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What's Wrong with Nice Guys?

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Feb 14, 2004


Ladies and Gentlemen, you knew this was coming... So I recommend you just digest it all. I mean, it's not like I'm really going to give you a choice. ;-)

Valentine's Day is upon us. Ahhh, yes, where the air turns acrid from the sickening stench of rotting flowers and exclamations of "Googlie-bear!" Or, even worse, "I just love him SOOOOOOO much!" Although, I think my personal favorite is, "I just can't live without him/her/it." - Yeah, because I am so in love with my emotional crutch I take it with me everywhere. HA! Now, let's clear up a few things. Yes, I am single. I kinda like it that way. However, I do date. Now, I have been involved with someone during the Valentine season, and I boycotted it then as well. Face it people, Lisa Simpson was right: "Mom, romance is dead. It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece."

Too often I see men and women, SMART ones, that look on Valentine's as a reaffirmation of their worth. A strange, alternate consciousness takes over their (otherwise legitimate) brain and they are convinced that they 'just have to have someone they are romantically involved in for Valentine's Day'. Ummm, whatever happened to self worth? When did February come around and turn self-worth into self-worthlessness from an absence of someone else? At what point did your identity get sabotaged into thinking that there needed to be someone else linked to it for validation? Where is that emotional parking void so I can avoid it at all costs?

No matter what, YOU are the determinant of your own happiness. Now, look at that statement again....'your own happiness'. With a little tweaking, (very little) that statement becomes 'you own happiness.' You OWN your own happiness. Why do people feel it necessary or even acceptable to saddle some other unsuspecting twit with the responsibility of another person's happiness? That's a pretty tall order for anyone to take. I had a rough day yesterday. I was fortunate enough to have a friend tell me the truth. That I was the only reason my day was so hard. My friend reminded me that I am the one that needs to take responsibility. Not only for my bad days, but responsibility for my good days too. That's a good friend.

But not only is happiness my own responsibility, love is too. It is MY responsibility to love people if I want to have love in my life. It is also my responsibility to love maturely. Not this high-school-I-just-can't-live-without-them-or-I-don't-know-what-I'll-do kind of obsession. Not a lust induced physical sham that leaves you panting from the vacuous nature of the relationship. Not in a mothering-I'll-take-care-of-you-so-we-can-be-co-dependant-together black hole. But the responsibility to myself of genuine, real, honest, unconditional love of another person because of and including their flaws.

I detest Valentine's Day because the focus of a person's love all too often is warped by Hallmark commercials and sex-toy ads. Women begin to engage in a dead heat of romantic one-up-manship. Men roll their eyes and start grasping for anything red or made of chocolate to keep from getting into some trouble from imagined slight perceived by a woman. This Saturday, I will have the entertainment of working at a gift shop stuffing baskets with goodies and wrapping jewelry for the throngs of last minute shoppers. I like Valentine's Day for the commercial benefit this day brings to the gift store. I detest Valentine's Day for the psychological fallout it inevitably imposes.

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