Today marks the 25th anniversary of me being single on Valentine’s. Okay, so, the baby years obviously don’t count, but you get the picture. I’ve had signicant others, I’ve been in relationships, but by a twist of fate I have always been alone on February 14ths.
I used to be bitter about it. Scowling, heckling, all out hating the capitalist commercialization and how contrived everything looks and feels on the holiday. Boring lasered glares at stuffed bears, I contemplated destruction in the aisles of grocery stores. I rolled my eyes when days after Christmas any and everything heart-shaped already stocked the shelves. I didn’t want to hear about people’s plans with their SO just like they didn’t want to hear about how I was going to celebrate “single’s awareness day”. Last year, I was so busy with my final semester of college that I forgot about Valentine’s Day. Seriously. I blinked and suddenly it was February 13th.
This year is different. The bitterness has not resurfaced but I can’t ignore it either. My friends who are also single, some for the first time in years, lament with me. Everyone on Twitter has an opinion on how others should see and treat the day. People on Instagram posts something commemorative – their Galentine’s parties, the flowers they got, et cetera.
I didn’t know what to feel this morning. I thought to stay in bed all day because what the hell could I do? Quickly I remembered this isn’t, like, a national holiday and stores are still open. I had planned to do some early spring cleaning, but lazy does as lazy is. Eventually, I got so antsy that I put on red lipstick, got in the car, and drove to Charleston to see Deadpool. Again.
Often I take myself on dates. To the movies, bookstores, to get coffee, out shopping. You name it. But to exist in public on the day meant for couples felt…rebellious. It’s become contrary and, god, do I like being contrary. But beyond that – I enjoyed myself. I treated myself to a movie I’ve been waiting years for with a character I greatly love and identify with, and, yeah, for that wait I deserved a second viewing. I got coffee because yes.
Most importantly, I felt in love with myself. I didn’t mourn my lack of a love life. I didn’t belittle myself for all the missed opportunities that maybe could’ve led to me being someone’s girlfriend right now. I sure as hell didn’t feel sorry for myself because no one is shoving physical affection my way. I looked confident and I felt it, too.
Whatever this day means to you, I hope it’s been a happy one. And let us not forget the real reason for celebration. February 15th: 75% off Valentine’s chocolate.