love, age and other ramblings

Valentine’s Day is a ridiculous holiday. Yes, I am single and I think that most singles would agree with me; however that fact that I am single is not the reason for my vehement dislike for this day. I admit, I do get a bit green with envy at the romantic gestures of friends’ husbands and boyfriends as I head out for yet another
Girl’s Night Out in which my single gal pals and I awkwardly laugh and joke about singledome when it’s pretty obvious that we all just want to bury our heads in our glass of wine, curl up in the fetal position and have our own solo pity party. Throughout the night you can hear us saying statements such as: “I like not having to worry about someone else.” or “It’s so nice to do whatever I want.” or “I love my alone time.” Too bad we are all secretly sneaking glimpses at the sweet, loving star-crossed couples surrounding us at every corner; wistfully hoping that it will be us next year so we don’t have to endure another VD as a lower class citizen, aka; single woman in her 30s.

Even when in a relationship my disdain for VD held true. I tried to convince myself of the absurdity of the day and to not have any expectations as my then “manfriend” wasn’t much of a romantic anyways. Right. Allowing oneself to have zero expectations on Valentine’s Day is as easy as popping a zit in the middle of your back. I would play it off as no big deal, but inside I fervently hoped for a romantic getaway or a surprise night out on the town or, yes, even an unexpected proposal. Year after year it was the same obligatory flowers, wine, chocolate…but I did get some nice lingerie one year. Yippee. I was appreciative of course, but couldn’t help but to be slightly disappointed. After all, this was the one day a year that he really had an opportunity to show me how much he loved me, right? See that’s why I abhor this holiday. Every day should be Valentine’s Day,
yet people leave it to this one time a year to do something extra special for their other half. That’s lame.

This VD a high school student that I tutor came to see me for one of her sessions. Of course, her English teacher gave her a collection of writings to acknowledge this blessed holiday. We read a depressing poem on marriage, some lyrics to a love ballad, a review of The Taming of the Shrew and an article titled “Mr. Good Enough”. At first when I read this article it really pissed me off. The author talked about how women are too proud to “settle” so they choose to be alone and that this is a downfall to the whole feminist movement and women’s independence. A downfall? On the contrary, she argued, women should settle…Mr. Good Enough is really just that; good enough. Wow. She went on the say that women who wait for Mr. Perfect end up waiting their lives away and that if they just settled for Mr. Good Enough they would end up content and complacent in their lives as Mr. Good Enough will make a good enough partner, a good enough father and a good enough husband. Mr. Perfect, she explained, does not stay perfect forever and cannot keep up the expectations of staying perfect, thus eventually causing extreme disappointment in the relationship/marriage. The article’s targeted audience was definitely women in their thirties (me) and she emphasized that we are not being honest with ourselves when we say we’d rather be alone than to settle; that every woman wants to be someboody’s wife and if we say otherwise we are full of crap.

During the initial read, I couldn’t keep my anger at bay. How dare she say that I am not being honest with myself! Of course I am going to wait for Mr. Perfect because, goddamit, I deserve him! And if we never find each other, well then that is just fate and I guess I’m destined to be alone…I can handle that. Settle? F that. I almost did that and now, in hindsight, I realize how miserable I would have been. Who is this lady anyway? Some bitter single lady that wants the rest of us to suffer with her? Interestingly enough, once the dust cleared I kind of saw her point. I don’t agree with everything she had to say, but a tinge of truth could be deciphered. After F-squared I had to change my song and dance. How can I admit that marriage, kids and a white picket fence is something I still want? That dream was taken from me and now, ironically enough, the thief is living it…living my dream. That’s not easy to accept.

Here’s the thing that I have realized: I have several dreams that I want to fulfill in this lifetime. My move to Japan is one of them. I have always imagined myself in a far off country; learning a new culture and experiencing as much of the world as possible. My mom loves to tell the story about how when I was little I wanted to be Christian singer and travel the world in my own private jet while feeding the poor. My American Idol for Jesus dream may be over (sorry mom), but I am faced with an amazing opportunity that I simply cannot let slip me by…and maybe I’ll even toss out a couple loaves of bread while abroad so at least 1/2 of my original dream stays true to form. Yes, I want to be married to Mr. Perfect for Me. Yes, I want a family. Yes, I want the house with a baby’s room and an office and a kitchen bigger than my bathroom (oh and while I’m at it a walk-in closet would be nice!). Yes, I want to join the Mommy clubs and compare birthing stories and my breast pumping schedule. I admit it and I’m not afraid to admit it. What I won’t do is wait around for it. I have spent the last two years picking up my broken pieces which, in my opinion, is way too long and now I need to do for me. This next chapter is going to be amazing…I can feel it! And wherever Mr. Perfect for Me is, I will find him eventually. Who knows, maybe he’ll be in Japan.

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