I wrote the following post two years ago. I still feel the same.
In 2011, I went through a breakup two weeks before Valentine’s Day and while I wasn’t concerned about being single on the holiday (in fact, I was really into doing things alone around that time), my friend made sure I was going to have a good night. She told me for at least a week that she had a big surprise for me, and it wouldn’t be a blind date. At work she would come up to my desk every morning and tell me how excited she was to give me my gift. That night, I went to her house to watch “The Bachelor” and after I was there for a half hour or so, a girl came to the door with a massage table in hand. My friend had set up a private, hour-long massage for me at her house. The girl took the table into the dining room where everything was closed off, dimmed the lights and turned on music. It was so relaxing during a stressful time in my life. My friend was so kind to do that for me and at that point in my life, I honestly think it was the most thoughtful thing anyone had ever done for me on Valentine’s Day.
I’ve always had a little bit of a thing for Valentine’s Day. It probably stems from my childhood when my parents and teachers made the holiday fun. It wasn’t about being in a relationship then; it was about friendship and family and making boxes at school for valentines and candy. In junior high, Valentine’s Day became about getting balloons from secret admirers at school. I know I got one in seventh grade (which was also the same day I broke up with my first little “boyfriend,” but I don’t think the balloon was from him).
In high school, I made fudge for my friends one year, but it didn’t set up right. For some reason I packaged little bits of it in cellophane anyway and handed them out with a spoken disclaimer. I knew the fudge looked like poop, but I promised the gooey, chocolatey mixture still tasted good. Um … I hope they agreed. I remember one kid literally licking it off the plastic and getting chocolate all over his face. That’s how messy it was.
I had a friend back then who wrote me a whole Valentine’s Day story one year on 3X5 cards during one of her classes. It was so funny with illustrations and all.
My freshman year of college my roommates and I went to dinner together. The following few years I had a boyfriend who made the holiday fun.
I’ve never thought Valentine’s Day had to revolve around a relationship. I think it can be all about celebrating friendship, too. That’s a kind of love, right? My cousin wrote on Facebook the other day that she’d just finished making her valentines. She followed with, “Celebrating love and friendship just makes me happy!” I love that.
I once had a friend who told me his sister, who was single, bought a Valentine’s present for her dog and I think that’s cute. If no one is going to make the holiday about you, it can be just as fun to make it about someone else, including your pet.
A couple years ago, my friend hosted a party called “Violent Times” right around Valentine’s Day. It was possibly one of the most awesome parties I’ve been to because it was creative and everyone there was super funny. We played Pin the Weapon on the Broken Heart (making weapons out of construction paper), Spin the Broken Bottle (where you had to either physically or verbally assault people instead of kissing them) and read emo poetry over candlelight. Believe me, it really was awesome.
I guess I’m writing this because I know a lot of people don’t like the holiday. They see it as a mandatory day to show love and spend money, they think it’s meaningless, or they feel like the universe is shouting “You’re single!” one day a year. But I think if people look around, many of them will see they’re really not alone, that friendship can mean just as much or more than any relationship, and we all have the opportunity to give, even if no one gives back to us. I’m not writing this to change anyone’s mind or to say everyone has to celebrate the February day of love. More so, I wanted to point out celebrating love and friendship is always a good idea and there are many ways to do that, even without a significant other.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours, whoever they may be.