Wifeys & Gentlemen,
Happy Valentine’s Day! (I know, I know…but Ms. Renai doesn’t waste any time). So let’s just get right down to it then, shall we?
I know for at least 50% of the loves who read my blog, Valentine ’s Day is the bane of your existence. Believe me, I completely understand. For whatever reason, there is so much pressure to be with someone on this one specific day that it makes us (wifeys and gents alike) begin to go crazy. If you’re seeking a relationship, maybe loneliness begins to creep in? You start questioning yourself and your place in the world & you might even be desperate enough to do something crazy like go on a binder or invite that weird guy/girl who lurks around your office building out for a cup of coffee. (Yikes)
Or perhaps you aren’t seeking a relationship at all? Maybe you really don’t care, and you hate this holiday because it makes you want to gag. Admit it…you’re “that guy” or “that girl”; the one who wears black and goes bar hopping in ‘defiance’ of what this day ‘really’ represents. You’re the one who rolls your eyes at all the couples exchanging cheesy candies, cards and kisses. You’ve probably even gone on that old familiar rant about how Valentine’s Day is a “commercial” or “consumerist” holiday designed by ‘Hallmark’ and the candy companies to lower your self-esteem and pad their bank accounts.
Whatever angle you’re shooting from (if it’s negative or judgmental) when it comes to this holiday, I implore you to take my advice and *ahem*:
Please? & don’t roll your eyes and fold your arms at me, either! 😉
In all seriousness, as someone who used to torture herself at the idea of not having a Valentine (or trying to create a perfect day for a less-than-worthy partner), this day is, in my humble opinion, designed for one thing and one thing only: LOVE.
Think about it, in a world where lumberjack beards, ironic t shirts, and Kanye West reign supreme, why are we okay with celebrating things that are “off beat” or “self indulgent” but aren’t okay with proclaiming and celebrating any kind of love we want (or don’t want)? As I have spent my time this week researching and reflecting, I have realized that we are currently in the age of new definition and social change! Instead of being hung up on one, standard and/or universal definition of what it means to have a “good” or “perfect” Vday, why don’t you go out and take it for yourself!? Make it everything you want it to be & leave the rest alone.
For those of you who know me personally, you might know I have a long standing affinity for the magic of the winter holiday season. Valentine’s Day should be included in that (& it is). Like the magic that many of us feel during Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve (or any holiday you celebrate between October-March), I believe there is plenty of room for St. Valentine to spread a little magic of his own.
Easy for me to say, right? I can hear the arguments now:
Why is it always the ones who are happy and in committed relationships r marriages that want to be the first ones to tell the rest of us how to feel?
Please allow me to reiterate; I have had my share of awful Valentine’s Days! I have felt alone, bitter, slighted, unappreciated, and unloved and it took me many years to arrive at the new, healthier conclusion about this holiday as well as myself. A little story (you know you love them):
Three years ago, when I had just moved to California after a gut-wrenching break up, I had no real friends, no family, and no one to buy me candy or love me up. I was fragile, vulnerable, and in a new place in my life where this notion and these less than ideal circumstances could have very easily broken me. I didn’t want to give in to my usual funk; depression, over-eating, crying to my mother, and watching bad TV, so I decided to try distracting myself from my fear. Wifeys…I went to the mall! It was a small, unimpressive mall that featured Sears and Target as its primary department stores. I went, and got my nails done. Headphones in, blasting familiar pop songs from my Pandora App, I browsed around the various stores until I found a great (red & gold) dress and some NYX matte lipstick to match. Deciding to make a real day of it, I went and bought some adorable matching undies, earrings, and even treated myself to some new boots that were on clearance (they had glitter, and were really only a onetime thing).
I went home, keeping the tunes going, and took a nice hot shower, pampering my skin with a body-conditioning scrub before downing a few glasses of ‘pink moscato’ with my then roommate (who had a date of her own and wanted help getting ready). Once the house was empty, I put on the outfit and took myself out for a drink in a familiar area that I liked. While I had no expectations (& was a little scared), I ended up meeting a few interesting people and really hitting it off with the bartender, who continued to supply me with free drinks and conversation until I was ready to go home & fall asleep. In all honesty, it was one of the best days I had ever had in my new city, and it awakened a new person that was sleeping inside of me; confident, social, and undefined by silly traditions and conditions of what my day was ‘supposed’ to be. I haven’t looked back since and I will never stop believing the ability for us to make our own magic.
Will everyone experience their day this way? No.
I was at a place in my life where it was ‘sink or swim’ and I did what I did because I needed to know that I could swim. In subsequent Valentine’s Days with my loving (& understanding) man, we’ve done very little & kept things low key. Candy here, a movie there…and yes, lots of wine (always wine). But that’s fine too. It’s fine because every single year that I celebrate the holiday I do it exactly the way I want to, with no regrets, no pressure, and (most importantly) a grateful heart for all of the things, animals, places, and people that I love with all of me.
Are you going to be alone tomorrow? Great! Celebrate your love for yourself by doing something grand (or small, either way). Wanting to spend the day with your friends? Great! Celebrate your love for the people who keep you sane and grounded! Have a mom, dad, sibling, grandparent, cousin, child, or pet? Awesome! Buy them a card, make them a meal, or just give them a friggin hug for goodness sake! It’s your holiday and you deserve to spend it exactly how you want to, doing exactly what you want to do; speed dating, blind dating, pornographic videos, cooking, ordering in, shopping, exercising, waxing, sleeping, the sky is truly the limit and I defy you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and into something amazing. You never know what defining (or insignificant) moments can truly change your life.
I guess, in a lot of ways, I am worried about this post. On the one hand, I feel like I should be providing advice on how to find a last minute date, telling wifeys where to go to find the singles, or helping my lonely or post breakup wifeys get through the hardship of the Vday stigmas in the easiest way possible. Or maybe some wifeys will think that I should stand in solidarity with the “anti Valentiners” and publicly denounce the holiday as one that is “stupid” and “unimportant”, but alas, I simply can’t. All I can do, Wifeys and Gentlemen, is tell you the truth as I see it. And the truth is:
You are fantastic. You are beautiful. You deserve all of the love you want. You deserve all of the things you want. You work too hard and ask for too little. You give too much and ask for little in return. You strive to be the best you can be every day, and we see you; we appreciate you. You can be anything, do anything, and have anything you wish for and I am sorry that we don’t get a chance to tell you this as often as we should. Stop worrying, you are on the right track and you are doing just fine. You are the absolute best at being uniquely, amazingly, and awesomely you! & no one could ever or will ever do it better. So please, smile. I love you.
Until next week,
Carry on Wifeys,
& Happy Valentine’s Day.