Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gaining Perspective... Or the Cream Puff is Delicious

Happy Valentine's Day, Dear Readers!

Always a dicey time of year, isn't it? Unless you are on the far ends of the spectrum - so sure in your relationship that you can ignore this corporate-historical shenanigans, or so sure that you are NOT in any relationship and don't care that you can disregard the whole foolish business, perhaps kissing your monkly robes in gratitude that you no longer have to interact with intimate relationships - then this day is sure to stir up a whole lot of feelings.

Only a lucky small percentage of the population is in the first heady throes of love, those infatuation-infused days when everything romantic is easy. The rest of us have to muddle along somehow, limping through the day with cards or flowers, gifts or dinners, or not, as we find best.

Most of my friends are miserable with the effort that love requires. The married ones are mostly resigned and just getting through it; the single ones are suffering. I know this because I just had a series of dinners and lunches last week with girlfriends in need, and, boy, are my arms tired.

Whoops. Mixed up my punchline there. Mostly because even I get bored with the repetitive nature of striving and suffering that love brings out in all of us. Man, if you want to watch your friends circle in a never-ending spiral, ask them about the details of their love lives.

So it wasn't that surprising to me, that after a week of juggling work demands and needy friends, I was pretty drained. Wiped out. A bit down. All of which tends to make me a bit irritable and demanding, and which tends to put my husband's danger guard on high alert. Since he had an extra day off yesterday, sure enough, Bing! our valentine's week fight.

Except it wasn't even a fight really. That's because there was no root cause or problem to fight about. Neither one of us is doing anything wrong. Which doesn't mean you can't fight, especially if you both throw your shoulder against it. But I wasn't in the mood, so I kept backing out. Overall I'm pretty happy. Happier than anyone else I know, and I don't see anything better out there.

So my husband's deep seated and understandable fear that I will leave him is not very realistic. If my husband needs to leave ME, that's a different story. He's got that right and I would be very devastated. But I'd probably go on, based on my continued ongoing from other difficult circumstances. Whereas my husband really seems to need me, need me for his very existence and survival. And of course that deep need makes him insecure and then volatile. Poor thing. Like I said, I've had time to think it over a lot, and I feel so much empathy for the whole situation. So much love and caring for him.

But that doesn't mean I like the way he gets. He gets hurt so easily, and then he fights mean. And that cuts me. But we are still here, so now I shrug it off and keep going. I'm sure that any therapist listening to the communication during our conflicts would foretell the doom of our relationship. I'm not sure how we keep it going. But we do. And tomorrow will be 27 years together. Despite everything we are still here, and we still love each other. So I assume that will continue.

Last night, I felt so tired and depressed. Like packing it all in. So I did the next best thing. Told myself to go to sleep and that today would be a brand new day. And it is.

Today, I am up and dressed in my crisp white and crimson red outfit. I'm adorned with jewelry, ridiculous scarf, perfume and lipstick. I'm at the bookstore, reading all the titles about how to solve life's problems and sending caring texts to various friends who are overwhelmed by this loveday. I'm drinking hot cinnamon tea and eating a cream puff and writing and enjoying myself immensely. Later I will go to my favorite grocery store and buy everything for a delicious, romantic family dinner - about the best you can do on a Tuesday. Some flowers, some candles. Wine, cheeses. Chocolate!! I pamper myself. I romance myself, and others as well.

And, again, I say to you - Happy Valentine's Day. I hope your suffering is light, that light fills you with joy, and that you experience the romance of love in any of its flavors.

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