Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Before the World Ends

My fatalism's a little worse than usual. A week after Valentine's Day last year, I came home to find that my now ex-boyfriend had packed up and moved out, leaving my keys and a Dear Jane letter on the stove. He told me later that it seemed too cruel to leave me before Valentine's Day, although the gesture ended up being vicious in a casually backhanded way.

I haven't dated anyone since.

Christmas was sad. New Year's was a disaster and I was a burden on my friends. Now, the annual reminder that I'm undesirable looms large on the horizon.

I've been campaigning relentlessly to cheer myself up. I have a week's worth of outfits to try to be cheerful for students. I've ordered several very snarky cat-themed Valentine cards from an artist in England. I'll have to do our Valentine's Day book display soon at work. So far I just feel numb.

I've put off asking Hopkins if he wants to go see Damaged Goods because I know he'll refuse since God forbid I should think it was a Date! On Valentine's Weekend! I went to one of their February shows alone a while back because there wasn't anybody to go with, and ended up having pizza with Stefan at Puccini's Smiling Teeth afterward. That was my big Valentine's Day, although admittedly, it was one of the better ones. This was never one of my favorite holidays.

I remember being all psyched up about making my little "mailbox" or bag for school (sometimes the teacher had us do them using white paper sacks and maybe a red heart doily) and putting it up with everybody else's. The good years were the ones when we had to make a valentine for every other person in the class, so that meant we'd all get some- but there were teachers who preferred to let it "shake out naturally", meaning we only had to give valentines to the people we actually liked. That meant that some of us might get one or two, and the popular kids got a lot (often from each other). That's when I realized that there was something "wrong with me" in that context.

I want to be happy for all those "coupled" people out there, but being almost fifty and alone, especially when I was dumped this time last year, just drives home the fact that I will probably die without having had the fireworks or the Thousand Strings or any of that stuff. Publicly, I say that they don't matter to me, but it's self-defense. No one wants to admit that they know they're permanently on the reject pile.

So here I am, trying to chug along, operative term "trying", not "succeeding". I need the 14th to come and go quickly and as painlessly as possible.

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