valentine’s b-side- loving love is dangerous.

14 02 2012

so my real official valentine’s day post belongs to ophelia’s webb today, so you’ll have to go over there if you want to read that mess. but if you’re too lazy to click, the cliff’s notes version is that i love valentine’s day.

when was a little girl, i would spend weeks and weeks making home made valentines for everyone i cared about (long before romantic love could hover over me like a specter of death) and generally just thinkin about all the people i wanted to tell how awesome they are. as a teenager, i wasn’t always great at expressing my love for anyone or anything (picture it- 1992: black lipstick, kafka, ever present scowl), but for some reason, i let valentine’s day be the exception to that rule. and in fact, if i felt compelled to declare my affections to someone in particular, i would often wait until valentine’s day- and spend weeks or months thinking of just the right thing to say that would make them fall in love with me instantly.

this has had varying levels of effectiveness. and has, on rare occasion, gotten me into trouble.

flash forward a little bit to my freshman year in college- smith college, before i got kicked out for drinking too much cheap champagne and not going to class. i was sitting in the cafeteria picking away at hot dog tuesday or whatever bullshit i was eating at the time (despite the pricetag, smith college food was TERRIBLE), and i spotted this girl across the room eating by herself. she was boyish and limby, and had this tangle of bleach blonde hair perched on her head like a birds nest (forgive, it was the late 90s).  i just remember being kind of awed by the fact that she was eating alone and was clearly not feeling self conscious about it. she didn’t have a book or anything, just eating and existing in a way that captured my 18 year old heart.

i had to tell her. it wasn’t a choice, it was a biological imperative.

as the valentine’s day festivities rolled closer, i decided that the anonymous approach with a simple but potent message would be the best. that year i made my cards with a collage of theatrical lighting gels, cardboard, magazine clippings, and high gloss shellac. hers would read:

“happy valentine’s day to the most beautiful girl i have ever seen.”

what i didn’t realize at the time was that her girlfriend had been in my house that day and had seen me making the cards at the living room table. at least at that moment, i didn’t even realize that dream girl had a girlfriend. i would soon be in possession of this knowledge.

a few days after valentine’s day, i was in the post office checking my mail and the girlfriend spots me. dear lord, why did i have a PO box in the back corner! i don’t entirely remember what was said, but i do remember her standing very close to my face and demanding that i confess to sending the valentine. she never threatened physical violence, but pitiful lovestruck freshman allie was terrified and ran out of the building at top speed as soon as she backed away enough for me to escape. i don’t know that i’ve ever run faster in my life.

still, totally worth it.

see, there’s my problem right there. when i get it in my head to tell someone my feelings, it doesn’t matter if they have a significant other, or if we have anything in common, or if we’re complete strangers. philosophically, i believe that everyone needs to hear that they are admired- regardless of the chances of reciprocation.

love is not a calculated risk in my world. love is a wild stab. an uncontrollable declaration. and if for whatever crazy and ill advised reason, there is a person that moves me, i have to tell them.

because what if.

i may get rejected and embarrassed (a skill that i have near perfected), but i never worry that i’ve missed my chance. or that things could have turned out differently. and now, all those people that i’ve admired all those times for all those different reasons, they know. they know that someone saw them across the street and blushed and gasped. they know that someone lost all coordination and ability to form coherent sentences the minute they walked into the room. they know that (at least for a minute) someone thought they were the superior model. everyone needs to hear that.

sure, i’m a fool. a fool who will probably get beat up by an angry angry girlfriend someday. but i’m a fool with no regrets.

so as a service to everyone out there who won’t sack up and shout their love from the mountain tops (or even counter tops) this year, i devote this year’s official valentine message to every single person everywhere on your behalf:

know that you are admired from afar, if for no other reason than to be reminded that you are so worthy of admiration. 

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7 responses

14 02 2012
Bingo Beads Julie

You are fantastic and wise beyond your years!! Like you, I was so busy in my teen years making sure I was miserable, angsty and tough enough, I never got comfortable expressing admiration to people. It’s really only been in the past couple of years that I’ve realized it’s ok to be positive and spread love and props when you feel like it, whether or not people will think you’re a dork for it. A big, red, shiny lighting gel (those must have been awesome!) heart to you on Valentine’s Day! You rock, babydoll!

21 02 2012
bessmarvin

thanks julie! i don’t feel so wise most of the time, but maybe i’ve learned something. or maybe i’m just a fool who is asking for a beat down. i actually had another girlfriend threaten me recently at a bar. bourbon is a dangerous thing. lighting gels are awesome craft supplies. and if you have a lighting designer friend, sometimes they’ll feed you the scraps.

15 02 2012
Roxanne

One day I was standing, freezing, waiting for a bus in College. A girl from one of my small seminar classes came up to me, I had never spoken to her before and have no idea who she was, except that she usually sat across the room from me, anyhow she said “I just wanted to tell you that you have the best taste and you always look fabulous. My friends and I always look forward to seeing what you wear to class”.

It was awesome. Not because I felt like I was the shit, but because I had no money and did what I could with second hand stuff. It was nice that someone went out of their way to say something like that to me. I will always remember it. So, point being. Good for you for being that person who made someone like me feel great and have a wonderful memory.

21 02 2012
bessmarvin

that is a glorious story! everyone should have a story like that. imagine how awesome the world would be if everyone went out of their way to tell others how much they admired them?

p.s. your blog is freakin’ adorable. consider yourself on the blogroll. i have also recently started stalking your pinterest. i wish i still lived on the east end, i could con you into hanging out with me and my fur baby kazuki!

23 02 2012
Roxanne

Why thanks! Gosh I need to add you too. And I am sure you could. Drop into fetch some time and say hi with the furbaby. I work there!

I took the plunge and moved to South Portland in Nov. Cant say I miss living at congress and state or Sherman and high at alllllll 🙂

16 02 2012
Bobbi

This is adorable!!! I try to be the same way, because I had that moment of regret when I was younger and the thoughts of “what if…” going through my mind. NO MORE! Happy Valentines day Allie!

21 02 2012
bessmarvin

what ifs are so much worse than awkward rejections. one time, i asked a cute boy in a band (then extend-o-ride) over to my house to play scrabble. he stuttered that he was afraid of girlfriends and pretty much ran away. then i drank 3 sea breezes and spent the night vomiting on my best friend’s bath mat. still totally better than never trying. i swear!

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