I thought I was done with Valentine’s Day.
I thought when I woke up on Wednesday morning I’d feel better. I’d feel like I made it through the day, and there were 365 days until I had to deal with the madness again. I thought I’d bounce off to work feeling renewed and not angry at the world anymore.
I was wrong.
I woke up with puffy eyes. I woke up feeling no better than I had the morning before. I woke up exhausted and had no desire to drag myself to my hour-long train ride. I just wanted to stay in bed and sleep the rest of the week away.
Whose fault was that? It wasn’t the parade of flowers I saw all day on Facebook and the subway. It wasn’t the fact that the day at work had been extended by a long, exhausting rehearsal that I had no desire to be at. It wasn’t the rain that started to come down and caught me without an umbrella. And it wasn’t the remains of my way too emotional reaction to learning Brooks Orpik is engaged.
Nope. It was a text message.
Let me make this clear to all the guys reading this: You do not text a woman on Valentine’s Day unless you are declaring your love to her. And even then, you better not be doing that via text message.
Let me repeat that: You do not text a woman on Valentine’s Day.
But more on that later.
Single women, no matter how strong and confident and stubborn they are, become a little bit crazy on Valentine’s Day. Yeah, we have our girls nights, and we drink a bottle of wine, and we laugh at how cheesy it all is, but you know what? We all want that cheesiness just a little. Even if we swear we don’t 364 days out of the year, on February 14th, all the crazy comes out.
I can think of a lot of gifts I’d like to receive more than flowers. But you know the last time I got flowers from a guy? Me neither. Because it was so long ago. I hate Valentine’s Day because I’ve never had a good one. Not even in the seven years I spent with my ex. I said once in the beginning that I hated Valentine’s Day, and he took that as permission to never even try. So even though I think the day is dumb, and I’d rather get a random bouquet of flowers in August than on February 14th, I’d still like at some point to have that overblown, cheesy night. Just once. So I can look back and laugh at how silly it all is.
Which brings me to text messages.
I was so close to getting through the day (mostly) unscathed when I checked my phone and saw a text from pretty much the last person I wanted to see a text from. As far as text messages go, it was pretty benign. But the person it was from, and the fact that it acknowledged the holiday, was enough to push me off the very precarious ledge I’d been perched on all day long.
Let me repeat it again: You do not text a woman on Valentine’s Day. You especially do not text a woman on Valentine’s Day if there is any history between you, if there is any potential for lingering feelings, if you have a tendency to push the boundaries of friendship with said person, or if you have ever said the words “we could have dated if things had been different.” You just don’t do it. In doing it, you are a) reminding her of your existence, b) reminding her that you are not doing any kind of Valentiney things together, c) sort of acknowledging that you’re thinking of her on Valentine’s Day, or at least making her think you’re thinking of her on Valentine’s Day, and yet d) not actually doing anything. It’s a text. It can be deleted in a second. It’s non-confrontational. It’s a cop out.
So when I woke up on Wednesday morning, this was what was fresh in my mind. I never replied to the message. I just stared at it a few times, wondering if I should reply, but was so fired up that I knew I couldn’t say anything even remotely nice. And now it’s 48 hours later, and I still haven’t replied. And he might be reading this, and at this point, I don’t really care. Because you don’t text a woman on Valentine’s Day.