When I was younger, I always viewed Valentine's Day with mixed feelings: I knew, was almost certain, that nothing even remotely romantic would happen to me. Nothing happened last year; nothing happened the other year, and all the other years before -- why should this year be any different? But always there was that grain of hope that, just maybe, something would. Maybe the universe would conspire for me, for once, and not against me: maybe this was the year I would spend my first Valentines with the person that God had created for me. Ha ha ha. Fat chance. I wasn't a hopeless romantic, but I gradually began to think I was hopeless. I turned into a February sourgraper, until fate gleefully challenged all my assumptions.
My first Valentines date was hilarious. I didn't realize it would be in a place without a bathroom, and I spent the entire night trying to restrain my bladder. Well, not the entire night. Before we left, my mother told me she was expecting me back home at 9 PM. (For the record, I was already TWENTY-TWO years old!! Hahahahaha!) We managed to negotiate it to 10 PM. (I'm generally a dutiful daughter.) Just as well, because my bladder couldn't have lasted till 10:30.
That first Valentines was also bittersweet. My family -- my father, mother, sister and I -- used to spend Valentines day together, going out for dinner and having a happy family time. That year, my father got 4 sets of silverware, like he always did. He realized his mistake and sadly returned the 4th spoon and fork: for the first time, they would be needing just three.
Now, just when I'd gotten used to having a date on Valentines, I will, once again, be dateless. I'll be on twenty-four-hour duty and will most likely spend the night attending to gunshot wounds (of those facing the firing squad, ahehehe...) and such other surgical mishaps befalling the in-love and the loveless alike. Those of you who will be going on dates, please take a moment to remember those of us who won't be, in the service of humanity. Hehe, not that we wouldn't wriggle our way out of a rotten schedule if we had half the chance. But, seriously... I know this because my father works for an airline, which, just like hospitals, restaurants and other service-oriented institutions, continues operating even on red-letter days. During those special days of the year, while we're having a warm, wonderful time with our family and friends, a lot of people aren't, because they're on duty, because the rest of the world still needs to travel or still wants to dine out or still gets sick even on holidays. So, well, do take the time to thank those people, even just silently.
Oh, don't thank me! I'm the one trying to depress you. ;-D
At any rate, I've already anticipated, and come to terms with, a boring Valentines Day this year. That's the reason why I'm enthusiastically working on our PGI batch's Valentines fundraiser: a contest entitled "Vote for Love." (Ahh, the reason for this blog's title surfaces.) At the suggestion of Dr. Charo Amasula, we asked the entire hospital to nominate couples who aren't together yet but are so obviously meant to be. Each nomination costs P10, and subsequent votes cost P1. We're entering the Final Round tomorrow, and two leaders have emerged: Dr. Gam Garcia and Ms. Pinpin Tan, both still single; and Reverend Golosino and Ma'am Glory, both widowed. Hey, if romance isn't in the air for me, at least, it'll be in the air for one lucky couple. And who knows (as our advertisement goes), one of them just might find true love this Valentines. Won't that be a nice PGI "project"?
"Love is just a word, until someone you meet gives it a proper meaning."