How was your Valentine’s Day?
I don’t think I’ve ever really had a valentine before. I remember carefully parceling out the paper valentines for my classmates in grammar school, making sure that nothing suggestive went to any boys, lest they get the wrong idea and subsequently give me cooties. In my misspent twenties, when I was in love with my rock star/bartender boss, our Era of Fucking and Unrequited Love coincided with V-Day, and he called me into the office and gave me a heart-shaped box of candies from CVS. It was sweet, but I was pretty sure he got the same thing for his live-in girlfriend, so I didn’t exactly swoon.
Last year, Lieu and I were dating (and things were going very well), but he had his kids on the big day, so we didn’t do anything. I had a gift for him, but I ended up giving it to my mom. This year, he has a huge project deadline in the very near future, so I just assumed that we wouldn’t see each other. I sent him a box of candy and worried that even that might be a little too…too. He spooks easily.
So when he texted me at the end of last week and said, We need to figure out what we’re doing for Valentine’s Day! I was surprised. Happy, cautiously, but surprised. I offered on Sunday to postpone the big to-do until his project wraps up, but he said he really wanted to hang out. So we did; he sent me a sweet little candy heart-esque message Monday morning, and we had a fancy dinner, and he gave me flowers. Other very adorable and thoughtful things were done. It was…good. Very good, actually, and even great. It was, in fact, rather perfect.
I listened to an awesome episode of This American Life on the way home from Philly on Saturday, and one of the segments dealt with the creative process at The Onion that gives birth to their headlines. One of the headlines suggested was “Casual Relationship Enters Third Year”. I laughed, but it was a painful laugh.
I don’t know. I’ve just typed and deleted sixteen different sentences elucidating that thought, but it really stands alone: I just don’t know. Every single time I see him or speak to him, I am at least 50% sure that he is going to say he doesn’t want to see me any more. I rehearse it in my head: I love you, I will say, finally, and you are making a mistake. But in every rehearsal, whenever I say that, he just shakes his head and looks away.
I’m still doing the very expensive lunch date thing, and it is torture. I’m not talking to any boys anywhere else. I am so, so incredibly busy between work and school that I don’t even have time to sleep. I don’t have time to obsess over Lieu; it will be what it will be–the best part of my day, my week, my inbox (heh heh)–until it isn’t. I feel like I need to protect myself against the pain of that day, which instinct tells me is coming soon, but it is damn hard when he is observing romantic holidays and walking me to my car in the mornings to kiss me goodbye.
Wish me luck, either way.