Valentines Day – Be Mine or Be Gone!

How to keep Valentine's Day hype from getting to you.

Posted Feb 11, 2020

 Anti Valentines Day — Meh katelynn19 | Flickr
I'd rather be gone than be yours.
Source: Anti Valentines Day — Meh katelynn19 | Flickr

In grade school, it was mandatory to give each classmate a valentine – a card, a cutout, something kind on a piece of paper, or some kind of chocolate candy that was too sweet and usually stale. Frantically, on the day of February 14th, each kid would have a bag filled with these cards addressed to each student. Sometimes, the card had no inscription, (that was a relief to me) or had some negative thought written on it (an early taste of cruelty).

I had to act like everything was ok because everyone else appeared to be elated by the cards they’d received. I had to act as if it was a wonderfully exciting day, pretending that each card had some endearing sentiment on it, it was exhausting... and thus, my acting career began.

Rob Briscoe | Flickr
"Into the Forrest Tunnel"
Source: Rob Briscoe | Flickr

You see, I got deeper into the role of the outsider looking in. I escaped into my own tunnel of love, filled with the joy of fantasy and illusion. While everyone else was trying to be a love hero through Hallmark cards with perforated edges, the archetypal trickster was by my side with all the schemes, jokes; but also merits and virtues. I dig deep into the role universal archetypes play in our lives during times of grief

I became the epitome of a true outlier. Going into observation mode kept me partially safe from the pain that sheared my heart as I watched the card exchange. Watching others adoringly hug each other was a further indication that this was not my holiday, this was not my game, and this was definitely not my wheelhouse. 

Danyul B | Flickr
"Hammer of St. Anti Valentine"
Source: Danyul B | Flickr

It embedded a realization of what it really means to be in the “Be Mine” group or the “Be Gone” group of one. I smile now as I think about it, a group of one. I know you need more than one to form a group (humor me on this one), my Be Gone group was filled with many: the many of my imagination; those love figures that came alive within me even as a fractured 4th grader. 

Who were my heroes? Who became part of my world to help me filter through the cruelty of being in the Be Gone group? It was the imaginary friends, it was the very handsome older boy, Paul, who lived across the street and when he said hi to me, somehow it meant he loved me. I left my classmates on the terrestrial plane, yearning for a fantasy love figure like Clark Kent... I kept looking for my superman from the movies. The lingering kiss, the idealized lover archetype who could do no wrong... their shadow self would only turn up later in the movie. But I could ignore that part of the story because it didn’t fit the fantasy or the illusion. And I was in charge.

Alan Levine | Flickr
Source: Alan Levine | Flickr

Years spent in the world of fantasy, I believed in the fairytale prince, I’d be swept off my feet, and invited into the Be Mine group. Then one fateful day, many years later, I ran into some folks from the 4th-grade class and realized how much their Be Mine group kept them exactly where they were. It was as if they had not really changed, maybe they were older, fatter, wealthier, some of them parents, but they were part of the Be Mine group who had never moved out of their comfort zone. They never expanded beyond the lives set out for them in the 4th grade.

There is something wonderful about the Be Gone group. If you’re in this group, and you actually got gone and left the home town culture, the world got bigger. With every step of daring, spontaneity is enhanced, and the power within is limitless.