When I was a kid, I loved Valentines Day. My parents would spoil my siblings and I with little gifts - heart chocolates for breakfast, wind-up heart toys that would race across the kitchen table, hugging teddy bears... Then we'd head off to school and exchange hand made valentines with the kids in our class, alright sometimes they weren't totally hand made, but we'd have to hand write all the names of our classmates and that took time! At school, everyone would always get a valentine, no one left out, no one lonely and often you'd get one from a "secret admirer", in 4th grade mine was from a boy named Jeffrey... but the "holiday" was always so much fun as a kid.
As we get older however, we change and Valentines day expectations change. By the 9th grade it's about who's sending you a secret rose from the student council fundraiser? That is, if you're lucky enough to get one. Maybe you do and you go on a date to see the new Star Wars movie and have your parents drive you to the theater. You hold hands and share a popcorn.
In college, if you're in a couple, it's a fancy dinner and chocolates and lots of grown up smooching. But college is also when being single starts to have... meaning? Significance? Weight? Yeah, the freshman 15 don't necessarily help the single ladies change their status... But if you're lucky, you've still got a few single girlfriends to weep at a Rom Com with, share a bottle of wine to drown your sorrows and load up on cupcakes and chocolates.
As one gets older - as I get older - friends start to couple off in a more permanent way, parents stop sending heart-shaped gifts and Valentines day becomes the Hallmark holiday from hell that I've dreaded as a single lady. There aren't classes to go to where I can be surrounded by people, at work friends have roses from loved ones or talk of their romantic evening plans and Facebook too is full of sharing love for one another. It's gross.
But now, it's been a year since I started this whole mission to, in a sense, truly find a man through relentless dating. To find one with whom I can share this vapid holiday. One who will surprise me with roses, pour me a glass of wine, cook me dinner, rub my hair and tell me everything will be fine... In the twenty dates I've been on though, I realize the thing I like best, the thing I cherish most when on a date with some guy, is me and not any of them. Selfish as that may be, it makes celebrating this Valentines day alone rather refreshing and not so depressing. Sure, I'm still going to watch a sappy flick and stuff my face full of chocolate, but I'll like myself more for it because I've spent a year seeing all the things I don't want and redefining maybe what I do.
So I'll continue, because moving forward and facing challenges is what I do best. We'll see if I can make 8 more dates happen and re-title this blog 28 Dates, before 28. That leaves me a good chunk of 5 months forward and who knows what can happen.... At least hope doesn't die with Valentines day, if nothing else the amount of chocolate I'll be eating alone will raise the serotonin in my brain today and make me feel happy. So to all you out there still hoping - Happy Valentines Day!