Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Unhappy Valentine's Day

How did you go with Valentine’s Day?

Chocolates, flowers and champagne?

A night out at a trendy, horrifically expensive restaurant run by shouty chefs?

Perhaps your lover whisked you off via helicopter to a private beach, where he (or she), dramatically proposed as fireworks lit up the sky.

If so, and I won’t mince words here, you are Bloody Lucky Truly Blessed. Make the most of it Baby, because not all Valentine’s Days are gold.

Yes, if you’re single, Valentine’s Day can suck. Big Time.

No one likes to be the odd one out as gift hampers and balloons get delivered to every girl (or guy) in the office. No one wants to be ignored or feel unloved on the one day of the year when we’re supposed to feel wanted and admired.

But hey, it could be worse. You could have been dumped on Valentine’s Day, which apparently happens to almost 50 per cent of people in the teen/young adult age group.

Experts say, there is something about V.D. that makes people re-evaluate their relationships. The same with Valentine's Day. (Boom tish!)

Is that chick you've been seeing worth splashing out on imported roses from a florist, or should she be happy with a cheap bunch of wilted service station blooms? That kind of thing.

Think it can’t happen to you?

Don’t be so sure.

My first Valentine’s Day break-up was during my first year of college, where I was studying for my Bachelor of Arts.

The boy, I’ll call him W., was pretty special. He was the first one I ever ... Exchanged Christmas gifts with. (What? What did you think I was going to say?)

But on Valentine’s Day, he turned up with a bunch of his mates, pissed out of his head, and bearing a bunch of flowers. Stolen flowers. From some innocent person’s lovingly cared-for garden.

After a few rather enthusiastic expressions of love, he asked me to join him at Valentine's Day concert that was on nearby. I was studying for a politics exam which I had to take the next day, and being a bit of a swot, I was not impressed.

I told him so. He told me I needed to lighten up.

I can’t remember what happened after that, but I think it involved about two hours in my room where we argued, cried, and yelled at each other. All while his mates, locked out of the room, banged on my windows and door asking us to hurry up!

The result was his flowers ended up in the bin, he left with his mates, and our 'relationship' was over.

It broke my heart for, oh, all of about five minutes. Okay, a couple of weeks. The worst part was when unsuspecting friends asked me what I’d received for Valentine’s Day – and I had the ‘fess up the horrible truth. I Was Not Worthy.

Since then, I’ve both endured and enjoyed countless Valentine’s Days. Some have been spent alone, and some of them have ended in tears.

On one memorable occasion a partner had lunch with me, and dinner with his mistress. (As I found out later).

Occasionally, I’ve been well spoiled, with expensive gift hampers, lingerie, jewellery, dinners out,  and the rest.

I’ve even had happy Valentine's Days as a single; enjoying rowdy, fun-filled meals and gossip with single girlfriends.

But the dreamy Valentine’s Days have been in the minority.

Even in the years I was happily married, we generally didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, due to the cost and the hype. And besides, every day was Valentine’s Day, right?

This year, I got Sweet Fanny All for Valentine’s Day.

Oh wait, that’s wrong. My kids came home to me on the night before with a couple of decent headfulls of nits.

I spent the night helping them fine tooth-comb out their hair till their scalps bled, but the next morning, Miss 7’s hair was still full of the nasty little feckers and their eggs.

Mr 10’s hair was fine, so we dropped him off at school, but not before he rubbed his head against Miss 7’s in a vain attempt to get a day off school.

Turned out not to be in vain after all.

Because I got a call about half an hour later to say C. was itching and complaining, and they thought he better come home too.

So Valentine’s Day afternoon was spent de-lousing my family, and washing all our clothes and bed-clothes.

I might have felt lonely except for my followers and friends on twitter, many of whom were spending Valentine’s Day alone, or in sensible ‘we’re-not-buying-into-the-hype’ and ‘who-can-afford-it-anyway?’ relationships.

Some had tummy bugs, others were laid low with sick kids. Some were saving money, and a couple of people found themselves, sadly, saying their goodbyes. (Or yelling. As the case might be).

Luckily for all of us, the wonderful team at Lindt Australia have come up with the ultimate in comfort food for someone who missed out on love (and chocolates) on Valentine’s Day. The hamper is valued at $100 in gorgeous Lindt treats, and is perfect to enjoy in bed. All by yourself. Non-sharing of chocolates is one of the benefits of being snubbed on V. Day. It's the law.

