By Nikita Blaine
I have only been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day once in my life, and I have to admit it was a pretty freaking awesome day. Before you go thinking “rose petals and candle-lit-dinner let me stop you and tell you what my ex and I did. He took me skiing for the first time in my life, his treat, at the ski resort where he worked. At first I did not want to (I’m clumsy and suck at all things sporty; I always get hit in the face and have something happen to my glasses).
However, with a little persuading on his end, I caved and decided to try it out and boy am I glad I did. I did a lot better than I expected and only fell hard once! My glasses broke into three pieces and we never found one of the lenses in all the snow, but it was totally worth it! My ex took a picture of me right after my plummet but it’s okay – I got to pull him down into the snow with me when he came to help me up.
Later that day, with me blind as a bat, we went to dinner. It was my treat this time and guess where we went? No, it wasn’t Olive Garden or Red Lobster or even a hometown diner. We went to Charlie’s BBQ Pit. Yes, I chose this (it was his favorite) and yes, I wore my really cute flowery Valentine’s dress to a BBQ place just because I wanted to.
It sounds tacky, but in all truth it was really cute. I didn’t ruin my dress and my ex really enjoyed his food. We even got this cute little bread pudding for free because the workers thought we were adorable.
After the BBQ, we went on a walk through a small area with Christmas trees and he read all the quotes placed in the tiles on the ground to me because I couldn’t see them.
It’s been almost a year since then and he and I cordially parted ways almost 10 months ago. I have no plans for anything special this Valentine’s day, nor am I expecting anything special (except maybe some cuddles from my cat #crazycatlady) this year or anytime soon.
When I think of Valentine’s Day now, I mostly just respond with a huge “ugh” of disgust. Even though I am now single as a Pringle and twice as salty, there remains a piece of me that has never truly hated this day of hearts and flowers and candy.
Let me tell you why.
Aside from the piece of my personality that is a hopeless romantic (now buried deep, deep down I might add) I have always had a soft spot for this very fluffy holiday. On a non-romantic level, I love giving and receiving gifts (especially sparkly, heart- shaped, chocolate flavored, pink and red ones).
One of my favorite gifts came from my mother one year. It was special because it was entirely unexpected! She had given me a heart-shaped red candle with rhinestones on it and a cute card, just to say she loves me.
I made it a tradition, as a child, to give one of my guy friends a small stuffed animal every Valentine’s day, just because they were my friend. I loved dressing up all pretty just for myself and enjoying the festivities of candy and nice cards and making valentine’s day mailboxes.
To me, Valentine’s Day is much more than a romantic holiday. It is a special day to tell loved ones (platonic or otherwise) how much they mean to us. It’s a day to give our friends notes of gratitude, or have a GNO (the G can be for Girls or Guys!) or share candy with people just for the heck of it, or to bring flowers to a mother or grandmother figure just to remind them how wonderful they are!
Yes, a large part of my soul cringes when I remember how single and cat-lady-ish I am now, but there’s still that part of me that remembers how Valentine’s Day used to be, before dating was even a thing. Full of platonic love and appreciation. That’s how I’m going to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year.