Liberation from St. Valentine
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I am well aware that Feb. 14 is a commercial holiday, as it’s often called by those who don’t like commercials.
That doesn’t mean I’m not a sucker for the excuse to be romantic.
Sure, the television, radio and online marketing for affordable diamond jewelry, heart-shaped chocolate scones, and red smart phones do have me feeling a little nauseous. As if I just ate an entire Ghirardelli caramel chocolate bar in one sitting, a feeling I know quite well.
I just did it Friday.
Single folks sometimes experience sadness on Feb. 14. At least that’s what I see on TV and read on Facebook. I admit to feeling a little discouraged with my relationship status when I asked my mom what my dad gave her for Valentine’s Day this year. After nearly 40 years, my dad knows women. Or, at least he knows my mother. He gave her a gold necklace with a dainty heart-shaped pendant.
Well of course he did.
This year, I decided to both celebrate and liberate myself from Valentine’s Day. This to me is like being climactic and anti-climactic at the same time.
Trust me, it is possible.
First, I hosted a Martha Stewart-style Valentine’s Day-crafting party and birthday brunch for my girlfriend Liz. The afternoon was as girlie as it sounds, with pink heart-shaped frosted doughnuts, crumb cake, champagne punch, fresh fruit, etc. I had a blast, but realized one thing. Making valentines with a group of girls who have valentines waiting for them at home, while single, is as bittersweet as baker’s chocolate. Keep in mind baker’s chocolate is chocolate, after all. So I can never go wrong there because I love chocolate, just like I love all my girlfriends with boyfriends, fiances and husbands. But baker’s chocolate, even though it is indeed chocolate, can be hard to swallow without some sugar on the side.
Hence my Valentine’s Day liberation.
In the moments leading up to this lover’s holiday, I accepted that I might not have Valentine’s plans for a romantic dinner date or a weekend away in a secluded cabin by the fire. Those thoughts are nice, but I didn’t think too long and hard about the fact that I wasn’t penciled in on anyone’s schedule. So I did what any single girl without plans does on Valentine’s Day: I worked late.
That really helps pass the time.
This year I felt unconnected to the events of Feb. 14. This was a first for me. I didn’t wonder where my flower delivery at work was going to be made. That might be because I knew it wasn’t coming. And no one at my work received Valentine’s flower deliveries, either. No sting of internal jealousy that can secretly pit women against each other in the workplace when the flowers start getting delivered.
Anyone who has worked at an office knows this scene.
This Valentine’s Day felt neutral. Like Switzerland. Or my shade of foundation. If there is one thing I learn as I age, it’s that I can’t rush the events of life. Especially on Valentine’s Day. I can say that I had an interesting V Day, to say the least. Which I am.
I can’t reveal everything that happens in my life in this column.
I will remember Feb. 14, 2011, for me didn’t involve a bouquet of flowers or an Aspen sleigh ride by moonlight – just throwing that one out there as a future idea. And I’m good with that. What it did include was close friends cheering to an upcoming birthday, a really cute baby named Isabella, various edible things dipped in chocolate, and champagne soaked strawberries sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
Even St. Valentine can see the love in that.
– April E. Clark wishes Liz and Susan happy birthdays. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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