To win, simply check that you’re following my blog, then leave a comment as to why you deserve the hamper of Swiss chocolatey goodness!

Winners drawn on Friday, February 18.

And if you are one of the lucky ones to have been loved up on Valentine's Day, Lindt Australia has some fantastic suggestions on how to make special days romantic here.


CATE said...

Being happily married doesn't guarantee flowers and chocolates, that's for sure. We vetoed V-Day when the kids were young, one income etc, and because it is the husband's birthday the next day (today). We did have a bit of a running joke for many years where he would buy me roses on his birthday because they were always half price.(and half drooping)
The lack of V-Day enthusiasm has never bothered me til this year. Hub found out last month he got a wonderful new job involving a fair bit of travelling, but that's ok. When did he start? Feb 14th. And he had to start in Melbourne. Since we live in Adelaide, it means we have spent both V-Day and his B-day apart for the first time in 25 years.
I really wanted flowers and chocolates for the first time in a LONG time.
Boo hoo.

Mummahh said...

we dont really celebrate valentines day in our house, so this year the kids brought me a cupcake each, it was a lovely gesture, i think if i was to win some lindt chockies, i would most def have to share them with the kids they are just so, generous and loving.

Toni said...

I love VD, it's one of my favourite days of the year. But my hubby also started a new job, and was very busy preparing for it, so I dipped out too. My BF brought Lindt choccies out last night and we ate them while making Order of Service cards for her dads' funeral later this week.
So it was kind of a different VD for me....

~~Kallie~~ said...

I got married at 18 and he was my first really serious BF. Previously I'd not been involved with anyone on VD & had never had a secret admirer (or one with enough gumption to half admit it) so there'd been a dearth of VD action before I married. The ex years, the first years VD was only just after we got (officially) engaged & only about 2 weeks before we found out I was pregnant. It went by pretty much unnoticed. The next couple we had a child to cover costs for, then we had no child & were lost in a quagmire of grief for a while. After that it was a bit superfluous since we'd been married a while & thus went 29 VD's together. The last two I've been on my own and while the kids may sort of mumble about it being VD they do nothing about it. On the upside neither of them have been given anything either so I haven't had to fend off demented love interests of children too young to be having one (they're 6 & almost 13, too young...)

And so ended VD 2011, the same way all 47 of those I've been alive for have ended. No gift, no dinner, no profession of undying love (or even "right now" lust). Of course it also means I've had no guilt because I didn't get him anything or my efforts didn't meet his expectations... I made sure my ex knew he was loved for most of those VD's, the last few with him, well... perhaps not so much. One day I might get some flowers :) When I have the cash to buy them... I promise myself I will :)

Unknown said...

Because I've been a solo parent to my boys for two years now. Ex does not help at all and frankly who would want him to, given that he's a registered sex offender and a sociopath. Really lucked out in the love stakes...

His girlfriend and her two kids are very happy though. As is his mother who they're living with...

Yeah, going for the pity vote.... Chocolate would be nice...

Beet said...

What a great idea for a giveaway! I got lucky last night with a modest bunch of flowers and a small block of chocolate... but only because it happened to be payday and hubs had to stop in to get smokes on his way home and I told him to get them! lol *shakes head* the kids thought he did well to remember. In truth, he's hopeless ;)

Lady Estrogen said...

Loved the run-down of the Vdays - Funny ;) I despise Feb 14th - my blog post explained it clearly. lol.

What did we do for Vday? Nothin.
8.30pm rolls around and hubby turns to me and says, "Is today the 14th? Huh." Annnd that was it.

Anonymous said...

MIne sucked BIG time.. MY boy friend is in LA< California .. and his internet was down .. I hardly spoke to him all day ... was the worse Valentines Day everrrrrr....

Unknown said...

Oh - except when I was a high school teenager with a DESPERATE crush on the cute boy with the gorgeous green eyes in my class - I have never really been that into Valentine's Day. I resent the overly commercialised, forced celebration of so-called love when it doesn't really mean anything. As you said, a lot of people go through the motions when they are actually cheating you behind your back and a lot of people do nothing but mean more with their hearts in your day-to-day life. So I think it's a load of nonsense.

