V-Day 2011: I’ve Got This
by David Lacy
This is the first Valentine’s Day in nearly a decade I’ll be alone.
Any day now I’ll be signing divorce papers, bringing an official close to a seven-year relationship. To be honest, my hand is going to shake like a seismograph during an earthquake while signing those damned forms. I’m not going to want to surrender the pen when I reach the end of my scribbling signature. The finality of the moment is going to hit pretty fucking hard.
I had a lot of expectations for age 30.
I thought I would be a dad by now. I thought I would have a baby girl I would spoil like crazy and perhaps a son I would play cops and robbers with. I won’t lie: I fantasized about kids bursting through the door, bouncing on the bed, waking me with jumps, giggles, and somersaults. I would get my son mini cargo shorts and a 49’ers hat; my daughter pretty dresses and – oh, who am I kidding? – some Niners gear as well.
The really hard part to admit, however, is that I’m actually going to be OK. Just fine actually.
Sometimes it takes a bit of sun or a flute of wine or a decent jog to arrive at this conclusion, but eventually – and repeatedly – I find myself returning to this same assessment.
After all, the fantasy I mentioned above isn’t a dream abandoned, but rather, a “dream deferred.” I can still obtain this imaginary scenario if I want it (I do still want it actually); I might just need to take a scenic detour along the way.
Here’s what I do to get my mind off the pain of the divorce and to re-focus my energy and attention on self-improvement and/or distraction:
* I bask vicariously in the success of others’ relationships. Some suggest Valentine’s Day is a particularly spiteful time for single people. They contend that “singles” harbor secret and bitter resentment toward their romantically-unified friends and family members. In reality – at least for myself – the reverse is actually the case. I derive a sincere sense of hope from the positive relationships that surround me. My younger brother, Michael, and his wife Kim (as well as their baby boy, my first blood-related nephew, Orion) make me grin like a fucking idiot whenever I see them. The playful banter between my friend Hank and his husband Kyle makes me proud to declare my acquaintance. And my best friend David and his wife Ashley continuously demonstrate that some commitments are built on the most solid and unshakable of foundations.
* I occasionally flip off satellites in the sky because I’m angry but don’t wish to be rude to people in “real life.” Try it. It’s fun. Satellites won’t fight back. I promise.
* I drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway without destination, sun-roof open, screaming at the top of my lungs along with the car stereo. And I don’t stop screaming (“singing”) when I’m parked alongside another vehicle at a stoplight, in fact, I sing louder and more enthusiastically. For extra emphasis I’ll even use the steering wheel as a drum set.
* I walk to the beach and stare into the watery infinity. This is precisely as healing as it sounds. The interminable roar of the crashing waves operates like Xanax on the brain. Admittedly, I’ll occasionally fall asleep in the sand.
* I go to coffee shops to work and strike up conversations with total strangers.
* I watch marathons of television programs on my laptop in bed. Nothing beats passing out to an episode of Dexter, a glass of cheap wine, and a bag of microwave popcorn.
A few months ago I wasn’t sure how I was going to cope with the first Valentine’s Day in nearly a decade without a special someone by my side.
Now I think I’ll try not to worry about that. Besides, I do have a special someone by my side.