My Valentine's Day was pretty uneventful. I read the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair and went to bed early. But around four am the next morning, I woke to the sound of a man and a woman screaming at the top of their lungs. They were clearly in the middle of a huge fight...one that had started long before. I don't know how far apart they were standing, but they were yelling like they were miles away from each other. Even with the distance, you could tell the fight was very intimate. He said things like, I asked you to do ONE thing! She said things like, It's NEVER just ONE thing! I went to the window to see if I could see anything and to make sure I was a witness if it got violent. The dude eventually yelled, I'm f*cking outta here! and got in his car and drove off...fast. She walked into her building in tears.
My heart broke a little after it was all over. Because all I could think was...there goes the memory of their Valentine's Day. From now on, they will never be able to think of this day without thinking of this horrible fight. Not only was their V-Day ruined, but the memory of their V-Day is ruined. Part of what makes a relationship is the collection of shared experiences and memories, is it not?
I know about ruined memories all too well. There are a plethora of memories that should be wonderful, but are tainted by fights Ex and I had. I can't think about my friend Masha's wedding without thinking about how Ex sulked and didn't speak to me the entire time because we had fought on the way there. My first Christmas away from my family and on a vacation is a memory that is littered with fights. My 29th birthday memory is ruined by the screaming match we had on the way to a friend's house for dinner.
I felt deep sympathy for that couple. I actually got a bit of deja vu listening to them go at it. And I knew they didn't know how bad it would be. Because the tainted memory can be worse than the moment that taints it.