Chaos Attraction

Best Valentine's Day Ever

2004-02-14, 5:53 p.m.

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It's funny that ever since I hit puberty and the popular boys started giving stuffed bears and roses to the popular girls, every VD I have bitched and whined that nobody would do that for me. Every single one, I have focused on what I was missing and how my life wasn't fitting with what other people were doing. Every year I got bailed on again I went home to Mom and Dad (if possible) and they gave me jewelry and stuffed animals and candy and took me out to dinner and I'd wear all black and my "Bite Me" earrings and sulk and glare at any couples I saw in my vicinity. Oh, what a brat I was. People told me that VD didn't have to be all about being in a couple, you could celebrate love for other people too, but I thought that was bullshit and didn't listen.

Even when I was with someone, I was very disappointed. First guy, the workaholic, got called in to work for VD and canceled on me. Second guy was off at a conference that weekend and his other girlfriend was also at a conference that weekend in the same place. I never got anything from either of them. Third guy lived in another town and it was a Thursday the first time, and the second time he had no money to do anything and by the time I got into town it was too late anyway. I don't remember what he did the first year, but the second year all the gifts I got were gifts he'd won in a raffle at his job. And he wasn't too fond of what I gave him either.

I would like, at least once, to have a Traditional Valentine's Day, where the guy spends money on me, takes me out, gives me a reason to dress up, and gives me presents, just so I know what it's like to experience what everyone else gets. But should that never happen to me in my life, I think I'll live. At least I do get those things from my parents, who actually care about me and continue to care about me.

This year's VD was great. I did wear black again this year, but I went for sexy. Velvet cargo pants, leather boots, my new black tank top and a velvet black shirt over that so I didn't look totally slutty in front of the parents. Wore my devil earrings. Mom and Dad gave me a stuffed bear, a heart pillow, candy, a pair of earrings, and several necklaces. One with this kind of rainbow topaz heart, to match a ring I got from them two years ago.

The other two necklaces were ones with a lock pendant and a key pendant with little white rhinestones on them. They had adjustable lengths, so I put those two on, one above the other. I asked Mom what they were for and I thought she said "to lock your heart." Turns out she meant it as "unlock your heart," but I thought the other was much more appropriate.

Then it occurred to me: I could lock my heart. That's my symbol, I thought, that's the new me. I am the lock and the key.

I wanted to acquire new things that day for the new me. I wanted new rings to replace the two claddaghs and the moonstone "engagement" rings from him that I've worn for so long. I wanted a ring for pledging myself to me. And I wanted a new Italian charm to replace the one on my watch saying "I'm In Luv."

Most of VD was spent following around my parents on errands, but one of those errands was Mom going to Macy's. So I went into the jewelry department and shopped around. I wasn't too impressed with their stash of charms for Italian charm bracelets, but I did find a lock-and-key charm that clips onto anything. They had a great collection of rings, but most were completely out of my size range. I wear a 5 or a 6, and these were almost all 7's and 8's. I found one ring in particular that I fell massively in love with. "That's the ring, that's the ring I pledge to myself," I thought when I saw it. But it was an 8. No other sizes available. I went over to another rack, where they were selling "EmpoweRING's, worn on the right hand in celebration of YOU!" While I normally laugh my ass off at the "right hand ring" campaign because I think if you want a damn diamond you should buy yourself the damn diamond already, this time I somehow related. Mom came back from her errands and saw this and insisted that I get one. I managed to find a large fake lavender-shaded boulder in a size 6. Which promptly went on my LEFT ring finger, thankyouverymuch.

Then I told her that there was this other ring I liked, but it was too big, and I dragged her over to look at it. She loved it and said, "You have to get it, even if it's too big. I've seen those size adjuster thingies in catalogs, we can look for one." So now I have that ring too (which is going on middle fingers for now).

After various errands, I found out, "oh, we're going to the Home and Garden Show today." I figured this would be dull, and for the most part it was to an apartment-dweller, but much to my surprise there were a few fun booths. There was even a nail polish booth, where I picked up five different mood-changing polishes and one glow-in-the-dark polish. And there was also a really fabulous and CHEAP Italian charms booth. Three charms for $10. I got Mom three charms as a thank-you for all she'd done for me and got three for myself- a red heart, a rose, and to replace the "I'm In Luv", a charm with a red tulip on it. A permanent reminder for me, I thought.

My charm.

The real thing.

All was happy. People were cheerful and wishing others a happy Valentine's Day, and I didn't snap at them. I saw plenty of couples wandering the Home and Garden Show, and didn't hate them. I didn't feel too embarrassed when my mom ran into people she knew and told them I was home for the weekend. We got takeout and didn't go out among the schmoopy couples for dinner. I was pretty damn happy to spend VD with folks who actually love and care about me.

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