Sunday, February 11, 2007

Valentine's Day

It’s getting close to Valentine’s Day – it’s always a mixed day for me – at least for the last few years. It’s my mother’s birthday and she’s been gone for a number of years. I see all these ads for happy heterosexual couples and I’m not dating anyone at the moment, though I’ve always envisaged myself married with kids and a happy family. And so it is a day of mixtures.

I’m happily gay, much happier than when I spent years denying my orientation and dating women some of whom I came close to marrying. I’m happily single and it would take someone with a great deal of courage to take on my quirks and foibles. I’m well over my mother’s death though I still miss her. But the messages of Valentine’s Day are just not conducive to my remaining settled.

I don’t begrudge couples a happy day of celebration, but I guess I’m both more and less romantic than the popular culture. One of the gifts my mother loved was her own tool kit. Dad and she could keep things the way they wanted them and find them when they needed them. And when some people went for a flower arrangement for my mother’s funeral the florist could tell them exactly which flowers my mother loved since they’d been given so many times, on no particular occasion, from my dad. The romantic gift is giving someone what they need and would never buy for themselves. Flowers are romantic on days that they’re unexpected.

I believe that some day I’ll meet my Prince Charming. I believe I’m doing a much better job of finding him now that I’m looking at men rather than women. I do think it helps to look at the people with whom one can actually have a sexual relationship. And yet in the back of my head is the dream of marrying and settling down to have children – lot’s of children – more children than my mother had – as many children as mom had with her foster children included.

Valentine’s Day will come and go, but some of the sappy ads will remain. And I will remember the real love that my parents shared. That was a love that caused me to describe their morning kiss as watching an X-rated film when I was five years old. It was a love that kept them together through some years of dissension and heartbreak. It was a love that kept me from marrying a woman, because I could not settle for friendship – deep and profound though it may be.

My mother’s birthday will pass. She was a valentine’s day baby – twin girls – named after another set of twin girls. The loss of her presence will fade again along with the sting of the way she died. Her death was in a car accident and resulted in more than one lawsuit in which I was the defendant. So her birthday is mixed with some of the joys of her life and the pain of her death.
And so it comes down to the fact that Valentine’s Day is one of those days I spend with mixed emotions. And that’s just life.

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