It's Okay to Hate Valentines

   It hasn't been until recently that Valentine's Day had any special value to me. As a young girl, sure it was glorified, but as I aged into young adulthood the holiday and the gleam around it started to diminish. 

    It's been two years to be exact, so maybe perhaps not that recent, but Valentine's Day was the day my fiance proposed to me. It was then that Valentine's had a spark. 
    It started with a poem, and then a reply letter to that poem. In the first few months of dating, he wrote to me what he titled " A Reason Why:"  

A Reason Why:

You're the one with glasses, 
yet it's me who can't see.
See the reason, 
a reason, 
any reason why you chose me. 
I am corny,
I am nerdy, 
I hardly make sense;
yet you see something in me that does not exist.
No, I am not cute, 
No, I am not smart, 
I may be funny sometimes, 
but that's not enough for your heart.
So I have devised a plan, 
devious as it may be;
to give you a reason, 
any reason, 
to fall in love with me.
I'll change for the better, I'll do it I swear.
I will be stronger, 
and smarter,
and try to keep my hair.
But the road is long, 
and I can't do it alone, 
so walk with me a moment, 
so that we're both right at home. 
If you want to leave, 
then go, 
and I will adjust knowing that you are happy;
it would be more than enough.
But if you stay,
then know,
 that there will never be a day,
a night, 
that you aren't in love with me;
for I will give you a reason, 
any reason you see, 
that I'm not a mistake, 
you will be glad you chose me.

    I hope you don't mind the cheesiness, as for me; I feel so nostalgic. He really didn't seem to have much self-confidence back then, but he's come so far since. After nearly three years together, I felt it only appropriate to write a reply: 

Dear Jacob, 

Once you asked me, in poetic form, why it was you who I chose to date. I quote, “You may be the one with glasses but it is me who can’t see. The reason, a reason, any reason why you chose me.” You continue this poem, degrading yourself, saying that you're corny, nerdy, that you barely make sense. You say you aren’t cute or smart, and only funny at times, but being funny isn’t enough to claim my heart. I want to make something clear to you baby, my heart was never yours to claim, but has always been mine to give. It was only after I had given it, that you now claim it as yours, because Jacob, I never chose to date you, I did something further. I could have dated my share of picks, but it was YOU who I decided deserved so much more. It was YOU that I decided to not date, but rather devote myself to. Dating you was never going to be just dating, although I couldn’t tell you that in the beginning, for I might have scared you off (but then again, who knows how you would have reacted if I told you). Your mind has always remained set after you decided something. That was something I liked about you from the beginning. You were clear with your intentions and didn’t play mind games with me. I held a lot of respect for you for it. It was a shock really, because I didn’t know there were guys that did that. 

That's a start to an answer to your poem’s inquiry I suppose. On top of your decency, you were the first guy who made me feel comfortable about being myself. I've told you this before, but I was never as comfortable with my childhood friends as I am with you. That’s probably what started it, our little store conversations. Your smile was always kind, you know, and welcoming. You never judged my awkwardness and continued to talk to me. I suppose you were my friend before anything, and slowly I came to realize you could be the one I’d been waiting for. That sounds cheesy. 

Yet it was true. All my life as I had known it thus far, I’d been waiting. Waiting for someone who truly wanted me. A good person, and not some creep who wanted me for other reasons, as I have come to experience as a waitress there happens to be an abundance of in existence. I didn’t want a creep, nor someone who was just lonely; someone who couldn’t care less if it was me they dated in particular or someone else, as long as their standards were met. I was waiting for someone who only wanted me, and who I was comfortable dating. 

Now I suppose it couldn’t be just any guy, and for this comment, I can’t bash anyone for having standards, because I suppose I had some too. Well, how couldn’t I, if the man I chose would be the one I ended up with for the rest of my life? I suppose he had to be hard-working, more mentally mature than the average high-school boy, he had to be kind, (some crazy standards I know…) but above all else, he had to be someone I could believe in and build a life with. You have exceeded those standards, in all aspects. The fact that you lived with your mom never bothered me, I never saw you as a scrub as my father might have. It never bothered me, because I knew from watching you work, that living with her wasn’t permanent. You not having your license never bothered me either, if it becomes something you want, it will come in due time, there’s no need to rush progress. Even if you never want it, I'm okay with that, because it makes me feel useful to you. 

That first week we started legitimately “talking,” I was scared. I knew what I felt in my heart for you, but I couldn’t shake the uneasiness at the back of my mind, thinking about my mother’s past relationships, wondering if I’d fall into the same pattern as she had. It’s always in my subconscious, that one day you’ll grow tired of me or decide you don’t need me anymore and move on with your life, leaving me behind to laugh at my naivety with tears streaming down my face, holding a heart shattered into pieces. Yet, your devotion convinced me that if I want a man to believe in, I must first take the leap of faith it takes to do so, and that’s believing in the relationship to begin with. So, with your devotion, you’re met with mine. I want to continue watching us grow as people, as a family, and I know now, that after almost three years together, I could never regret anything we built together, even if it comes crumbling down. 

In your poem to me, you said you’d devised a plan, to give me a reason, any reason, to fall in love with you. 

You made a promise to me, 

“I’ll change for the better, I’ll do it I swear, I will be stronger, smarter and try to keep all my hair [lol], but the road is long, and I can’t do it alone, so walk with me a moment, so that we’re both right at home...know that there will never be a day, a night, that you aren’t in love with me…” and you know what Jacob, you’re right. There hasn’t been a day or night that I haven’t been madly in love with you. I believe in you more than I thought I could ever believe in a person. You have shown me what love is, and that it’s okay to believe in it, and although we have our spats, I never remember what they're about, because nothing is more important to me than our future together, and the promise rings we share just secrete that reality. To me, you mean the world, as both my future husband and the father of our children. I am so proud to have you in my life and be a part of all that you accomplish. I love you so, so much, and, just so you know, I love that you’re geeky, I love your humor, I don’t care if you lose your hair; you are the most handsome man I know, you are smart, and my heart is all yours, forever and always.

Happy Valentine’s Baby.

I gave it to him after he proposed. There were tears, comments of disbelief. I don't think I've ever been happier as I was that day, but looking back at my letter now, nearly two years later (we've been together for 5), there was a lot of info I probably didn't need to include; my self from back then seems a bit harsh now, so, sorry if it offends anyone, that wasn't my intention. 

In all honesty, the me of now is still scared of love, and even more so of marriage. It's not my parent's fault really, they're not to blame. I'm sure it rests within my own insecurities, or perhaps in the aim to achieve my own ambitions of self-love, furthering my education, and growing my business before doing so.

To this day, we're still not married, we don't even have plans; but in retrospect, marriage is simply a government-issued piece of paper. Nothing more. We may not be married in the eyes of the government or of our peers, but we're married within our hearts, and I think that's equally as lovely. 

I say it's okay to hate Valentine's, and it is, but the love behind it is something we shouldn't deny. So, even though Valentine's itself has no shine to me, the act of love behind it is what I value. Whether you spend the day with a partner, family, friends, or even yourself, take the time to soak in the love and spread the kindness.

Wishing you a great day, 

Skylan Abraham of The Bucket Digest and Art by FIB. 


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