Thursday, January 29, 2009

Forced into Anti-Valentinism! The every woman's quest for passiom

The silliness of reality lies in its virtual episodes; which is about right, considering how I lived my life as an eccentric soul longing for conventionality! Now, I understand why most people would kill for such a quirky soul, but it is the nonstop chase after the faulty traditions that had me wondering; are people too hypnotized by what is safe, that a little harmless wildness of the heart would scare their much predictable lives? Or is it that social/financial climbing is recklessly hindering that they’re not opened for diversified people? I was, because that’s all in the past now, the diversified people who’s world wasn’t ready to accept and I didn’t have out of this world views, I swear that they were all affordable. My problem recaps in one word, PRE-DEFINED, that is my life, from the day I was born until the moment I peacefully leave this no-longer-fun earth...

It happens to every extraordinary woman when she has the one ordinary dream to enjoy Valentine’s with her man. Call it absurd; call it childish or whatever you may conceive, for it will always stay the fantasy all women of all ages await. I, on the other hand, never got the chance to come around what looks like an utter bliss, worse! I got, or to be more specific, forced to live against it!
My name is... Well, what difference will that make? Let’s just skip the casualties to get to the bundle of joy that is my uncanny life. I was raised in a more or less conservative, modern at some angles, family. Where ethics were a must, success was a bonus and no outbreaks were permissible! Like many people, I believed in Valentine’s, I was fascinated by the phony story as much as the real one and I honestly thought it was the greatest day of the year. Then life happened and it started messing with my head! Wavering between the overly rebellious anti-Valentieners and the obsessed, I somehow ended up believing in Anti-Valentienism! Don’t worry, it’s not a religion, I checked!
However, till that very moment, I’m not sure of the specific factors that contributed to such entrapment, but I remember, if my memory serves me right, the first time it happened as if it was just yesterday. It all started in middle school...

Shot in the prime of life!Yes, I was that young! Still, I was opened to new experiences and as much fun as any 12 year old girl can lever. But, I had exactly two problems; I’m in an all-girls school and the parental control that I suffered from for so long and just when I was about to believe it’s over, it was immediately replaced by a marital clout!
Back to my primal problem, the all-girls school: For those who have been lucky enough not to witness such torture, allow me to describe what it’s like being stuck in such a hardly feminine surrounding. Considering our young age, certain things were expected of us, including obedience, grace and poise!
All of which were available to the naked eye, but what lied beneath that fragile exterior was merely the opposite. As gossip was our sole entertainer during the much anticipated lunch break, girls futures were ruined as they’ll be forever more labelled with the s word, slut!
Although, those girls successful attempts to break free and date non-imaginary boys were extremely admirable. I feared for my own reputation and the welfare of the honourable future I was destined to have. But, at the same time, I couldn’t admit that to my friends, so I had to move to the other party, the anti-Valentiners! To tell you the truth, I craved the boy-girl celebrations but just couldn’t risk my life, it wasn’t worth it and that’s why I needed a stance. In middle school, anti-Valentieners weren’t as outspoken as they usually render later on in life, they don’t do flyers; they don’t construct web pages to demean the occasion nor curse out its believers. On the contrary, they worked in peace! Actually, they worked in two different directions; the first of which targeted the mind where they calmly expressed their beliefs, i.e their parents’, regarding the importance of a girl’s virgin-clean reputation and the blank history that can only be written by the hands of her husband. I was much relieved, back then, to know that there were other drama-junkies other than my own parents. Thus, I had all the right reasons to be an anti-Valentiener, and it was ensured when the second direction was in use. They would recall the adventures of a certain girl and try to predict her future! The horror stories told were enough to block my heart and mind forever. Valentine’s? What Valentine’s?!

