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If the Red Sox can win the World Series …

Can you tell I’m pining for romance? … yet another treatise on the day I like to bash the most (but apparently love despite my bashing!).
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I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself since my divorce.

Before my marriage, I was lucky enough to have been fabulously wowed (and seriously wooed) by some outstanding V-Day efforts. Fireworks, home-cooked meals, five-star restaurants, horse-drawn carriages, mousse au chocolat and champagne, whispered sweet nothings, never better than in French ….

And most romantic of all — one Valentine’s night in Boston, I arrived home after a thirty-minute walk from work, bedraggled and soggy from the heavy snow that had been falling, and found a man I had dated two years earlier standing at my doorstep, his heavy coat covered in white.

We hadn’t seen or spoken with each other since breaking up on another street in another city, and now, here he was in front of me, so handsome, and smiling. Literally without a word, he took me in his arms and waltzed me down the middle of Revere Street. Slipping in the wet snow, we clung to each other, laughing nonsensically ‘til we reached Charles, where we kissed madly until a cabbie honked us out of the way, and we ran, shivering, into a tiny Irish pub where we warmed up over beers and darts.

No big questions, no big finish, just a simple dance in the February snow.

Within a few years we were both married to other people, but that was, and still is, the most romantic Valentine I’ve ever been given.

My husband, my ex-husband, was big into Valentine’s Day – he even proposed on that day. He wasn’t an overly sentimental man, but he loved sending Valentine cards – he’d mail them to me even after we were married and living in the same house. In the week before the 14th, I’d sometimes find two or three cards in the mailbox. And he never just scribbled “love,” and his name; he inscribed them with touching, funny and heart-felt optimism about how we were going to “make it” despite our problems.

I wish he had been right, but one day a year does not a marriage make. If love isn’t acted out every day, or at least most days, no amount of Hallmark cards is going to make a difference in the long run.

Since my marriage ended, I’ve tended to feel more sour than sweet on Valentine’s Day – usually turning down invitations, preferring to be alone. I’ve been way too cynical about it for my own good … or anyone else’s.

Marriage and divorce can be messy things. But what I think I’ve finally learned is that the heart finds a way of speaking even when the voice can’t and sometimes we need the sanction of an official “day” to encourage us to be our best selves.

Valentine’s Day – for all its commercialized, force-fed romance – is maybe, just maybe, the manifestation of the unending, inexplicable hope that the human heart holds for love. Its innocent and infinite ability to believe, disbelieve, and then believe again.

It can feel dangerous to believe, to wait for love, to hold out for that heart-stomping breathlessness of knowing you love and are loved in return.

It’s scary to hope that the love you dare to feel will be requited. It’s almost impossible to believe you’ll be okay if it isn’t.

But I’m going to believe. This is my Valentine Vow. I’m going to open my heart.

And if the gods of the universe deign to give me another chance – perhaps a last chance – at the bat, I’m going to wind up my swing with everything I’ve got in me and I’m going to hit that baby out of the park.

I’m going to take a slow, astonished, but finally confident trot around all the bases, and … I’m going to bring love home.

The way I figure it, if the Red Sox can win the World Series – if they can “reverse the curse” against all odds, against all expectations of even the most diehard but disillusioned fans – then anything is possible. Even love.

Even for me.

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Posted on February 12th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
One Response to If the Red Sox can win the World Series …
  1. Powerful stuff. I was with you until the last paragraph. Why spoil one of your best columns by bringing the Sox into it?!? ; )

    Happy Valentines! I’ll be cheering when you cross the plate.

    B

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