I'm not sure why this Valentine's Day is hitting me harder than those in the past. Maybe it is the harsh winter we've had, our financial hardship, unemployment stress or that Sam is not living here anymore. So although I have a special someone in my life, it is still a Valentine's Day devoid of flowers, candy or a card.
I picked up a few goodies for the boys and I. Some candy on sale and little cakes in heart shapes which we'll have for dessert tomorrow. Both boys are at Valentine dances. My youngest didn't want to attend and wasn't planning on it. But at the last minute, literally two hours before having to leave for dinner, he got a frantic call from a friend whose date was unable to go because of getting so drunk last night. This friend asked my son to accompany her free of any associated costs. Although, he still wasn't thrilled at going he felt worse not helping out and leaving his friend in a lurch. So he agreed to attend and we had a busy hour trying to locate his suit (buried in his closet), then iron it, find his dress shoes, tie, etc. We accomplished all this and he looked very handsome when I dropped him off at the girl's home. I told him to enjoy the unexpected dinner out and have a good time.
I needed film for my camera but did not want to run into any people I know of the married and middle-aged variety picking out cards and candy for their spouses. So I purposely went to a Walgreen's on the outskirts of town - not the one I usually go to right down the street. It didn't help any because I saw a travel baseball and football mom shopping in the card section. I walked past her without looking in her direction and thankfully avoided any contact.
For some reason I've been fixating on all the middle-aged flaws I see in women my age. General sloppiness, roots showing, tummy bulges, dowdy outfits. Yet these women are all getting Valentines this weekend, including the nice mom of my youngest son's date tonight.
I think some of my irritation about this has to do with the fact that these women have the option of letting themselves go. I do not. Widowhood has robbed me of that too. Not that I want myself to gain weight or dress sloppily. But it would be nice to feel comfortable and in a stable relationship where I don't have to worry about gaining five pounds or going a few more days before coloring my hair. I feel as a 50-year-old widow that I have more of a responsibility to look good because I don't have the security of a wedding ring on my finger.
I know that being married does not guarantee anyone that they'll stay married. My experience has sure proven otherwise twice! But I think that when you're in a long-term relationship there is a comfort level there that allows you to put down your guard and not have to strive to look like a "10" everyday. You're judged on far more than looks which is the number one criteria in beginning relationships or those where a formal commitment has not been established.
Yes, this is all trivial and superficial. And I'm not particularly proud of myself for reducing myself to this level. But it is what I'm feeling. And I do wish that my life was more stable, secure and that even I was one of those less than glamorous moms this Valentine's weekend. Tonight I think I just might trade my youthful attractiveness and long locks for a box of Russell Stover's from a gassy grey haired guy who could stand to lose a few pounds.
Today I am grateful:
1. That the 30 degree temperature outside feels like a heat wave.
2. That both boys will have nice dinners and be out with friends at school dances. At least they're having a nice Valentine celebration.
3. That I hit pay dirt at the grocery store with some 99 cent deals on ground turkey and turkey burgers.
4. That we'll have enough food to get through the month because of these meat deals.
5. For heart-shaped pizzas.