The February of 2014 was a particularly cold and dreary one for me. I had, in one of the many clumsy antics of my daily life, fallen and fractured my foot. It was a particularly bad time because I had also just started dating my boyfriend a few months before this little accident - and just the thought of waiting around and not being able to see him was causing more than just a little anxiety and frustration.
But such is love; even though he lived a good hour away from my house (we'd usually meet somewhere mid way), he'd make his way every day just to be able to awkwardly meet me with my mother passing strict instructions that my room door must at all times be left open. Seeing him everyday, even though under less than ideal circumstances, was enough to add some cheer into my otherwise insipid day. But then like all love stories, there must come the dreaded first fight - in our case, it was rather strange and came sooner than I had expected.
It was the beginning of the second week of February and my boyfriend, in his true over-enthusiastic fashion asked me what I was doing on the 14th. Irritated as I was, not really being able to move much, I almost snapped in response "sitting in front of the television and working from this couch. What else do you think I'll be doing?" "Oh, okay." he replied rather sheepishly. "Why, what's special about the 14th?" I wondered out loud. To which, obviously, his response was what I was hoping with all my heart it wouldn't be. "It's Valentine's Day."
Not that he had, but I felt like he had just used a curse word I had never heard before. The only thing that made sense to me to do in that moment was laugh. Out loud.
"You're not serious." I said barely catching my breath. "Oh, okay." he said. Except this time it was far from sheepish. It had almost converted into scorn I sensed.
The conversation only went downhill from there, with me laughing every time he very seriously said he wanted to do something special on Valentine's Day. I just couldn't understand. How could this be? I had mocked this "holiday" all my life only to have found myself in a situation where I was falling in love with someone who took it so seriously.
After an hour long conversation which ended with him saying a curt and cold, "let me know if you'd like to do something" I was still left wondering what was wrong with him. If he had let me, I would have explained my side of things to him. I would have explained why I thought that Valentine's Day, just wasn't a day to "celebrate".
See it was quite simple. I just couldn't get myself to agree with the fact that I'd have to celebrate love or make a day special for my partner along with the rest of the world on a particular day because someone at Archies or the myriad other shops selling cheesy cards and gifts wanted to make some money. It was really that simple.
I don't think that Valentine's Day is an opportunity to make your partner feel special. Making someone feel special shouldn't need a reminder from the pink decorations one sees in malls and markets around this time. I wanted to tell him that he had already made me feel special in the few months that we had been together, more than he could by taking me out to dinner on a day designated and designed to make you spend money on your partner. Not really shower love, just shower money.
I didn't need a day the world had assigned to me to love and be loved and feel love. It felt inorganic.
So I didn't do anything on the 14th, much to my boyfriend's disappointment. But I did, in my barely able to move state, reach his house early morning on the 15th with a cake (baked by me), balloons and a card I stayed up all night making. He was definitely surprised to say the very least. But he wanted romance, so I gave it to him; just on a day that we could call our own, rather than one everyone thought was theirs. On a day that Facebook wasn't reminding you it was time to love. You just knew.