Valentine’s Day and Realizing that You’re Still Broken

avalentines_day1I hate Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day seriously makes me wretch those little heart candies with messages like the girl from The Exorcist(sadly I do like eating them). Could I be a unicorn, spewing rainbows of hearts? Hmm…maybe I AM a unicorn!?!?

Anyhoots, back to the matter at hand. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to make one day about love/romance?!?? Personally, I would not mind if we went back to Lupercalia, the ancient Roman festival that was celebrated around the 13th-15th of February. Getting hit with a bloody goat pelt by a hot naked guy running past me sounds WAY more fun than most Valentine’s Day dates I’ve had. It seems that this singular day has always brought more disappointment than joy for me.

Which is why for quite a few years now, I do something totally non-romantic on that day. Last year, my friend Chris and I checked out the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit at the nature and science museum. Most years I’m blessed with DeVotchKa having a show on that night, like this year. What better way to forget romance and love than to listen to songs with lyrics like this:

From You Love Me

Now there is an ocean of time
Between your life and mine
You look happy and you’re married I bet
And oh my Lord how you’ve grown
To find me still alone
I am humble
I’m still trying to forget

When you said you loved me
I thought you loved me

That song always gets me like a hole through the heart. Okay…so maybe that song isn’t the best example but it’s a damn good segue to realizing that I’m wonderfully still broken.

1264547548_3844_fullNo matter how much work I’ve done on myself, there’s always more. Broken hearts are the gifts that keep giving.
In my most recent inquiry into “why I can’t find Mr Right/what do I keep doing wrong”, I have become acutely aware that the break-up from May 2010 STILL haunts my subconscious and heart. Hooray…? Now what the heck do I do about it?

Let’s take the way-back machine to that time to set the stage:
We talked about having kids, buying a home, moving in together, career moves, big vacations…you know, the stuff that makes you think that this is it. You’ve found the love of your life and it’s going to be awesome with this person. He challenged me. I can say I’ve never been more scared than to be upside down in a kayak trying to get out for the first time ever. Yeah, I know, not so scary especially since we were in a pool, but for me that is HUGE. We woke up together, went about our day, and then came back to one another to dream beautiful dreams. There weren’t too many days where we didn’t see each other. He was all the cheesy stuff romantic people say about having a best friend and a lover. He was my favorite person to be with even when we were pissed at each other.

We started as friends. I fell in love with his cherubic face and how those beautiful blue eyes looked at me. 

Apparently I was so in love I didn’t see the signs. I figured he was just so super busy with work and stressed that he just didn’t have the energy for me. So I tried harder to accommodate him and his schedule until his work finally lightened up. It didn’t get better.

At the end of April 2010, while I’m getting ready to go to a conference I ask if we could talk more about moving in together. Both our leases were up in August and I wanted to know what we going to do. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me. He didn’t think he was ready for any of it. I was dumbfounded.

I cried for the whole month of May. I would wake up and cry while I was trying to get ready for work. Sometimes I would cry between clients. I would cry while eating my lunch. When I made it home for the evening, I would make dinner and cry more. Sometimes I would read a book or watch a movie so I could stop crying for a while. Then I’d crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep. Repeat for next 31 days. I cried a good portion of June too, but not as much on a daily basis. I was in shock and dehydrated.

Does that sound unreasonable? Does it hurt when your spouse dies? Is it worse to know that they’re still alive and they just don’t love you?

Looking back, I started to wonder why it tore me up so much. It wasn’t the first time love had gone awry for me.

It hit me yesterday. It was the real potential of a future. All the talk about what we might do or wanted to do together. In past relationships, there was never any talk about that. There was talk of vacation plans or whose parents house we were spending the holidays at but it all felt mundane. He and I would stop to look at houses walking back from brunch. I believed that we would do all the things we said. I really believed with all my heart he was my best friend and lover and we could do anything.

Which explains why I get pissy when a guy I’m dating doesn’t pull through with what he says he’s going to do. Or why I also get fidgety and nervous when he tries to get me to commit to an event more than 3 weeks out. Or how I seem to find the stupidest thing to nit-pick over so I don’t get attached. How about not letting him push me out of my box? Yeah, I end up just pushing back. Does it seem like we get along really well? I’ll figure out a way to sabotage it because having you be a lover and best friend is not going to happen. You get to have one but not both.

