With it being Valentine’s Day and all… I thought I would join the masses and post something related. I have another post just about ready to go with my first week’s progress on my new healthy living plan and I am feeling great about that and want to post it, but I have been ruminating on this other post for a couple days.
In honor of this incredibly commercialized day, loved by some, despised by many, I’ll get this out first. I have never thought much about Valentine’s Day. When I was a kid, I received lots and lots of Valentine’s cards. I enjoyed making the cards too. I am a crafty, artsy kind of person. Even when it wasn’t mandatory to give every kid a card, I always did, and I received cards from boys and girls alike. Sometimes I felt a little tingle of excitement when a sweet card or piece of candy from a boy I thought was especially cute landed on my desk. It made a girl feel good even if for just a split second. Later, in high school, I do not remember spending much time thinking about Valentine’s Day. By my own choosing, I did not date. A couple of my favorite high school male friends used to provide singing Valentine grams and it was always fun to watch them perform. They were always performing for someone else. I never expected to get a singing telegram in high school. I shied away from most things male, and all things dating. I did not want to end up like my parents. “In love” in middle school. Married just after high school. Pregnant by the time they were 19. I guess I avoided it so desperately because I felt they were too young when they made their choices, and they chose unwisely and I was a victim of their choices. Not that I regret being born, of course, but by the time I was four years old, their constant arguing, fighting, and my Dad’s bullying, took it’s toll on me. As I have said before, I was glad they divorced when I was six. Even if they had tried to hide their unhappiness from me, I still would have known, I am sure of it. Kids are instinctive that way. Maybe I thought waiting a little would give me the maturity to make a better decision. After high school, I hung with other singles on Valentine’s Day, or skipped it altogether. It never bothered me that I wasn’t in a relationship, I was a teenager with years of life and love ahead of me. I was not lonely. I met Blue Eyes when I was 20. I received Valentine’s Day cards and flowers from both Blue Eyes and The Other Guy on that first February of college. It was a novelty for me, but it didn’t make my heart go pitter pat. Valentine’s Day is just another day. A day designated by retail chains and restaurants. Another marketing ploy. A way to make money. I never put much stock in it. I am a “show me your love every day” kind of gal. Also, I am not the most romantic person in the world. I am also not a girly girl. I mean, I like the color pink, and I LOVE flowers, but I love flowers out in the yard, or in a park, as much as I love flowers in a vase in my house. And, the whole box of chocolates craze is pretty lost on me. I love chocolate, but I love chocolate more in the way of cookies and cakes and brownies. Plus, by February I am ALWAYS back into a healthy eating routine because I have totally gone nuts over the holidays. I have never received a piece of jewelry on Valentine’s Day, and I can honestly say, that does not bother me.
So, Blue Eyes and I have been together for 30 years. Most of those years, we have spent Valentine’s Day together. When the kids were little, we would make a big meal for Blue Eyes and I have this heart shaped cake pan. We would bake a chocolate cake in it and the kids would decorate it for Daddy. One year we took the boys with us to a romantic fondue restaurant that had opened the year before. Another year I purchased a Valentine’s Day cooking class for the four of us at a local high end grocery store that was actually held ON Valentine’s Day. The kids LOVED it. We sat there with a half dozen other couples, and our two middle school aged boys, and we participated in a cooking class, with lessons on the perfect medium rare filet mignon with a red wine demi-glace, potatoes au gratin, grilled asparagus with bernaise sauce, and molten chocolate cake, and chocolate dipped strawberries. The boys were the hit of the party and the food was delicious. Blue Eyes worked so much, that for many years, V-day was really an excuse to spend a day together, as a family. Blue Eyes was somehow always home on Valentine’s Day. Eventually, the boys grew up and by high school, Blue Eyes and I were on our own again.
Then, five years ago today, my husband was in Tokyo with his whore enjoying a nice, warm bowl of Japanese beef curry (one of his favorite comfort foods) at their Valentine’s Day dinner together. I was home alone, watching my boys go out on their own. I can’t say I remember being lonely, or that I thought anything about it because I had no clue he was with someone else. It was just another day to me. Now that I know she orchestrated being able to spend that day with him, the day holds even less meaning than it did before. They never spent a birthday, or Christmas, or Independence Day, certainly no Mother’s or Father’s Day, Thanksgiving or any other holiday or special day together. The fact that she instigated stealing this time away with my husband, a day designated to lovers, and that it was so important to her, makes the day worthless to me.
