Yes, this week has Valentine's Day in it. Always seemed weird that a martyr would be the symbol of romance, but that's humanity for you. These days, people even blame Chaucer for everything..
Anyhoo, some people seem to believe I'm an anti-romance cynic. So I'm here to say that's not true. I simply am, at the moment, free of a romantic relationship so I can say what I think about love and relationships, which you never really can do while a significant other is still significant. And I wanna get this outta the way before VD is over.
The Big Love of my life is dead, and has been for 18 years. There have been many others since, and lots of different sorts of loves. I never knew of any romantic sort but the "I'm in love, let's marry" sort of love until after I'd been married. But there are many sorts of romantic loves. There are those that are only physical affairs, and those where the other feels much more than you do, and then there are those lovers who weave in and out of your life, and those who are loves in every way but physical. Who's to say which is "best" or most worthy of celebrating?
Then there's being single. In being single and not wanting to couple up anymore, I grew to understand and really really like being single. Did you know there are some of us who actually like not being half of a couple? There really are! Who knew!? And ya know what? Not wanting to depend on or answer to anyone else, or have anyone answer to us, isn't a character flaw. Not craving or needing romantic love doesn't make me a freak or a bad person. Because I despise romance novels and Lifetime and other "womens" programming doesn't mean I'm less of a woman. There are those who can't live without it, but there are plenty who can, or don't give a rat's ass either way. I was raised to think my Uncle Bert was sorta weird for never marrying. Well, ya know what, he was busy paying my cousin's- his brother's son's- child support. And living with, supporting and caring for my Nana, who lived to be 95ish, while his brothers married and had children. Growing up certainly gives you a different perspective from what you were raised to think. For some people, the Big Love of their life is the life they lead and the people who need them.
Romance, like all intoxicants, has its place. It's popular amongst those who like it. It has fabulous possibilities, terrifying chasms, catapults and drama galore. So if you like all that, balloons and whipped cream to you. After all these years I've realized it was a bill of goods sold to me and not what I want for myself. If it was, I'd be out there looking for it right now. I had it once. I'm glad I had it once but I'm not living to find another half. I'm quite whole on my own.
But don't let my disinterest disrupt your arrow-firing. Happy Valentine's Day.
E(A)RNEST SQUIRREL AGAIN
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