Because if you had both that means you could rip my heart out like he did.

It amazes me how much that has influenced every relationship since. I’m not sure how to un-program it from my brain. At least the awareness of that moment and those habits can help me recognize when I’m doing it so I can stop. Maybe unprogramming happens when a friendship turns into loving partnership again. Perhaps it’s the moment when I feel I can trust someone to honor my hopes and dreams.

And maybe someday my Nino will magically appear and we’ll live happily ever after…


Did I mention, he moved in with his girlfriend?

Of which, I’m happy he finally has made that jump but that nagging question hangs out in the way back of my mind with a meek little voice, “what’s wrong with me?” NOT that I want him back, oh no, but I think it’s a valid question to ask. Without asking questions, there’s no impetus to find answers, therefore no reason to grow as a soul having a human experience. The soul wants to love unconditionally. It’s being human that makes it a bit more complex.

Either way, this little gypsy is going to dance her little butt off at the DeVotchKa concert on February 14th. I’m going to sing with all the songs and forget that there’s a holiday about love. I’m going to forget that I’m a hopeful romantic for one day. And I’ll probably weep during one song which I’m allowed to do since I’ll be in a sea of couples.

Valentine’s Day can go bugger off.


Paris: a Story of Love and Disappointment Part II

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

A man that can serenade me can have my heart anytime.

This isn’t titled A Story of Love and Disappointment for shits and giggles.

Ah, love….the concept I perpetually struggle with.

His name is Thibault.

We met in Prague. We talked. We smoked. We drank. We danced. We looked for my “lost” travel companion. There’s alot of other things we did but I’m not telling you about it.

Well…I guess I am telling you about it because it wouldn’t be titled as such without this story.

Going to Europe, for me, was about the culture, the sights, the people, the food…not the romance story I had heard so often. Or even the hook up stories. Shagging was the second to last thing on my mind. Falling in love was definitely the last thing. I was done with love at that point. All it had brought me was pain, dashed dreams, and innumerable nights of crying. It felt good to be someplace where there was no way in hell I could fall for someone. Someplace where I could forget…

Thibault was hilarious. He made fun of Texans (“HOOOW-DEEEE! My name is Chaz! I like George Bush Senior AND Junior.”). He asked questions. He organized people to have fun. He was passionate and full of spitfire. He talked with everyone. He spoke intelligently not only in French but also in English. I found myself liking him. And then I found myself dancing with him. He was kind and caring. He was optimistic…I found myself liking him even more. We sat up all night and talked and waited…and waited….and then he said “would you like to see my suite?”. We stared at the stars on the roof top patio and then time went out the window along with the last two things on my mind.

He smelled of crisp spring water and ferns.

His eyes burnt with so much want.

I melted under his fingers tips.

We made plans to meet up in Paris.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…it all sounds like a cheesy romantic movie. All those movie writers get it from somewhere!

Paris with my travel companion was disappointing. I admit, I didn’t research Paris as much as I had the Czech Republic and Prague. My original plan was to spend 2 weeks just in Czech so I was under prepared. All the same, it’s hard to realize half way through a trip that maybe…just maybe… chose the wrong travel companion. That’s something you can’t take back. Trips like that will either make or break a friendship. It broke ours.

But there was Thibault. He was like sunshine after a month of rain. All I wanted to do was bury my nose in his neck and breathe him in. I didn’t want to admit to myself that he was amazing. He lived in France. I lived in America. And I SUCK at long distance relationships. If you’re more than a 4 hour drive from me, it’s probably going to go south at some point. I was still hopeful and thought I could overcome my own character. Maybe I could move to France?

We enjoyed Paris. We had a picnic on a bridge with hundreds of other people over the Seine. We drank wine in a cafe late at night. We kissed in the streets Paris. We saw the lights of the Eiffel Tower. We hung out in Montmartre with his friend and got pulled over by the police. We napped next to the canal in soft, late summer grass. We made love. We promised to call. I cried when he left to go back home.

That day, the sky cried with me.