By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Cardboard cutouts of hearts and Cupids give me anxiety problems. Every year, I imagine they creep out of some storage locker in a Hallmark gulag and settle themselves in auspicious places where they know I will run into them.
What is it about these happy, pink and lacy little decorations that makes me feel not cynical but panicky? A long string of ridiculously bad luck.
For the last five years, or possibly more, I have been the queen of Valentine’s Day Fails worthy of their own YouTube viral videos. I now have a fear of bad things happening to me on February 14.
This has been going on long enough that when I was in high school, I convinced my parents to let me stay home from school on that day, citing previous incidents of horror. They agreed.
In college, I thought, maybe it won’t be so bad now. There aren’t any class-to-class candy grams, or mini mailboxes partially full of drug store paper bits. I was right, it wasn’t so bad.
It was worse. I now had a hope that nice things would happen to me, and as fate would have it I was wrong.
Oh, you say, they couldn’t be all that bad.
Oh yes they can.
For example: The Masterpiece.
One year, a candidate said that in order to get my Valentine’s surprise, I would have make reservations under my name at our destination. It was for a special reason. That special reason as it turns out was that this person had been blacklisted from the establishment after an altercation with security.
It was an art and history museum.
It took me all of half my sandwich to throw in the flimsy paper napkin and tell him to take a hike.
Also: The Game Player.
A person I had been in a long-term relationship with and I agreed, due to financial constraints, to keep it simple. Handwritten notes, nice tokens of appreciation or home made dinner.
I baked cookies and made cards. He gave me a kiss on the head and raced out the door. The he had bought himself a new Xbox.
I “ex-boxed” up my things and left.
There are many other disasters in the queue. This is just a taste of where my fear comes from. Again, not cynical, not bitter, but fearful.
Well, Britt, you know, it’s just a holiday created by card companies to sell stuff, you could just ignore it.
Well, it isn’t and have you tried that? I did, and failed horribly. You’d have to be a hermit with a tin foil hat, in a cave and no calendar to hide from it.
And being a curmudgeon is just not my style. Hopelessly hopeful? Overtly Optimistic and Awfully Anxious? That sounds about right.
Now, don’t misunderstand me, myself and plenty others out there are not looking for the Gesture Grande. Most just hope to be noticed, appreciated or cared for a little.
I’m sure there are folks out there that want nothing less than the absolute best, the biggest rose bunches, the sparkly jewels, the best food, nicest restaurants and too much attention.
I’m also just as sure that most people aren’t looking at a detailed list of what they want. Many of us just don’t want to be left wanting.