The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And so passes another Valentine's Day...

I always wonder why it is that, for every other holiday on the calendar, we look out for the needy. Thanksgiving - we try to make sure everyone is well fed. Halloween means a bit of candy for everybody. At Christmas we have drives to make sure everybody gets something. On the 4th of July we make huge displays so everybody can see the fireworks. But on Valentine's day, the needy go unnoticed. The ones who had a partner once but no longer do, the ones who have never had the closeness that is celebrated with chocolate and red satin and lace today are left to their memories. Some of those are lonely, some would really like to be partnered again, some feel completely abandoned on a day that celebrates Love. No one offers an acquaintance to a single friend or family member, no one plays matchmaker, no one even notices those who go home to a dinner for one. I guess it is a rather self-involved holiday, with the couples thinking only of themselves, albeit one another.

It's been years since I've been in love. At my age and in the state I am in, I suppose it is a normal state to not be in love. I can't say I miss it, though I am far more poetically productive when I am in love. Love isn't always the hearts and flowers of Valentine's Day. Love is hard work much of the time, and while it is almost effortless while you are in it, when it goes, you notice how tired you are, how hard you tried, what you gave, gave up for it. I can't say I haven't loved thoroughly -- I have. But those I loved best are all gone - having passed on to another place entirely or just changed geographic locations, but still on the planet. Sometimes I think I will never find that again, and it doesn't bother me to think so - but I am still open to the idea. It's just that, at the age I am, the requirements change.

I am pleased that I don't need to be part of a couple to feel whole. I'm not sure that I ever did, even when much much younger. Now I have a treasure of memories that warm me. Sometimes when I read some of what I wrote during those episodes of my life I am startled by the passion of those times. What wonderful men I have known! I do not often see the equivalent of such men around me where I live or in the circles in which my social life, wilted thing that it is, takes me. Sometimes being alone is preferable to the choices at hand.

When I read Taran's blog today I found I am not alone in my feelings about Valentine's Day - and that for Taran, at least, there is the sense that perhaps next year will be different.

But to the deaf eye - it doesn't matter.


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