If you’re a man, there’s a high likelihood that you aren’t a fan of Valentine’s Day. In fact, you may have determined a long time ago that February 14 isn’t even a “real” holiday, but instead it’s the Evil One’s way of robbing you of hard-earned money in the name of love. You’ve probably had an out-of-body experience watching yourself fork over cash, in increments of $20, to a guy on the corner of Colfax and Broadway for some nearly dead flowers because there aren’t any available anywhere else in the entire metro area. Or maybe you have a recurring nightmare about chocolates that come to life and dance to Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe Through the Tulips. In your nightmare, your girlfriend actually likes the song.
Single people have taken to renaming the day as a way to make it less oppressive to the uncoupled. They stay in, hide out, take cover, and wait for the high winds to pass before emerging to find a world that’s no more lovely for those in romantic relationships and no less pitying toward those without them.
I like Valentine’s Day.
I’m unencumbered by the rituals, expectations, and costs associated with it because I’m happily single. The unexpected awesomeness of Valentine’s Day is that the more content a girl is with herself, the more love and community she attracts on this particular day.
If you’ve determined that Valentine’s Day is only for the “in-love”, consider these examples from my Valentine’s Day of how far sweetness can reach if you’ll just seek evidences of love in every relationship.
- I woke up to the chime of a “Happy Valentine’s Day” text message from an east coast colleague who has been a mentor, friend, and super-fun partner in crime over the past four years.
- Soon after getting up, my dad rang my doorbell. When I opened the door, he presented me with a heart-shaped box of chocolates. A classic, dainty, hand delivered gift from Dad. Perfectly sweet.
- The first ring to my phone was my uncle who called just to say that he is proud of me and that I’m a sweetheart of a niece as well as a good friend; he wished me a very happy day. I listened to the voice message in the car…four times…and smiled each time.
- The first email I received was from a fellow I just met inviting me to go snowboarding after complimenting me on being beautiful. A flattering surprise.
- I had lunch with a new contact in my community. She complimented my professional accomplishments and asked for my opinion on various educational and professional development programs. Wow! I was so honored!
- One of my dearest girlfriends and I met at a stylish restaurant in Cherry Creek for dinner, shared some appetizers and thoughts on life, love, and our dreams for the future. All the couples around us enjoyed the low-light ambiance and cuisine, quietly. We enjoyed laughter and the safety of authentic friendship confidently shared as two happily single women.
- I got the opportunity to see love displayed unabashedly at a ball thrown for those who rarely get invited to parties and danced with men who typically line the dance floor, never stepping out on it. How cool to see them grin wide and shake their back-sides…and to see their moms beam with joy at their sons’ new experience dancing with a girl.
- I sipped dandelion tea from a vintage tea cup before going to bed and pondered all the women who enjoyed tea from that very cup before me. Indeed, I am the grateful beneficiary of women who fought long and hard for my rights, freedoms, and voice to be heard and valued. Just the idea sweetens my tea plenty.
- I closed my day talking to Mom, an angel on Earth.
- Before I drifted off to a restful slumber, I thanked God for my eyesight, healthy kidneys, strong liver, limbs, my education, the Little Blue Car, my brother, my job, dreams, girlfriends, and guy friends near and far.
- Okay, eleven sweet things. One of my dearest friends who I’ve known for nearly half my life got engaged this weekend. Oh, I love it when others are in love!
It doesn’t take much to wrap yourself in love when you give it away freely because love is a bird that always returns home.