February 8th, 2018
I remember my first Valentine’s Day after my divorce. My ex had a girlfriend, and the guy I’d been seeing had dumped me a month before on a trip to Big Bear, hours before having to drive down the windy mountain in a rainstorm. We hadn’t had breakfast (because get me the fuck off this mountain), and I’m really sensitive to altitude adjustments, so trust me when I tell you that I was BEYOND SICK coming down those windy passes.
But I digress.
So I was freshly broken-hearted, licking my wounds, mostly in my bed with wine (pre-sobriety)
…and here comes Valentine’s Day…
I walk into my ex’s house to pick up our son, and there on the dining room table are a dozen red roses, along with a card that says in big, bold letters, “TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE.”
Neither of which did I receive in the ten years we were together.
Well if that doesn’t fuck you up for a good month or two, I don’t know what will.
Over the last ten years, Valentine’s Day has happened every year (tricky sucker), and I’ve been single for a vast majority of them. I also have the honor of having three “holidays” back-to-back to remind me of my plight: Christmas, my birthday, and Valentine’s Day.
And Wham again just for good measure.
Add to this that my ex is happily remarried, and this one-two-three fuck-you to the face has a little extra power behind it, know what I’m saying?
When my son was little, I was his Valentine, and he was mine. We’d argue over who loved whom more (why didn’t I let him win that argument? I had to be right and let him know that he’d understand when he had kids of his own, but why didn’t I just absorb all the love he had to give me then?), and he’d make me cute cards, and even if I had a boyfriend (which happened a few times), I’d declare he was still my first and best Valentine, and I really, really meant it.
Now that my son is 12 ½ and I’m persona non-grata, I’m pretty sure we’ll spend Valentine’s Day side-by-side on the couch watching Arrow (maybe Stephen Amell will be my Valentine this year 🤷🏼♀️), grunting at each other over popcorn and a cheap heart-shaped box of chocolates—if either of us even bothers.
The best Valentine’s Day I ever had in divorce (and let’s be honest, probably ever) was when my bestie and her husband took me out to dinner. In a sea of couples working hard to make the night “mean something,” the three of us were having a blast. I’m pretty sure we were shushed a few times; at any rate there were a lot of looks. I think most of them were jealous. As a long-time married couple, they still say that was their favorite of all time too.
Maybe they’re just being nice.
Valentine’s Day in Divorce can be a rude bitch. She can show you your deficits and make you believe you’re not worthy of the Hallmark Holiday of your dreams.
➾No one’s showing up on your doorstep with a box from Kay Jewelers?
➾Your porch still isn’t covered in a dozen white roses when you get home from work? (Just me?)
➾Not even a “Hey, happy VD” from your FWB?
Yeah, join the club.
This year I’ll count my blessings.
- I’m not in a relationship that makes me feel cold and empty inside (see?? winning!)
- I’m not nursing a broken heart.
- There’s no one from my past I secretly pine for. No hanging chads. Clean slate.
- After ten years of healing and growth, I feel truly happy and grateful for all that I have in my life, and what’s more, it’s all mine.
- I’m thinking, gimme a minute
- I HAVE THE WHOLE BED TO MYSELF!!!!
- Stephen Amell (don’t know who he is? Here, watch this. You’re welcome.)
- My son and I have a special bond, and he’s still my first and best Valentine, no matter how shitty he is to me sometimes.
- I may not have always made the best choices, but each time I’ve said no to a bad choice, I’ve brought myself one step closer to my YES.
- I have some of the best friends a girl could hope for.
Maybe I’ll go out and buy that cheap heart-shaped box of chocolates after all. My son and I deserve to eat the whole box. Together. Side-by-side. Not talking.