“What are you doing on the 14th?” Brian asked. “Would you be our Valentine?”
When Brian says “our” he means him and his Cliff. And their housemate. It’s the best Valentine’s Day a gal could ask for. There will be great conversation. There might be candlelight. There will likely be pasta. I’ll definitely be wearing that lacy item I bought using my Victoria’s Secret gift card — but that’s for me, not for Brian, Cliff, or the housemate because sometimes a gal needs to feel a little femme fatale on night out… even if she’s the only one who notices.
In my elementary school youth, Valentine’s Day was one of my favorite holidays. Everyone would come into school bearing candy for every one of his or her classmates. At the end of the day, you would have as many “Will you be Mine?” notes as you had kids in your homeroom.
It was a holiday of equal opportunity love.
Then we developed hormones.
Eventually, I spent the days leading up to the holiday lingerie shopping with my girlfriends as they went to pick out that special something for their sweethearts or went bouquet-buying with my guy friends who didn’t know whether or not roses were too cliched. I had managed to dodge Cupid’s arrows, and so was best put to use playing Venus’s other little helper.
I grew a little bitter. “Valentine’s Day is a holiday developed by older married women to make younger single women feel inadequate” –> this is something I apparently wrote in a notebook one year. I think it might have been one of those many years when the guy I liked decided to take my roommate/best friend/someone else out for Valentine’s Day instead of me.
Last year, I found a box of Victorian-style Valentines at a bookstore. They appealed to my inner history nerd and so I bought them. It was time to drop the bitter single girl act that had plagued my late teens and early twenties and to return to being that youthful innocent who loved that Valentine’s Day was an excuse to wear excessive quantities of pink lace, an excuse to eat lots of chocolate, an excuse to tell people you care about that you care about them.
And so each of my friends received a vintage Valentine in their mailbox, complete with a LOVE stamp.
I don’t have a Valentine in the traditional sense this year, but I’m content. I have good friends, a box of Valentines that need to be postmarked, dark chocolate, and that something lacy for that someone special — myself.