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Be your own Valentine.

Ok, so I guess since this is supposed to be a blog about sex and relationships (sorta. kinda. who the heck knows anymore) I should write the required Valentine’s Day post. So, here it goes.

{Note: I wrote this last night but due to some technical difficulties, I didn’t post it. By “technical difficulties” I mean homemade cocktails, dancing around my living room to 90’s music and back to back episodes of Californication}

Part of me has has always loved Valentines day, or at least how Valentine’s day looks on the surface. I love the feeling of temporarily living in a world where everything pink & shiny & heart shaped & where there are celebrations of love & chocolate & lingerie at every turn. I’d be happy if this was all Valentine’s Day was: one big candy heart eating silly card giving love fest. But, somehow its become (similar to other Hallmark sponsored holidays) another opportunity for people to feel more lonely, or disappointed, or broke than they already do. My Valentine’s Days fall under the following categories: Good, Bad & just weird. Here are some of the more memorable ones:

1996: Junior High. I put extra effort into getting dressed that morning: I wore my favorite outfit- a sundress with sunflowers all over it, my platform clogs & my Calvin Klein denim jacket (oh the 90’s). I don’t know what I was expecting to happen that day but, I spritzed myself with CK-One in hopes that maybe someone (anyone) would notice me. That day in gym class we were learning ball-room dancing. I was hoping that I’d be assigned my crush as my dance partner. Instead, I got paired with a skinny freckled kid who looked terrified of me and who had the sweatiest hands I have ever experienced. As we clasped hands and two-stepped around the gym, I could feel little beads of sweat trickling down to my wrists. I thought: “This totally was not what I had in mind

1999: The year after high school. I was 18 and working at the mall. Since January I’d been making flirtatious eye-contact with the cute guy who worked at the cell-phone kiosk. On Valentine’s day I bought him a card and wrote inside “Be my Valentine?”. I handed him the card and as I was walking away I heard him shout after me “YES! The answer is YESSSS!” We went out for 3 months. He was a sweet & kind & shy & unlike me, a virgin. We spent most of our time making out in the back seat of his car, doing everything but having sex. THIS is what Valentine’s day should be about: silly cards, kisses & teenage lust.

2001: First Year University. My boyfriend had recently dumped me for another guy. I was heartbroken and confused. I called my new friend Evan & he said to me “It’s OK Simone. We can always be each-others Valentines” That’s when I knew that Evan and I would be good friends.

: I had just started to see my upstairs neighbor, a reclusive PhD student with a penchant for fine dining. He insisted on taking me to Morton’s (a high priced steak-house) for Valentine’s day. The truth is, I actually don’t really like steak at all but, I was so flattered by his invitation that I didn’t have the heart to tell him. I figured I’d just order chicken or fish. However, when I tried this at the restaurant he flipped out.

Don’t order the chicken because its the cheapest thing on the menu! I CAN AFFORD THIS. I want you to order something more expensive! You want wine? Lets order wine!”

“Um, OK”

Feeling super awkward, I changed my order. Thirty minutes later, I was gingerly taking bites of my massive, bleeding, $65 Cajun Rib-Eye and splitting a $200 bottle of wine with Upstairs Neighbor.

After dinner I was feeling a bit woozy after all the meat and wine but, we decided to go to a small lounge on College St. for more cocktails. While I was sipping my martini, the DJ started to play a classic house song from the early 90’s.

Me: “I love this song!”

Him: “Me too. This song came out the summer I became legal age & started going to clubs”

Me: “What?! You were legal age in 1991?! WAIT. HOW OLD ARE YOU?!”

Before he could answer, I suddenly remembered why I never ate steak (or at least steak that costs more than my shoes). I barely made it to the bathroom before I threw up.

That was the end of my brief love affair with my neighbor and my even more brief love affair with red meat.

Sometime around 2005 when I found myself in my first serious long-term relationship, Valentine’s day lost its meaning. I think you should do nice things for your partner all the time. I love to be pampered and I love to return the favor. Trying extra hard once a year to do something that you do everyday anyways just feels contrived to me. If my experiences have taught me anything its that even if you try to do something special on February 14th it could turn out to be a big “Miss-Steak” (ha ha)

This year I decided to remove myself completely from the equation. My Valentine and I celebrated over the weekend in our own non-Valentine-y way. This year I spent Valentine’s day alone at home, pampering myself and doing things that I enjoy (see above re: 1990’s living room dance party & homemade cocktails). No one dripped sweat on me, or tried to force feed me overpriced red meat and I didn’t throw up on myself. I was a Valentine of One. It was awesome.

So, this is what I propose: Whether you have someone special in your life or not, I think we all have to remember to be our own Valentine’s: Show ourselves the love we deserve…and not just once a year but, all the time. Stop the self-sabotage. Choose to love others but, also remember to Choo-Choo-Choose ourselves.


Thanks for reading xox

Love, S.D


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