In August, 2013, when Blue Eyes broke things off with the delusional, smoking, hoarding, alcoholic old whore, she asked him, “if anything ever happened to Kat, could we be together?” and Blue Eyes gave her an emphatic “no,” for the first time in their crazy eight year relationship. I think there were a number of reasons he was finally able to voice that fact, once and for all, out loud to this crazy woman. One, I think he was beginning to realize that she was dangerous and he could not understand why he kept going back. Two, I think he was trying really, really diligently to manage his addiction by calling things off for good. And three, I believe he had begun grooming another woman. He was in a new cycle. He could rid himself of the old as long as he was thinking about something (or someone) new. About the time Blue Eyes broke off his relationship with Camilla, I started regularly receiving large bouquets of absolutely gorgeous flowers from him. They were from a florist in downtown, about a block from our office. The flower lady had come into the office one summer afternoon, and Blue Eyes had been the only one there. She had presented him with her business card and informed him she had opened a new flower shop very near by. He started frequenting that flower shop. She has an amazing way with flowers. Her arrangements are exotic, different, beautiful. When I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house, I sent Blue Eyes there the day before to pick out the flowers. He and his lady friend selected the most amazing array of blooms for my table and buffet. They picked the flowers out together, one by one. She talked about each individual flower with him. He explained how I am not a fan of baby’s breath and other traditional fillers. She provided wonderful alternatives. When Blue Eyes went on his last International trip alone before dday, to Tokyo in December, the day before he left I received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers with interesting hued roses, and big fragrant lilies, hand picked by Blue Eyes and the flower lady. I posted a picture on Instagram and Facebook. I treasured them every day he was gone. Then dday happened a month later. Four days after dday, Blue Eyes went on a short overnight trip to Atlanta. While he was on the plane home, he ordered flowers for me from the flower lady. When she arrived at the door, hand delivering those flowers by special request of Blue Eyes, I honestly thought she was my husband’s affair partner. I was four days out from dday, traumatized, in shock, with my natural instincts on high alert. It made a lot of sense. She is beautifully groomed and well dressed. She is a little younger than Blue Eyes, and very full figured. She has amazing auburn hair and blue eyes. And she is single and my husband had apparently been helping her with business ideas. It was then that I realized she was not the affair partner my husband had broken up with six months prior, but she was being groomed, as they call it, to be his next affair partner. It was obvious to me, and it was obvious how he would pull it off. He had set himself up to be a romantic. Always buying flowers for his wife, penning long love notes that he would have the florist write out for him in her beautiful script. She knew he owned his own company. She knew he was successful and had money. All he had to do was tell her I had left him, or we were separated, or the reason he had been buying me flowers was to try and woo me back, but that I didn’t love him any more and he was heartbroken. Now he becomes a needy, wealthy, romantic, loving unattached male. A catch. As much as I loved those flowers, every single last one of them, I explained to Blue Eyes that I did not want him to see the flower lady anymore. When I explained to him how I felt, he understood, and although his behavior while in his addiction was not something he could readily understand while he was sitting there trying to repair our marriage, out of his addiction, he believed I was right. The flower lady was being groomed. Sometimes I think, if she had not come along, would Blue Eyes still be with Camilla? Would I still be in the dark? Would Blue Eyes still be an active sex addict? Should I thank the flower lady for showing up in his life?
So now I often get amazing flowers from Blue Eyes. They never come from the flower lady’s shop. Blue Eyes has found a new florist. He hand picks each and every stem for me himself. Today was no different. He is so proud of himself. Should I thank the flower lady for training him?
Last year, last week, I found out about that Valentine’s Day with Camilla in Tokyo. I was floored. I was heartbroken. I agreed to go out to dinner with my husband on Valentine’s day last year anyway. It was a disaster. I spent little time eating and most of my time looking around at all the couples who appeared so happy, and I wondered if they were really happy, or if they were trying to fake it, like me. I had a melt down when we got home. I have come a long way since then. Tonight we will go out for a late dinner at a romantic little Italian restaurant downtown. I am looking forward to it. Not because it is Valentine’s Day, but because it is an opportunity to recognize for myself how far I have come in one year. I am a different person than I was a year ago. A better person. A stronger person. Should I thank the flower lady?