Yes, that’s Valentine’s Day, for those of you who are counting. It’s the day I don’t celebrate because I’ve always hated the way it would get thrown in my face. (Because evidently if you don’t enjoy the hoilday you must be bitter about being alone.) It’s the day that I found out Emma had gotten married and went catatonic for a night. (Added bonus: her birthday falls within the same week.) It’s the day that I don’t even say, opting to just refer to it by its date. It’s the day I couldn’t ever agree on with Stacy, no matter what my traumas surrounding it. (For the record: as much as I think it’s a stupid holiday, I do give a fuck about anniversaries, and even she could tell you that I was damn good at them.) But this year, things will be different. This year, I’m running away. I’m going out of town for a week to visit Roxanne, who’s been bugging me to do exactly this since she moved, and we’re skipping it. Better – instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating Halloween. I still need to find a costume and pack and come up with something to do there that I wouldn’t already have done with her here, but I’m driving myself up a wall with how hype I’m getting right now.
In fact, a lot of my favorite holiday memories involve Roxanne. My entire 4th of July weekend was spent with her, for example. We partied with another one of our friends until we fell asleep, only to wake up and immediately head off to the beach. Note that I swim like a Magikarp and burn like Anakin Skywalker on Mustafar – I went to the beach entirely because this was Roxanne, but did so without hesitation because this was Roxanne. (I still don’t know if this is just because of how much she means to me or just that she has some kind of presence about her that draws people into adventures.) We traded stories and tag-teamed a case of Angry Orchard. I dropped her off that night only to end up meeting up again the next morning and wandering the city. (This, incidentally, was when she decided to move in with me for the rest of the summer.) Thanksgiving, she came back into town for a weekend. We narrowly missed each other hopping across various bars until she caught up to me and my roommate and eventually roped us into sushi. (I’ve been on a sashimi kick ever since then.) There’s still a philosophical (or perhaps semantic) argument to be made – putting aside how entirely platonic our relationship and is (and how entirely ok I am with that), if I’m spending the holiday with someone that I love, whether actively avoiding it or otherwise, does it still count as skipping it? Maybe. Maybe not. But fuck it.
And I am some variety of crazy about her. She’s actually one of the reasons I’ve found myself rethinking the way I view love, and my relationships with people as a whole. Ultimately, though, I don’t care what our dynamic is as long as she’s in my life, even if I would be basically anything with her. It’s pretty similar to the way I felt about Caitlin – for various reasons a relationship never would have worked, but I never cared if she was mine as long as she was here. (Sadly in Roxanne’s case that part’s mostly metaphorical.) And this particular consequence in not believing that “the one” is a thing anymore is actually sort of awesome. I don’t have to have an end goal in my interactions with others. I don’t have to wish that I were more with someone (even if I do find myself wishing I didn’t have to watch someone leave). I can look at relationships for what they are and not just what I may want them to be, because their capacity to evolve (or lack thereof) isn’t what gives them value. The prospect of things turning romantic is great if there is one, but it never has to be the point.
I owe a lot to her, actually, beyond just that interesting shift in perspective. In a weird sense, her vanishing from my life (and, crucially, coming back) on more than one occasion gave me a reason – a safe, non-destructive reason – to actually look at fear as an abstract. There’s a decent possibility I’d still be an anxiety-riddled mess if not for that. She’s constantly giving me hell for not thinking better of myself (which is actually her one real criticism about just about everything I write here). In a more concrete sense, she’s one of few people in my life that can get me to try pretty much anything. She’s convinced me to actually pick up swimming. She’s how I first discovered that sashimi is a thing. (My thing about carbs aside, I’ve honestly just never liked rice. Even so, for not knowing that sushi could exist without it, she told me I was really bad at being a weeaboo. She’s not wrong…) She’s roped me into trying (and enjoying) things other than lifting – including yoga, to my shock. She’s put me up to learning to play something new and sending it her every week, in part via some unspecified bribe and in part because encouragement from Roxanne is enough to get me to do it anyway. In fact, I’ll probably find myself experimenting with all sorts of other things when I go to see her, beginning with taking an actual vacation for a change. Maybe I should do something like it this time every year, if only for the fact that for the first time I’m actually looking forward to this weekend.
Three days until I see Roxanne again.
I can’t fucking wait.