Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day and the newly-not-single gal

I wrote this piece last Valentine's Day and I found it was so interesting and wrong. Check it out and then read my next entry for what I have to say about that:

Like many people in this world, Valentine’s Day is the bane of my existence. Funny how, when the big day arrives, it seems as though the whole world is in love.

For years, a loved one on the 14th of February eluded me. Back in my semi-awkward high school days, the stupid dollar ‘candy grams’ would arrive for everyone—everyone, that is, except me. There was one brief boyfriend year at seventeen. I think all we did was have dinner and make-out in his dad’s office. There was a brief interlude of a boyfriend at twenty but we had a ‘convenient’ break over the month of February. At University, the Greek Society (yup, that’s right, I’m an ex-sorority girl, get your jokes out now) organized rose and balloon bouquets. I never got one. One year my ex-cheater-of-a-boyfriend sent me a lame ‘Hello Kitty’ e-Valentine because he knew, and I quote, “I would be lonely” (don’t worry, I got great revenge! The content of another article methinks.) Another, I got hammered at a university bar with my other single girlfriends. I worked at a restaurant for one, serving couples who I hope are now divorced. And last year, I declined an actual date to eat sushi with my pregnant friend’s visiting husband and my best non-boyfriend boyfriend, an engineer. We ended up at a gay club and my on-again-off-again long-distance boyfriend called me while I was in the unisex bathroom. Tres romantique.

And it isn’t as if I smell of garlic cloves and past-due-date pate, or look like I’ve been hit with a hammer. I’m cute, fun and smart. In fact, I might go as far to say that I am a catch. That’s right: adorable, funny, and downright lovable! But like many a gal, I’ve been casting pearls before swine (well, that is what my therapist told me).

So this year rolls around and things are different. Suddenly Valentine’s Day is actually kind of a thrill. No pretending to ‘hate’ the holiday because of it’s ‘materialistic and hallmark contrived’ essence (seriously girls, you are kidding yourselves if you don’t care. When you see those smug couples canoodling over their chocolate mousse I know you want to poke their happy little faces with sticks and replace them with pictures of you in love bliss.) Oooops, bitter Betty tangent there, she still comes out from time to time. But honestly, I used to pretend to hate this day. I used to pretend it meant nothing. But it did. Every year it arrived reminded me that I was a single girl living in a couple-crazy city. And let me just say this: for the most part I loved being single. I loved having the freedom to be who I wanted to be and do what I wanted to do. I just hated when the day arrived, that’s all.

So you may wonder why this year is different? I’ll give you three guesses. Got it in one! I’m not single anymore. Nope, I have a man. A real live man who I enjoy being with and seeing all the time. The best part is that he doesn’t make me want to puke when he holds my hand! Honestly, if you knew me, you would understand. Remember that best non-boyfriend boyfriend of last year’s sushi-and-gay-bar fame? Well, I turned him into an actual boyfriend. Hooray! After being friends for over a year and a half, our eyes finally opened to the fact we were crazy for each other. He’s my Engineer ☺

But I digress. Back to Valentine’s Day. I still feel the holiday is a Hallmark sellout but heck, this year, I’ll sell out! The thing is, I am so excited I have someone I actually want to be romantic and gooey with, I have become a micro-manager. I don’t trust anyone to plan nearly as well as I, so naturally I have taken on the role of Master Planner. Poor boy, he doesn’t stand a chance. I have a dinner planned with a theme, my lighting choice, dessert ideas, and several clothing options: basically the works. No going out on the town; I want to make this night special. But for whom? And then I realized: I am making this night special for me. This year this holiday is for me.

It isn’t as if I have sold out on that single girl I once was. No, I remember her well. I remember her happiness and her sadness. I know how lonely and how elated she has been. I know t she has sacrificed so much to be where she is and she has worked hard up to this point. I know when all her friends around her settled down and got married, she stuck it out on her own. That girl heard comments from her family every year at Christmas. She had three cookbooks on cooking for the single girl. She found out who she was; she traveled around the world; she kissed lots of frogs. So this year, that single girl is hanging up her stilettos for some comfy slippers. She is closing an incredible chapter of her life and opening a new one where she looks at someone with so much love it hurts. The single girl is saying hello to something new and amazing: a new chapter of her life.

Therefore, on February 14th, I will raise a glass of pink champagne (that’s right, pink is my theme. Don’t sue me for originality) to the single girl I was proud to be and the girlfriend I have now become.

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