Ugh, could the media be any more annoying about Valentine's Day? Why don't they just say what they really mean? Like, "Hey, you, single chick—you're all alone tonight so why don't you get on Netflix and watch Beaches, cry until you run out of Kleenex, and then order an entire pizza and drown yourself in a bottle of cheap red wine?"
Eh-hem...okay, maybe I did that. Once.
We are deluged with media messaging that we must have a romantic partner by our side on February 14th. And we must wonder if "he went to Jared," or whether our kiss will begin with Kay. Valentine's Day depressed me when I was married, and it really depressed me when I was single. So I personally boycotted it.
Following my divorce and being heartbroken from a relationship post-divorce, I began a very long journey of self-love. Let me tell you, loving yourself is harder than loving a man that treats you terribly. It takes work, commitment, and allowing yourself to be loved by you. Besides, how can you ask any man to love you if you don't love yourself first?
After eight months of dating myself and becoming good at saying, "No, you don't look fat in that outfit," I was prepared for a Valentine's Day alone. As I was about to uncork an expensive bottle of champagne for moi, my girlfriend called me, crying hysterically about her recent break-up. I agreed to meet her at our favorite neighborhood bar.
There, I encountered countless miserable people. In fact, everyone was pissed off at someone who did something to their heart. A guy who I've always had a crush on was also there but I realized he was drunk and also heartbroken. We talked about Valentine's Day, and how this was supposed to be his "night" with his no-longer girlfriend. After a few more beers, he told me how pretty I was and asked me why we've never dated before.
I would be lying if I said his drunken flirting wasn't flattering. Hey, it was Valentine's Day, I took what I could get! He said he had to go home and I watched him stumble outside and get into his car. I offered to drive him home and he accepted. When we got to his house, he asked me to come in and I accepted.
I know where you think this is going...that he poured me a few drinks and then we made love all night, and oh, he fell in love with me and asked me to marry him two weeks later. Nope. He did try to kiss me but I declined and told him he should go to sleep. He then said, "How is it that you have yourself so together?"
Who, me? There was just me in the room, so he must have asked me that question. Have myself together? "You seem so...happy," he said.
And that my friends, was better than any kiss he could have given me. I responded, "Yeah, you're right. I am!"
I left that man to attend to his drunken sorrow and drove myself home, to the person I loved the most: Me. I opened my champagne and toasted myself to a long lasting marriage and another 40 happy years.
And just three months later, I met my future husband. Funny how self-love works.
Here's to an amazing Valentine's Day, girls. Cheers!
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