I get it. I really do.
If I was a vertically challenged man forced to flit around for eternity on a pair of Victoria’s Secret angel wing cast offs—wearing a cloth diaper and nothing else—I’d want to sling a few arrows, too. Because no matter what the art historians say, when I think of cupid … I see Kevin Pollak.
I am, admittedly, unsure when it comes to the all-important day of love.
For a man, Valentine’s Day arm wrestles with prostate exams and colonoscopies for supremacy. For a woman, Valentine’s Day is rife with emotional turmoil, from pure bliss to lonely misery. Whether you are XX or XY, Valentine’s Day is the most pressure-laden Hallmark invention on the calendar.
Long before I met my husband, the bloom faded on the roses that are expected. My first Valentine’s Day gift from him smelled less like a floral shop and more like a temporary loan to pay Uncle Sam. And for the entire duration of our life together, Valentine’s Day was simply a bump on the road with small tokens to mark the day without breaking the bank. An inconvenient inconvenience that we were both content to acknowledge and disregard as insignificant in a life that was already fulfilling and frantic.
And yet the woman in me—the one that didn’t need the flowers, the little boxes and the chocolates—craved the very thing that I found so inconvenient.
I longed for the unexpected.
And suddenly a life defined by expectation became a life unexpected, and the woman that I was grew and changed in unexpected ways. I let go of a life planned and prepared, and dared to dream of a life unexpected and found myself longing.
To hear my name whispered. To open my eyes to a sleepy smile. To lose myself to laughter. To melt into a kiss. To dance with abandon. To disappear into strong arms.
To love without expectation.