So, it's that time of year again. Just when you're done recovering from the crush of glitter, guilt, delight, and debt that is Christmas, Valentine's Day appears.
Oh, how I dislike Valentine's Day. Forced to "celebrate" it in elementary school by scrawling my name on the bottom of cheap, cardboard-y cards from Cost Cutters emblazened with the legend "I Love You Bear-y Much!" and decorated by an uber-cute pink teddy bear who would totally get his ass kicked in Jellystone Park and then walking around the room to give them to my classmates, Valentine's Day always turned into an anxiety-driven nightmare of counting all the cards in my "mailbox" (usually two hearts stapled together with an opening left on the top to slip the cards in and taped to the front of the desk) and realizing that even though I made a card for everyone, not everyone gave me a card. Oh, the repressed tears when it occurred to me that the cutest boy in class didn't give me a card but the "rich girl" in class got two from him. It's all coming back to me now. Oh . . . good . . . god . . . *sniffle, sniff, sniff*
(I think that's the reason I ignored the "rich girl's" friend request on Facebook.)
Middle school and high school brought on what I called All-Black Valentine's Day, when I would dress in an all-black outfit and skulk around the hallways, glaring at the girls who had multiple carnations pinned to their shirt. The days of the Cost Cutters Valentine's Day card give-outs were over. Now, the amount of popularity you had was measured in how many carnations you got in delivered to you during homeroom and 1st period. I never thought I'd miss the days of the anonymous desk mailbox delivery service ever in my life.
Even if I had a boyfriend (or husband) during Valentine's Day, I would insist that we ignore Valentine's Day. No giant stuffed teddy bears, no gooey cards, no dinner dates, and no chocolates--well, they could still get me chocolate. I'd never turn down candy. The reaction of the guy involved would range from "Are you serious? You don't want anything?" (said in an incredulous tone with a look of delight and relief on his face) or "C'mon, you don't want a card or anything?" (said in a disappointed tone with a look of surprised worry on his face). When I stressed I "really don't want a thing," most guys get that panicky, deer in the headlights look and you can hear them start to internally freak out, "Okay, does she really want nothing or is she doing that fucked up girl thing where she says she doesn't want anything but she really wants something and if I don't get her something, she's going to wig out and get all crazy? Shit, I should just break up with her. That's easier."
Remember that post I wrote at Christmas time about jewelery commercials and my loathing of them? Yeah, well, that applies here too. I'm convinced the ad men just digitally remove the Christmas decorations and replay the same commercials over again. I mean, that's what I would do to save money and not have to go through the nightmare of auditioning any more uber-adorable commercial kids.
When I got pregnant with Lizzie and my OB told me that my baby was going to be born anywhere between February 11th and February 19th, I immediately thought, "Oh, god. It's gonna be born on Valentine's Day. I just know it." As my pregnancy progressed and I was able to narrow down my due date more and more, the prospect of my kid being born on Valentine's was getting more and more possible.
"This is a nightmare. This is terrible," I lamented to Erick from my spot on the couch with a White Castle Crave Case of cheeseburger sliders balanced on my giant belly.
"What is?" he asked, surprised. I never spoke while eating when I was pregnant unless it was to slap his hand away from my meal and growl "Get off my food!" at him like a starving tiger.
"Because if she's (we already knew Lizzie was a girl at this point) born on Valentine's Day, every birthday gift she's ever gonna get from every cheap guy she dates is gonna be Valentine's themed and he's gonna say, 'This is for your birthday and Valentine's.' Just like Mark and Christmas." (Erick's brother Mark's birthday falls on Christmas Eve.)
"Aim, you really can't start worrying about that now," Erick reassured me.
Too late. I was already crying on my sliders. "I don't want to have a Valentine's Day baby!"
According to the ultrasound, Lizzie was weighing in at a whopping 9 pounds 6 ounces two weeks before my February 19th due date. When I saw my OB the next day, armed with Mom and Nannie's insistance that they induce me ASAP, he agreed that it was time to induce before she got any bigger and made the birth difficult. You know, because having a Thanksgiving turkey massing at your pelvis isn't difficult enough.
I was induced on Valentine's Day. Lizzie made her appearance on February 14, 2007 at 10.18 pm after 6 hours of hard labor, 4.5 hours of pushing, and a (slighty emergency) C-section, weighing in at 9 pounds 12.2 ounces and measuring at 21 inches.
Guess who never needs another Valentine's Day gift ever again.