Besides, how cliched & boring. Who wants to be dictated to on how to celebrate something? It's just too easy, in my opinion. If some guy turned up at my door with a bunch of red roses and some chocolates, I'd not be impressed. Sorry - I know that sounds snooty but I just feel like it's not really showing much effort when a man can just go out and pick up the "ready-made" gifts - it shows no effort or imagination or originality or personal touch or anything.

So yeah, single or not, I've tended to not take V day very seriously. And I'm DEFINITELY not going to go out to be ripped off in some restaurant with cheesy deocrations, serving some set menu, with a million other gooey-eyed couples...ugh!

Besides, I think people put too much meaning on it and measure too much of their self-worth from it. So you didn't get a cheesy card - so what? Is that really the best they can do? I'd expect a lot more - and every day, not just some commercially dictated day! I think this sort of attitude to V Day just feeds into poor self-esteem. I even had a friend in Uni send V card to herself so she wouldn't be "left out" and not have something to show off...really, how sad. Is that how you value yourself? I spent my time devising mysterious Valentine's for the guy I liked to give him a challenge and see if he could guess it was me. He didn't actually return my feelings, as it turned out, but it was still fun! But hey, I've always been the kind of girl that enjoyed the chase much more than just sitting there, waiting for Prince Charming to fall into my lap.

I know I'm lucky to be in a loving relationship but you know, after many years of marriage, these kinds of things tend to go a bit stale. Paul knows I hate commercialised bullying so he wouldn't dare give me anything unless it was original - and we've also made a vow not to give any more paper cards to help save trees.

What I find is that you are actually happier & enjoy such holidays more if you spend your energy on planning a surprise/gift for a loved one (doesn't have to be a partner) - I really enjoy doing that sort of thing. It takes the focus of you just sitting there, waiting to receive and being bitter about not getting anything - you spend more time planning the surprise and imagining their pleasure. That's what I did this year and I really enjoyed it, even though I didn't get anything in return. (Well, I don't think the flowers he sheepishly nicked out of our OWN garden on his way out to work really counted!). Isn't there a saying somewhere about how there's greater happiness in giving than receiving? I agree with that. I'm happiest when I'm planning gifts for loved ones - whether it's my family far away, my husband or my friends...it takes the focus away from yourself and stops you feeling sorry for yourself. And after all, making other people happy is the greatest feeling, isn't it? :-)


bratzgirl said...

A big fat sucky VD here. Not only did partner of many many many years and 4 kids not bother, he decided his boss was more worthy of a cake for his birthday on vd even though he's only known him for the past year. He couldn't even pick a flower out of the garden or even a "I love You" call would have satisfied me.

Nat said...

The conclusion that I have come to is that Valentine's Day, as we know it now, was conjured up by either a financially struggling florist, or by someone who needed a legitimate excuse for exceeding their daily Weight Watchers points.
Personally, I don't need a reason to tell my hubby that I love him, and we have enough valid reasons to argue without adding silly things such as his inability to buy me a decent bunch of flowers, or to write a meaningful blurb in a card.
Does he love me? 3 children, 5 days a week spent slogging his guts out to provide for us, and 14 years of waking up to my anti-morning moods and frizzy bed hair, tell me he does. Besides, flowers and chocolates given on a day that is NOT Valentine's Day (or on any other day of celebration) are much more meaningful than those that he feels "obligated" to buy.
As for chocolate, we have never needed an excuse to indulge in that! Chocolate is one of those lovely things that we like to share whenever the opportunity arises, just because we can. If eating chocolate together is what makes Valentine's Day so special then every day with my hubby is Valentine's Day.

LindtLover said...

"You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

I think we forget what Valentine's Day is truly about, and that is mostly due to the commercial nature this special day has adopted (or been bestowed).

Sometimes we forget about the most important person in our lives, we run around trying so desperately to be liked, to feel needed and wanted, meeting deadlines and being what we think we need to be... But in reality we forget about ourselves. We forget to do the things that make us feel good, and slowly we become bitter and feel left out. Unwanted. And so the cycle gets worse as we seek from others to fulfil those empty spaces, that just keep getting bigger, and more demanding.

I believe in taking time to myself throughout the year. Sometimes that might be with a block or two of my favourite Lindt chocolate. Sometimes it's simply a long bath, playing my favourite song, or a walk in the park on a sunny afternoon.

