Here I am again, at 11,000 feet again. Flying to the Left Coast. Fast. Because after all, I’m still on hiatus and there are places to go and people to see.
I’m headed Down Under later in the week. The land of Oz. Kangaroos and koalas. Home of Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin. I still haven’t gotten over Steve Irwin…
An interesting thing happens when you cross the Pacific from the US to Australia on a trip like this. That is, aside from angsting about being cooped up in a tiny pressurized cabin for 18 hours miles above a huge expanse of seeming-less never ending ocean. Not that I’m worried… Anyway, when you cross the International Date Line right after American Samoa and right before Tonga, you lose a day. I mean a day disappears – poof, goodbye. It’s as if it never existed. And on this trip, I’m losing Valentines Day. Just a jump from February 13 to February 15 with nothing in between.
No chocolates, hearts, flowers or cards. No romantic dinner by candlelight. No “He went to Jared’s!” moment. No breathless whispers. Just business as usual without the pressure of unrealistic expectations. I kinda like that.
I’ve been married a long time so Valentines Day is no big deal. It hasn’t been a big deal for quite a while. Quite a while… I’ve become a realist. I hate it when that happens.
When I was younger, I thought it was a big deal. A newly wed me fantasized about how Valentines Day every year might play out. How my “Prince Charming” and I would gaze into each other’s eyes and whisper sweet nothings and melt into each other’s arms. We would be dizzy in our love. What a couple of crazy kids we would be!
Early on my poor husband tried to muster up the enthusiasm for all of this Valentine “stuff”. Sort of. Actually, it all seemed a bit silly to him and it was pretty obvious. It’s hard to put on a convincing Valentines “show” if your heart’s not in it. Get it? One of the follies of youth – thinking that time and tears and pouting can change something like that. Fool me once – well – you know how it goes… I’m a slow learner so it it took me a while to catch on.
But there are 364 other days to the year. 364 days to laugh and cry and love and hope and make a life. Okay, 363 days – my birthday is always fairly dismal affair as well. But hey – 363 days is a lot of days to NOT have false expectations and just to be present to what each moment of each day has to bring. To count incredible blessings. To appreciate the now and not live in a fantasy constructed by Hallmark, FTD and Walt Disney. Damn those Princesses…
So I won’t miss Valentines Day. Good riddance I say. Bah humbug. Let the naive young women get their hearts stomped on. Let the clueless young men scratch their heads in puzzlement at the seemingly unfathomable and unrelenting mysteries of the female psyche. Mars and Venus indeed!
There are 363 other days of magic to be had…
Unless it’s a Leap Year and then I go really crazy!