As we all know, Valentine’s Day is an honor of St. Valentine and while the actual holiday was omitted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969, it is still observed by the hopeful and hopeless romantics who need a day to celebrate sweet nothings, chocolates, and overpriced prefixed menus. Those who’ve never had a Valentine find ways to keep ourselves busy, as I have for many years with laundry, to erase the notion that we’re single and will not be wined-and-dined as we had hoped.
I know I’m not the only one who has been a little ridiculous after being shot with or missed by cupid’s arrow. Mr. Faithful once drove two hours in an ice storm (actually took him close to five hours) to pick me up for a fancy hotel reservation we made for Valentine’s Day and he didn’t want me to be upset (or waste the $300/night price tag). While Mr. Idea and I were together, we happened to be fighting and he was stressed about money, so he told me he wouldn’t be buying me a card because if he had $2 he wouldn’t be spending it on American Greeting card.
Goes to show you how much he knew about me– I’m more of a homemade card or handwritten note kind of gal anyways.
Somehow, if I’m honest, regardless if I’ve been in a relationship or out of it, Valentine’s Day has continously disappointed me. I’ve always seen it through rose-colored glasses that make it absolute necessary to be in love for this specific 24-hour period.
And when I’ve been single, I’ve been out on “dates” with my girlfriends where we both talked about how fabulous we were, how silly any man would be to not fall madly in love with us, and why we were happy to be solo on this day. When truth be told – as much pressure as every e-newsletter, store, and movie puts on us starting right after Christmas, how could anyone not feel a little pang going to bed alone on the day of romance?
Actually – why should they feel pain at all? What makes mid-February the season for sexing, lusting, and loving, anyways? Why have I been depressed and why have I expected something out of every man I’ve courted during this time of the year?
I mean, how much does it really matter?
Tomorrow, I’ll spend Valentine’s Day single, as I have for many, many February 14th in years past. I have no plans, I’m not going to an anti-V-day party and I’m not calling it Single Awareness Day. I’m not thinking about dialing up an old boyfriend and if I don’t get flowers sent to my office (which I could or could not, depending on Mr. Possibility’s possible ideas), I won’t cry. I won’t be drowning myself in wine, ice cream, fatty foods, or choking back tears while editing articles for our March issue.
Because what will change between today and tomorrow that is so monumental that I need to be upset about it? Does a new date really need to transform how I feel about myself? About my single status? About how worthy I am of giving and receiving love? Do I need to count Valentine’s in my decorated box or be upset about a lack of a hard thing in my personal box? If I’m not attending a jazz concert, given $200 champagne truffles, or a little box from Kay’s that’s meant to start a slow, passionate kiss – does that mean Valentine’s Day is meant to be spent mourning the lack of love in my life?
Just like the passing anniversary of every holiday on the approved federal calendar (which does not include Valentine’s Day, by the way), this day will continue to come, but the way I look at it, has changed.
Or maybe, it’s just me that’s changed.
I realize I have no room to be upset because I’m surrounded by endless amounts of love. And I happen to be under the belief that Mr. Cupid doesn’t dictate when I tell those how I feel about them and I would never accept their admirations for me in return only once a year. While I recognize that yes, I would love to be sent flowers and I’m a fan of fancy things that sparkle and shine – I don’t need them to be happy. I may happen to be almost as addicted to chocolate as I am to love – but I’ve never needed anyone to buy it for me, nor would it be a preferred gift selection. And of course, I love to be taken out to dinner and sharing a smooth bottle of Merlot, over candlelight and nice music – but true romance isn’t advertised for a specific date and time, where everyone else in the country knows about it, too.
Love can’t be planned – but learning to love yourself amidst outside pressures that really have nothing to do with love at all, is something to mark every single day on the calendar. So that I remember even though I will be sans man for Cupid’s day of red roses and warm fuzzies, instead of defining what the day will mean because I’m single, I see it for what it is:
Just another Monday.