Happy Valentine’s Day (And I’m Not Even Rolling My Eyes, Swear to God)

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl.

 

She wasn’t a remarkable girl, a quite ordinary girl, really.  She grew up doing ordinary things, with ordinary people, having ordinary experiences.

 

She watched movies.  A lot of them were about love.

 

 

It looked nice.  She had no idea how to go about making it happen to her, though.

 

There were hesitant, and ultimately false, starts.

 

One day (it was November, and cold, and beautiful), she fell in love.  At least, she was pretty sure it was love.  She had no basis for comparison.  So she ran it against a de facto checklist that movies and tv and friends and Harlequin Romance novels had formed, and lo and be-damned-hold, she was in love.

 

 

And then she wasn’t.

 

It had gone sideways and off the rails, and it was so damned gradual.  When she finally figured that out, she couldn’t believe she’d ever bothered in the first place.  Because this hurt almost too much to bear.

 

The first thought that formed was an ugly one.  She told it to shut up, to fuck off.  But it persisted.

 

“It’s you.  You’re the problem.  You aren’t worthy of love.  It doesn’t apply to you.  You can’t make someone feel that.  And you never will.”

 

As much as she’d taught pieces of herself not to breathe, she still couldn’t live with that.

 

She settled, instead, for believing that love was a construct for the weak.  Something suckers waxed ecstatic about and companies exploited for profit.

 

She was above it.  She was out of the game.  She was safe.

 

And then she wasn’t.

 

One day she had to face up to some real, honest to goodness, raw, can’t look away ugliness.

 

Nothing was what she thought it had been.  Everything she thought she knew, she didn’t.  And she definitely wasn’t safe.

 

And as she lay very still, let her mind go blank, because really, she had no other choice, all circuits were overloaded, she had a thought:

 

“If everything I believed about my life was false, if my marriage, hell, most of my relationships weren’t at all what I thought they were, what else was I wrong about?”

 

Love, idiot.

 

The answer whispered, then yelled, then screamed its way into her brain.

 

She started to listen to friends.  And instead of picking out the stories, the evidence that supported her former case, she listened under the surface.  To stories of people who gave to each other without keeping track and counting and playing defensively and being careful.  The examples of people respecting and valuing and being absolutely cuckoo fucking bananas over each other.

 

She stopped sneering.  Stopped avoiding the friends who had found these beautiful and flawed and love-filled lives.

 

And stopped counting herself out.

 

 

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15 responses to “Happy Valentine’s Day (And I’m Not Even Rolling My Eyes, Swear to God)

  1. You shouldn’t count your self out. Especially since you never know where it might come from. I learned that the hard way.

    I mostly just wanted you to know that I’m still here, even when you only post once a month or so. xoxo

  2. It annoys me that it’s taken two whole months to post again.

    That aside, I still loved the post.

  3. This is good. Very good, indeed. So very happy for you. 🙂

  4. what? it’s not pnly meant for beauty queens and high school girls with clear-skin smiles who marry young and then retire?

    don’t make me rethink this… i was getting used to it.

    i’m glad you were able to answer the knock at the door – and that there was something delightful there for you! i’m not sure i even know where the door is anymore…

  5. Your writing is so very poignant. I wish no one in the world had to ever go through the black parts of grieving for a love that ends; and I’m especially sorry that it happened to you. I’m glad to read that you have stopped counting yourself out.

    I think you’re pretty spiffy. I hope you’re beginning to think so, too!

  6. It is a brave thing to believe you are worthy of love. Even now, having a wonderful person in my life, I struggle to believe I am worthy of it. Sometimes hope and resilience is enough to get you to put one foot in front of the other. Happy VDay Ginny.

  7. This made me tear up, at work no less.
    I get it, I really do. I also was in the two kids now alone mess and it took me some time to get on track. A friend once asked me, “Who are you holding all your baggage for?” and I couldn’t answer. Long story short, I have been successfully happy, still a little jaded, but still happy. I have faith it will find you as well.

  8. This hit me like a right cross, right in the gut, i wish i rememberd what love felt like, that girl/boy love, it’s been so long i can’t even remember, oh well, i can be happy for my interweb crew though right? and i am happy, and i’ll still read your stuff even if you only post twice a year. mainly for things like this right here.

  9. I’ve never been in love, but I’ve always believed in it. Always. And I’ve always known that you have to be vulnerable. And I don’t know how to be vulnerable, I only know how to be stubborn.

  10. I found your blog by some freak accident miracle, and it’s fantastic. Just sayin’.

  11. Whenever I read your blog, I wish we could sit down over coffee and chat.

  12. I only wish that I could stop counting myself out. Maybe one day down the line I’ll feel it.

  13. and i dig that pic, Sixteen Candles is one part of the Holy Trinity of movies and i’m sure you know what the other two are.

  14. The girl was NEVER ordinary.
    The girl was ALWAYS remarkable.

    What she lived was in no way ordinary either (for better and for worse probably).

    One gal’s opinion, I suppose, but not unfounded and the premises on which we build are stories are – I am more and more convinced – as important and defining as the story itself.

  15. Every once in a while, I’ll catch myself thinking “What in the hell is she so happy about?”, mostly because that didn’t really happen much for a long time, not in the same way anyway. I have always loved the woman you are. But I really dig happy Ginny 🙂

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