Cheers to the girls crippled dreams!In an attempt to stand by my forcefully acquired beliefs, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Since it was my fresh start in the semi-grown up world of high school, it was only logical to start planning for my loveless future. Except that I found myself yet again tied down by this damn day! But this time it was different, there was no one around to judge my desperate gazes at the boy, nor my flaming envious peaks at the sparkling couple. On the contrary, I was harassed for being single! Well, at least THIS was new.
So, I was ready, the thought itself was too overwhelming that it emotionally drained me. I wanted to announce that I’m single, open and ready to mingle in a dignified way. One problem though; I had already established the kind-hearted nerd image, everyone was my friend and that was how guys in particular saw me, their helpful friend, not their girl-friend but rather a sexless person! It was too late now to go back and I already had my eyes set on a certain career, that even the boy couldn’t take my mind off it. Accepting this wretched truth helped me realize all the, literally, stupid things they did in preparations of the glorious Valentine’s Day. I remember Valentine’s to be barely a month away, and it was only time for their plans to transform into actions. The girls hooked up with the nearest moustache to save themselves the heartache of facing Valentine’s alone, others welcomed the once labelled looser guys for the sake of ripping their ex-s hearts out. While the boys went in the opposite direction, they wanted fresh meat on that day; accordingly, they broke up with their uptight currents to warm up for their prince-charming bits and whatever casualties this may bring! Of course they were few, normal couples scattered around with loving girls and guys ready to spend their last penny to see their babies’ smile. Despite them minding their own business, they weren’t spared the mocking, although I viewed them as the only sane, authentic people walking this school grounds. As well as the singles who didn’t believe in pretentious dating or in phony relationships statuses. But, much like my middle-school self, the singles joined the Anti-Valentieners, only this time they were overly rebellious; wearing anything but pink, making a clear statement with boorish quotes to stand their grounds. Both parties skipped classes and abandoned school two days before the day, working their plans and adding their final touches to perfection. Valentine’s came bearing frozen wind to cripple my dreams as well as the joy of others, the picture was complete with the repulsive scenery of the battling sectors each defending something that I know for a fact was only crucial to no one but them. And there I was, once again, mourning the death of a dream I once yearned for but now despise.

Who am I to argue with St.Valentine’s?!I fell for it once and I swore I wasn’t going to fall for it twice! By the time I was leaving the world of games for much mature humankind, I thought the worst was behind me. Everything was falling in its right place; I hardly succeeded in convincing myself that this whole Valentine’s hassle was not for me and that I was destined to have an ordinary uneventful life. Still, I refused to hold the Anti-Valentine’s flag high or any other motto for that matter. I simply, crossed the entire issue out of my agenda. Now all I can see is my career and the joy, I so desperately need my career to bring!
It’s the one thing that happens to all college girls; they evolve like butterflies from cocoons as the quick transition from dating to marriage takes place. Ever since my first year of college, I have been going to engagement parties and wedding ceremonies. I witnessed the girls of my generation as they threw their wildest dreams under the feet of love, marriage and kids. Many of my friends dropped out of school dedicating their full attention to their new centre of attraction, their men. And once again, it was time for Valentine’s which came slightly different that year as there was no room left for pretending to be with someone to rip the hearts out nor was pointless dating welcomed anymore. It could be because in the grown-up world everything must result in revenue and may be because we no longer have all the time in the world to waste it on failing relationships. All of which were obvious to the naked eye, as extravagant restaurants were replaced by less fancier ones, guys were looking for more economic gifts and girls didn’t mind pitching in checks. Valentine’s festivities done for the sake of bragging were no more, it was all about closeness and the fact that happy couples are still at least couples!
All of those sights and feelings caused my old dream back to resurface; I wanted that type of mature Valentine’s, the one based on noting but love and affection. Hold on a second; is this me falling for the same trap again?! Well, you know what they say; it’s hard to forget a scar!

