Tatiana Talks

A Valentine's Day Primer - Chapter Two


As a commenter and a couple of my guy friends pointed out -- there are a lot of women out there that hate Valentine’s Day and insist they want nothing to do with it.
 
These women fall into one of two categories. She has either a) been burned by this bullshit holiday in the past and is pissed she ever put any stock into the whole candy hearts and flowers industry. She is still smoldering and doesn’t want to get hurt again. Or, b) she's testing you.

Fortunately, you don’t need to know which type you are dealing with to know what to do.

Similar to the commenter’s suggestion, your answer is to plan a low key, but romantic, evening. Go by her place, or invite her to yours, with some fun junk food or take-out, along with something red and/or heart shaped and a romantic comedy. Put in the movie, get on the couch, and make fun of just how truly terrible  and unrealistic the movie is. When you can no longer tolerate Kate Hudson, start making out and then move the party to the bedroom (or not -- go crazy and do it on the couch). 

Now, if your girlfriend is in the first group, she may wake up on February 15 with a renewed sense of hope and wonder in the world. You could very well be her hero, having restored her faith in all things lovely and romantic and Hallmark. At the very least, next year when her girlfriends are all complaining about what a waste of a day February 14 is, she may shrug and say, "I don't know. It's not so bad."

However, if you girlfriend is in the second group -- well, she is going to be less than happy with this evening. Though she said she wants nothing, she’s expecting reservations at the most exclusive restaurant in town, two dozen roses and a little (or not so little) blue box. Your first clue you are dealing with a woman from the second group will be when she answers her door in a brand new, strapless mini dress in full make up and an up-do. 

Unfortunately, your chance of getting any -- and really isn’t that the whole point of this holiday for you, men -- has just dropped to near zero. Even if you anticipated this may be the case and got the table in Bistro Romano’s wine cellar, she still won’t be happy. Instead of being happy and rewarding you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) later, she will yell at you and throw your roses in your face, calling you contrived and screaming that you never listen to her. Why? Because you are with a girl who tests her boyfriend. She is not looking for a winner. She is looking for drama. And, even as terrible as some of the acting is in those rom coms, they just don't provide enough drama for her. Nor does being happy.

On the plus side, you now know your girlfriend is chicken-killer crazy and so you can run as fast as you can and hey, maybe if you head to a bar, there is still a chance you will get some. Of course, if you are one of those guys who actually enjoys being yelled at and never right -- then Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Ready. Willing. Able?

I want a boyfriend.

This might seem like an odd declaration to make. After all, this isn’t news is it?

Well, actually, it sort of is.

All of my adult life, had you asked, “Tati, do you want a boyfriend?” I would have looked at you like you were wearing Sunflower by Elizabeth Arden and responded, “of course I do.” But until recently, I don’t think I did. That’s not to say, if I found one I would have turned him away, I just think I wanted other things more. A career, to finish my novel, really long, pretty hair.

But a couple of months ago something changed. Suddenly I wanted a boy friend and I became very aware of this desire – this actual, physical desire. Not something I needed, like oxygen, but something I wanted – like the Birken bag. Or the Cartier tank watch. Though, possibly, slightly more attainable.

Then again, maybe not.

With the bag or the watch, I merely have to get over the mental hurdle that $1,000 to $4,000 is not too much money to spend on a watch or a bag and that there aren’t a dozen of better things I could do with that money.

Finding a boyfriend is infinitely harder. For one – there is meeting a guy I’m attracted to. Not as easy now that frat parties are no longer in the equation. Two, there is finding a guy that is attracted to me (also easier when loud dance music and lots of cheap alcohol were in the mix).

I’ve tried letting friends set me up to no avail and I gave my phone number to a guy I met on the train with disastrous results. I’ve joined clubs, stopped listening to my head phones at the, and started shopping at the hip grocery stores during peak hours. I’m not sure what else is left to do.

So, after the personal trainer (a fix-up by a friend) cancelled on me the second time, I realized I had run out of potential boyfriends at the moment. A thought I expressed to Bridie. She laughed and asked when I went from being single to being without any potential boyfriends. I explained to her my dilemma – something I have been tight-lipped about because I am slightly embarrassed by it – and she had some advice for me.

She suggested I make space in my life for a relationship.

Her story goes that a wise woman once told her that she woke up one day with the realization that she was ready to get remarried; even though she wasn’t seeing someone. So she sold her wedding band, cleared out half of her closet and soon met that man that would be her future husband.

Bridie took the advice, made room in her life, and met the man she is now living with.
Huh? Make room in my life.

I had no idea what this means – nor when Bridie became the weird Chinese guy from the Karate Kid movies. But since it was the only thing I hadn’t tried, I decided to give it a think.
I got on the treadmill (where I do my best sober thinking) and tried to figure out where I needed to make space in my life.

At first, all I could think about was my closet and how there was just no possible way I could clear half of it out and that if it came to it, we would just have to find a new place with lots of big closets or a small spare bedroom that we could turn into a (my) closet.

So I tried to focus on other areas of my life that would change once I had a boyfriend. I would need to get used to sharing a bed with someone again – not much I could do about that in the meantime, though. Same is true for asking for help with things around the house in an effort to make my boyfriend feel useful. And while, I was thinking about all the things I did wrong with Douchebag – who I have decided to start calling Houdini again, because Douchebag makes it sound like I’m angry with him, and really I’m not. Plus, I would like to reserve that name for someone really jerky and awful and he just doesn’t fit that bill – I remembered another complaint he could have had about me.

I never had time for him.

As I upped my speed on the treadmill, it occurred to me that I still don’t have time for someone. If I’m not working at the office, I’m working at home. If I’m not out with friends, I’m in Allentown with my family. I have been looking forward to this coming Friday for about a month now, because I had absolutely nothing scheduled. Of course, now I have something to do and so it will be another week (or more) before I can spend an evening to myself.

There is was. That is where I need to make space. Not in my closet (yet) but in my schedule.
So, I have decided to set one day a week aside for date night. And because I never do anything in moderation – I plan on taking myself out on actual dates until I find someone to do it for me. I’m looking forward to tea in a coffee shop, dinner at a new restaurant, seeing a movie, or maybe going to dance lessons (still not sure about that last one). For my first date I think I will go home, make myself a really nice and semi-complicated meal, buy a bottle of wine, light some candles, and watch a romantic movie – as opposed to something wildly inappropriate for a date like Michael Moore’s Sicko or Paradise Now.

Yes, those are two movies I watched on actual nights spent in with a significant other. No, I didn’t see anything wrong with it at the time. However, in hindsight maybe there is something to be worked on there as well. But that will have to wait.