Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Why Say It If You Don't Mean It?

So, it's Valentine's Day, once again. If, like me, you're one of those people who is single, you may be tempted to say, "big deal." I am one of those foolishly romantic people, who goes around falling in love, all the while hoping that, one day, someone might truly love me back. I guess that makes me a "hopeless romantic," or just hopeless. Since, once again, I find myself alone on Valentine's Day, I tried to think of something appropriate to write about, while not becoming too negative. After all, my blog is supposed to be light-hearted. Without a current love in my life, I guess it's inevitable that I will focus on past loves. That got me thinking...why do people say "I love you," when they don't mean it?
Anyone with any dating experience at all has probably experienced having someone say, "I love you." I've taken more trips around the sun on this rock than I like to think about, so I've experienced it many times. Think about how many times you have heard that immortal phrase from someone, only for that person to willfully exit your day to day life. The phrase may be immortal, but the love wasn't. I tend to be a sentimental idiot, so back home, in America, I saved all the cards I ever got from people who claimed to love me. Not just Valentine's, I mean birthday cards, Christmas cards, the works. I had to leave that stuff in the States, because when I married the Black Queen, she wasn't real keen on me bringing that sort of stuff over here. Every once in a while, I used to look through my stash. I'd pull out cards from old loves, who swore undying love, at the time. Where are these people now?
When I say "I Love you," to someone, I mean it and I don't stop loving that person. Yet for many, it seems easy to say, "I love you" one day, then "I think we should go our separate ways," the next. Why do they do that? Why bother saying, "I love you," if you don't mean it? When I was married to the Black Queen, Valentine's Day was a big deal, every year. I used to take her out to dinner. We got into the habit of going to the same restaurant, every year, for that evening. It may sound silly, but the place became sentimental for us. There would be a card, some chocolates, flowers, sometimes a romantic gift, depending on how the finances were working out. They were little things, but the BQ used to get a kick out of it.
When I get someone a card, I put a lot of effort into picking the right one. I look at dozens of cards, sometimes visiting several shops, before I find the one that feels right. That reminds me of my last Valentine's Day with the Black Queen. I gave her a card, which, as usual, had taken me some time to pick out. She tossed it aside, unopened. I said, "the least you could do is open it. I spent forty-five minutes picking it out."
She chucked an envelope toward me and said, "I figured you'd get me a card, so I got you one. I spent five seconds picking it out."
Even my step-son, the Black Prince, noticed and asked me later why "mummy" was "being so horrible" to me. Never one to use the children as weapons, I covered for her, making excuses that she just wasn't feeling well. Each time I end up being let down by a woman, I try to steel myself against letting it happen again. Yet, time after time, I fall for it all over again. Sure, the other ones were full of it, but this time will be different. This time will be true love. It's amazing how we humans can con ourselves. On one occasion, I even had someone dump me on Valentine's Day. Ya gotta love the timing.
After the Black Queen filed for divorce, I had one decent conversation with her, where I tried to persuade her to reconcile. She asked me, "why should I stay married to you? How does it benefit me?" At the time, I couldn't think of a good answer. Maybe if I had, we'd still be married. I think I was too grief stricken to think clearly, then. Several months later, the answer came to me. By then, we were separated and I was living on my own. I wrote her one last letter, in which I made one last try to get her to reconcile. In it, I said that the answer to her question was that she should stay married to me because I love her. I pointed out that some people go through their entire lives without finding someone who truly loves them. When you do find someone who does love you, it's such a rare and precious thing, you should cherish it and never throw it away.
I sent her that last letter around Valentine's Day, 2003. Of course, it didn't make any difference and our divorce was finalized on the 17th of February, just three days later. It seems she didn't dig what I had to tell her. So, what keeps the hope alive? Why do I keep putting myself through the heartache and disappointment? Why do I keep foolishly ending up trusting the next person to con me with "I love you?" I guess I think I can't be the only person like me, out there. Surely, somewhere in this cold universe there must be a woman who is capable of loving me the way I love people. Nah! Who am I kidding? Myself, it seems. Enough of this romantic rubbish. I'm off downstairs to have some comfort food and watch TV with Nando. Happy Valentine's Day, suckers.

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