money on what I eventually settled for (I don’t even remember what the heck it was, but without question I remember settling for something mediocre). I even bought a card that said I love you, even though I hadn’t said it myself and wasn’t sure that I did. Admirable, I know.
Out of Body Experience
Sitting there that evening at dinner across from my (then) boyfriend, I had this strange feeling that I wasn’t myself. I was carrying out a conversation, but I didn’t feel like words were coming naturally. I felt like I was putting on a front. Surrounded by other couples, I was physically aware of being in that restaurant, but while I could feel the chair underneath me, I felt so aware that it wasn’t really me sitting in it. I had succumbed to the pressures of Valentine’s Day, and it was forcing me to act like someone else. I later realized that my physical discomfort (and sheer awkwardness) that evening were credited to me not being true to myself and trusting that perhaps it’s okay that this holiday is not one that I choose to celebrate.