It was brought to my attention the other day that I have been somewhat of a hypocrite, as far as relationships go.
Rewind about five months ago. A classmate (and now friend) of mine was asked if she had any plans to start looking for an apprentice funeral director/embalmer position, and she answered no. She was going to finish school and then see what her boyfriend wanted to do, as far as his career and his location plans were. She looked right at me.
“Don’t judge me.” She said.
“Too late,” I replied back.
Fast forward. With the same classmate/friend in tow at the Midwinter convention that we attended as a class last week, I found myself saying shades of the same. “I don’t have any plans to look for an apprenticeship right now. I want to really focus on school and then see where my boyfriend is at at that point, because one of us may move if a job opportunity comes up.”
Erika called me right out, and rightfully so.
“You judged me for that just a few months ago, and now you are doing the exact same thing!” she said. I bowed my head. She was right! I totally was.
Tyler and I have been together for four months (only four? already four?) on the 16th of this month, and some days, I only just now feel like I’m getting the hang of being a girlfriend. A serious girlfriend, that is – one that is present when she doesn’t want to be, and one that tries very hard to be a good person for the sake of the person she loves. The biggest thing that I was unprepared for, in this climb from relationships to RELATIONSHIP, is just how much effort goes in to keeping each other afloat, and we do our best, I really think we do. We have intentions towards where we would like our relationship to go, but we are both very career driven and want to establish ourselves before any of that is even on the table.
So, we take it one day at a time, and that’s cool for me, and that’s cool for him. Tyler and I are pretty honest (re: blunt to the point of it being horrifying) people, so we say what we want, how we feel, what we need, and move on. We’re really lucky in that regard, I think. I told him that I might not want children one day. He told me that he may not want to get married. We’ve both waffled on our views of both stances, but the honesty is there, and I dig that.
That said, we’re still a new couple, even though it feels like we’ve been together for 65 years. There are SO many firsts in a relationship, and today is another: our first Valentine’s Day together. Valentine’s Day – how many years of my life have I spent HATING this day? Absolutely loathing it. Feeling disgusted by it and consequently myself and the blatant disinterest that the men and women of the world showed me, etc, so on. It was pity party day, an absolute cry fest. If I was single, it was misery. If I was sleeping with that girl’s boyfriend (again … sorry about that, and I don’t mean to be flippant, but it is important to my canonical timeline), I was watching her Instagram pictures of the two of them for Valentine’s Day and wishing I was dead. And my cynicism became one great eye that rolled directly away from anyone who posted something sweet or cutesy about their partner or spouse, because I was bitter and jealous.
Yet: here we are. Our first Valentine’s Day. He waited up till midnight to tell me Happy Valentine’s, and I send him a Hamilton themed Valentine strip that I’ve been saving for the occasion for weeks. I’m eagerly putting together a Valentine’s surprise to give to him when we get to see each other next (Friday), and I just feel … genuinely sorta excited to join in on the festivities of the day.
Methinks I smell a hypocrite ….
So, the tides have turned, and I caught myself thinking today “Valentine’s isn’t SO bad, I don’t know why people get upset!” and I immediately wanted to bludgeon myself. It IS bad if you are single and you don’t want to be, and I’m not going to take that away from a damn one of you. There are so many trite things that people used to say to me that only infuriated me more when I was single and wishing to God that I was anything but – all I can tell you is that Tyler quite literally fell into my lap (aka Facebook feed), and now I’m someone’s girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, and I’m begrudgingly excited about it, and that makes me feel kinda hypocritical. Because tbh, just last year I ate chocolate until I got sick and yodeled to “Valentine’s Day” by Jewel for what seemed like hours. I cried a good bit somewhere in there, too. Pretty healthy bit.
Point being: I want to apologize to you all, those who I silently judged: I’m really sorry to all of the gushy couples who posted lame ass things and celebrated and mooned and swooned for Valentine’s Day in the past, because having a day where you celebrate that someone that you get to love is kind of wonderful. It isn’t a manufactured holiday created by card companies, or an excuse to get presents – because having someone to love is work, great and wonderful work, but work nonetheless. And celebrating having one another is something to be proud of, and I’m proud to celebrate the wildly strange relationship I have with Mr. Hamilton. (And don’t worry, everyone: I haven’t lost my damn mind totally – I still think gender reveals and being butt crazy over your wedding are extra af, so I’m still the same hag I’ve always been).
Second point being: If you don’t have a Valentine today, go nuts over it if you want, that’s totally fine. Cry it up, eat the chocolate, do whatever you want. Like I said, I get it. Before today, my most memorable Valentine’s was, no joke, when I broke up with my boyfriend the day before because I literally had been tested for HIV at the doctor’s office earlier that day, and was convinced he had given it to me (he didn’t! I’m healthy! My immune system is truly just that shit! All is well!). I know you don’t want to hear crap about Galentine’s Day and friendship Valentine’s Day, but that’s tough, because listen up: even if you don’t have a romantic valentine, you have me! Being in a relationship is a wonderful addition to your life, but isn’t what defines you as a person. If you don’t have a partner today, you do at least have a friend (and if you are reading this, that friend is me!) and I love you and I’m glad to know and love you and I’m grateful that we put in the work that it takes to be friends.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day to my gentlemen friend, I love you very much. And Happy Valentine’s Day to all of my friends, too, who are so loved and so special, one day isn’t enough to contain the celebrations you deserve.
(And again, sorry for being such a hypocrite. Or maybe I just grew up. Nah. I was probably just being a hypocrite.)