When I remember those moments I feel fulfilled. I feel happy. And I can only wish that even people in love can feel the way I do, when I am alone.

Anonymous said...

This years Valentine's Day was not really worth writing about. My husband and I both forgot, too busy with our three little ones. We have three kids under three and we had to take all three to the doctor on Valentine's Day! Twin 1 turned out to have tonsillitis, twin 2 a headcold and baby J needed her 6 month immunisations. Instead of a romantic night together we spent our whole night running from one bedroom to another with panadol, thermometers, cleaning sheets, wiping noses, feed ice blocks etc.

Now that I look back on it my very best Valentine's Day was 10 years ago in high school. My younger sister (13 at the time) had the possibility to buy a rose for Eur.2.50 through school and have it delivered anonymously to another student but only in the same year. She spent her pocket money on it and had it delivered to me, four grades higher. I felt so embarassed when someone knocked on the classroom door delivering this flower to me from my baby sister. When I think about this now I feel all warm and teary, as I moved from the Netherlands to Australia 5 years ago and don't get to see my sister much at all. No Valentine's Day with my hubby can beat that one!

So even though my kids were sick and I was covered in vomit I still had a warm and lovely two minutes thinking back to that day.

Twitter @simonefranssen
Following blog as Simone Franssen

mandachic said...

To give and not have received, I really feel so deceived!

Zja Noir said...

It actually sounds like you needed these all for yourself! Just tell the kids that chocolate is poisonous when they have nits. Start talking about enzymes in their saliva causing a chemical reaction or something. Use big words!

I had a non-existent v-day, but then I always do. Oh, I lie. A sleazy business associate sent me a line in an email. Suffice to say, I went home alone and read a book.

Followed here and on twitter.

Cathy Mac said...

I am so blessed. I got some flowers on Friday night (I assume for Valentine's Day) and on Sunday my two year old daughter and I made a heart shaped chocolate mudcake for Daddy to take home with him for the week. (We only see him on weekend) Miss Two also coloured in some hand drawn love hearts on a card for her Daddy. Maybe Dorothy needs the chocolates more than me! Her ex-Valentine sounds like a real treasure. Though i DO love Lindt!

joey2608 said...

My hubby and I don't normally celebrate V-Day, as our anniversary is a few weeks later. However this year he did cook me a nice meal once the kids had gone to bed (although we were still eating at 10pm!!)

Sounds like their are a lot of people that 'deserve' this chocolate, but i'd like to add, I would LOVE it, because rarely, very rarely do I ever get a piece of chocolate of my own, normally the kids have ripped into it before I get a chance! Although my youngest daughter likes to 'share' her chocolate, meaning if it's something she doesn't like she spits it back out all squashed, gooey and discusting looking and gives it to me to eat! So for once i'd love a chocolate hamper (lindt even better!) to indulge in by myself!! (just better arrange delivery on the day the kids are out! hehhe!!)

follwoing on google friend and twitter! :)

This Mummy Maze said...

I am in total belief i deserve some of these swiss chocolate goodies after the valentines i had not a card, flower , chocolate, breakfast or even a coffee in sight i only got wished a happy valentines day after my guy read his valentine peom i had put in the paper and after the mailman had delivered the valentines card i sent him in the post at aboput 2pm then he went fishing with his mates so there went the special dinner i had planned i was so upset after being together for 13 years i did expect more of him lets see how he likes if somebody else sends me chocolates

Roxana said...

I know I might be a little late in commenting, but I figured I'd have a say too.

I'm 21 and I've never had a secret admirer or even a simple Valentine's Day gift. It's a bit hard to be the only one that doesn't receive anything when those around you receive roses, chocolates, champers and get whisked away on a date night.

Nonetheless, I can't help but think that it's all sweet, even if I'm missing out. It might be over the top, but it's the only time when couples can be over the top and get away with it. As for the end of relationships, every end is just a new beginning.


Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Aw babe, reading that made me sad. Your first valentines sounded awful!

I know that valentines day is very commercial but I absolutely adore it! My bf and I are very mushy and usually go out of our way to find the "perfect" present.

I'm not a flowers and chocolates kinda girl and so it really meant a lot to me when he went trolled the internet for weeks to find a nintendo entertainment system (NES) with my favourite childhood games for Valentines. It's truly amazing when you find someone that knows you that well!

As for being taken out? I prefer staying in and cooking..