Wherever I go, bad luck follows!As it is always the case with the likes of Helen of Troy, eligible bachelors rush to compete over their hearts and a lifetime of happiness with them. But since I’m no Helen of Troy and not even related to that league, my doorstep was always empty, my eligible bachelors were just men, merely commoners with simple dreams and tight minds. Due to all of the things that you exclusively know about my life and my ever so useless attempts to redeem it for a more exciting one, I don’t want just marriage; I want the relationship first and then come the marriage. Regardless of the numerous heartaches my mum faked each time I rejected, who she believes to be, my perfect match, all I want is someone to share my life and dreams with. And since I can’t tell whether I’m more of a practical or an emotional person, I don’t believe I’ll find Mr. right anytime soon! That being settled, I embarked my work life in a carefree attitude, with no expectations whatsoever. And so my days were lived, emptily, until one day, I saw him, he, a young thriving executive; sitting right there in front of me inquiring about bank loans. Putting aside the fact that I’m pretty sure I gave out all the wrong info, our relationship developed to a serious level. Yes, I’m in a relationship, with a successful smart man who appreciates companionship and doesn’t care what people think. At first, I felt so blessed to find someone who’s totally the opposite of all the snobbish guys I hated back in high school, but as our marriage happened quite fast yet smoothly, I was to spend Valentine’s Day as a rather married woman. Therefore, I looked forward to that day when I’ll finally get to enjoy it my way. Another good aspect about marriage is that I got to be a part of the couple’s world; we were invited to elegant soirees, weddings, dinner parties and my personal favourite horseback riding picnics. Feeling that I was living the life I’ve always wanted, I went to my husband with the goofiest smile ever and innocently asked him: “what are we going to do for Valentine’s? Should we do the accustomed dinner or steal two days of getaway heaven?”
Being in the wretched state I was, all I recall from his shocking reply is: “Are you serious? We are married now, Valentine’s happen each day, I don’t need something or someday to remind me of how much I love you. Plus, don’t you think this whole Valentine’s Day drama is silly, I mean where’s the specialness if I’m forced to celebrate my love for you on some day that has nothing to do with our special occasions?” I had to hide anywhere before the word vomit ate up what was left in my marriage. I took it all in as there was no space for me to grief, I had to swallow the sword and smile to the world!
Two weeks away from the Valentine’s I’ll never get to celebrate, one of married lady friends called me, all curious about our first Valentine’s as newlyweds! Of course I had to fake it, what else was I supposed to do? I repeated his words and worse supported his anti-Valentiener’s views!
My bitterness went away when I found her supporting his views and how, according to her, she envy me for not having to put up with the nerve-wracking dinner preparations and shopping for the non-existing perfect gift.
She really made me feel thousand times better and helped me realize that in the marital world such trivialities are not important. However, that same woman, called me screaming with pain to vent on how her loving husband totally forgetting about Valentine’s, came home EMPTY-HANDED!!

My final resurrection attempt
As grey hair started their colonizing mission, life got somehow slower, not easy but just slower. Major responsibilities were lifted off my shoulders and it was about time for me to enjoy what’s left of my irony-based world. Each year I hoped for my husband to surprise me with anything on my Day, but as I open the door with a big smile, I have to close it with a disappointed smile.
What’s wrong with me celebrating Valentine’s with the only man I’ve ever truly loved? Lots of people do, so why can’t I?! I don’t want to do it for the wrong reasons and I’m certainly not looking for the most romantic couples’ award. I know when I’m anti-Valentine and when I’m all for it. So, I decided to make it happen for me. As our kids headed out to celebrate their own Valentine’s, I planned the entire thing. I was looking for something simple, sweet and by all means romantic as hell. Hence, I set the scene, cooked the dinner, wore the right clothes, bought the perfect gift and waited for my husband. As soon as I heard his car horns calling for the doorman, I turned off the lights. I ran by the door and waited anxiously till he finds his keys and unlock the door. As soon as he opened the door, I screamed “Happy Valentine’s Day” He casually replied “Honey, what are you doing? We’re too old for this”!!

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