During my 7.5 years with A, we celebrated Valentine’s Day on a different day than the 14th. So, I don’t have overwhelming emotional attachments to Valentine’s Day.
Picking a day to celebrate the love you and your partner share is healthy. Beating yourself up because you’re single is not. Being single on the 14th is okay. I am usually dating, but not boyfriended-up. And I am often quite uncomfortable with over-the-top sentimentality, a la The Nice Guy.
I don’t judge my value by whether or not I have a partner. Still, it would be disingenious for me to say that there are not moments when a look from a handsome man can improve an otherwise unremarkable day.
So, single on Valentine’s day?! Yeah, I got this. It’s all good.
I made alternate plans: attending a girlfriend’s birthday dance party and going far out of my way to avoid anywhere I might accidently bump into the Bon Vivant, who I am still not entirely over. Or maybe I am, but the thought of him sometimes makes me sad or angry or nauseated.
So, maybe not, then.
But, everything is falling into place . . . dance party, far east of anywhere the BV would be on a date for Valentine’s, meeting up with FM and with SD . . . perfect.
Except: at 630 pm, I get a call from BP, my soon to be ex-business partner, demanding that I prepare a presentation for 7 am the next morning.
I am so angry, I can barely see straight.
Had I real plans or a date, I probably would have told him to go fuck himself. But I didn’t, so I didn’t. Instead, I did my job and knocked out the presentation, which I’d really already written a week before, in about 45 minutes. I called BP over and over again and he never called me back. I called our chief analyst who’d been on the angry voicemail I’d received when I hadn’t answered the phone immediately at 630 at night, and BP hadn’t returned his calls either.
So, then I waited. And stewed. And cried.
I spent a long time chatting with A, then with my brunch date who works for a think tank and with whom I am going to a movie tomorrow night, and just watched the minutes and then hours tick by. BP finally called four hours later, saying he’d call in 10 minutes. he then called an hour after that. We walk through the doc, which was perfect, of course, and i am released from servitude at 1230 am.
Still wired, still looking at my lap top, I get a text from LP at 1250 am: “Can’t sleep.”
We had spoken earlier via text. He’d posted a photo with his kid for the holiday, as she was his date. He’s handsome. He just is. He could be an actor playing super successful attorney — tanned, Jewish, green eyes, gorgeous smile, beautiful suit, slightly rumpled. He’s dreamy, to me. And the photo was gorgeous, with his daughter being incredibly happy to be on a fancy dinner date with her dad. Also, we know I am in love with this man, so pretty much he could do anything and I would love it.
Anyway . . .
I texted him after I saw it, rather than comment openly, around 8:30 pm:
happy valentine’s day! just glanced at facebook and saw your gorgeous photo. 8:31 PM
LP: You too xxoo 8:33 PM
That was that.
I know in the back of my mind we’re coming up on an important date in our lives: the day we first met. It’s THREE years ago. We didn’t go out on our first date until 8 months later, but we met that February night when I was dating BFD. I hadn’t decided if I wanted to acknowledge valentine’s day to him, but I figured what the hell he was with his kid. My saying something to him was rather low risk.
Then I went on about my evening. Accepted a date with Think Tank guy around 11, talked to other random guys, and waited for BP.
Once we were done with work, I was still wired, so I was looking at my screen when LP texted me:
We talked via text until he called me, describing how much he’d missed me and how much he wants to see me. There is always pain. There is always love. He’s slightly grumpy because he keeps calling and I don’t answer, not realizing he’s calling the other phone. Eventually, I call him back, but he’s a little hurt. He gets over it. Some of what he says to me is hard to hear as I am essentially on speaker phone, quietly.
I have changed tone with him, perhaps permanently. I have taken control. I am more forceful and I tell him that we need to see each other. He knows we do. We’ve been toying at making plans. We commit to making plans. We don’t actually make plans, but we commit to making them.
I know he’s scared. I know I scare him. I . . . force his hand. I make him make choices.
I am not just anyone. I am a woman he’s been obsessed with, somewhat unhealthily, for three years.
Right. Back. Atcha.
Well, for me, two years.
After we disconnect, I am very happy, as is he. We know we’re in each other’s hearts, if not in our lives. He’s not in my daily life, but the thought/fear/concern/knowledge is that once we are together again, we are back in each other’s lives.
I am afraid that once we’re together, we are fully together, and we’re back in it. I know better how not to fight with him. I know how to love him as he needs to be loved.
To have been separated for so long . . . it seems silly to think about reconciling with someone I’ve not seen in 8 months, who I’ve not slept with in 18 months(?), and yet, I know him and he knows me.
Also, I know we really never gave it a shot. We never did.
We were in it and then out of it and I was terrified, as was he, and we were too vulnerable and too open and it was all too much to bear.
I didn’t know how to be with him. I didn’t know what he really needed, which was me, but with some distance. There was never any real distance.
I have envisioned how it will be to see him again. I know exactly how it will go, as we have been separated and reconciled before. It will feel comfortable and safe. It will feel like we hit pause and not stop.
Because that’s what we’ve done.
I don’t know what — or who — he’s been doing since we’ve been apart. I would be foolish if I assumed there was no one else. Of course there have been other people. He’s handsome, he’s successful, he’s funny and charming. He’s a catch.
But I do know it’s my phone he’s called on Christmas and on Boxing Day, on New Year’s Eve, on Valentine’s Day. He’s been calling me, connecting through the distance, as his kid sleeps down the hall.
For this year, he was actually my valentine. His voice in the darkness cutting through the 12 blocks, the 8 months, the distance we built between us as we sort of moved on with our lives. Or at least I moved on. But never really.