There are a couple holidays I really cannot stand. The first is New Years Eve. The second is Valentine’s Day.
And the more I think about it, I realize that what I dislike about both holidays is the same: they’re amateur hour (also, I really cannot be bothered to stay up past 11pm, so that’s just another axe to grind with NYE).
Why do I need to carve a day out of my calendar to say, “I love you”. Or to be told that. And it’s like if you’re in a relationship and you DON’T do that, well then it just all goes to pieces because so and so got flowers at work and I didn’t, and blah blah blah. And so when I’ve been with a boyfriend around those holidays, we’ve both felt like we should do something.
And the worst, I mean THE WORST, was a few years ago, when me and my boyfriend were sitting down for our special Valentine’s Day dinner in a nice restaurant at 6pm and I looked around and the place was PACKED. I mean, never on a Wednesday night had they been so busy at 6pm. There were tables on the ceiling. It was like the cattle had been called home and here we were, ready for our meal. And I looked at the other couples and saw the plastered smiles on the women, and these sortof awkward looks on the guys, as if every move was to reassure themselves, “don’t fuck this up. Let’s get through the night and maybe I can get laid…”, the forced conversation, the SILENCE, the poor guys just all dressed up and helpless and everyone has this look on their face this WE ARE ENJOYING THIS GODDAMMIT BECAUSE IT’S VALENTINES DAY AND FUCK ME WHAT’S HAPPENED TO MY LIFE.
And I’m part of this! I’m experiencing all these emotions too. And I’m feeling like a total phony, a complete amateur and I wanted nothing more than to run out of that place and just move on to February 15th.
And so from that point on I said fuck you to Valentine’s day. In the following years, we would go out of our way to stay in, order pizza, avoid the world and pray that the day passed and we could just go onto the next, where saying “I love you” was by choice, because we felt like it, and where flowers were a showing of love and appreciation because he could actually remember that’s something I loved and not because FTD was busting up his email.
And you watch single people agonize over this holiday. Because somehow, being single has been classified as a Stage 4 Terminal Cancer that must be rooted out of the body with our strongest prescriptions (annoying mothers, OK Cupid, Grindr). And I agonized over it too when I was single in my 20s. I hated being alone, or seeing people happy and seeing something I didn’t have but so desperately wanted.
But after 5 years of dating the same guy, I’m single again. And I’ve had this revelation about Valentine’s. Because never before in my life have I been so fulfilled with being me. With feeling complete and with truly living a life that I want because it inspires me. And when do I really take time for me? When do we, as women, take time to just love ourselves without reservation? No I haven’t lost those 30 pounds I want to, but I’m done waiting for the day when I’m finally good enough to like me. No, love me. That moment is now.
And so this year, I’m asking myself some different questions about February 14th:
What if I just celebrated me? My body, my sexuality and the love I have going on for that woman I see in the mirror? What if I just had a big love fest with myself?
What if I spent time doing something with myself that I love. Like going for a hike, or making a nice meal for myself, strutting around in some sexy lingerie, or buying that extra nice bouquet of flowers.
What if I turned off the tv and computer, had a nice glass of wine, some good music and snuggled up with my journal and wrote myself a love letter?
How about I make love to the woman reflected back at me and just love her up real good?
And yeah, I know to some of you that’s going to sound lonely, pathetic, narcissistic and lame. But fuck you. This is my story I’m writing. Go write your own story of your life and fill it however you want. Do what nurtures you… or don’t.
All I know this feel right to me. This feels like the Valentine’s Day I would love to have. Maybe Valentine’s can be a great reminder to us women to love up our femininity and bring that into the weeks, months and years ahead.