Ah, single on Valentine’s Day. There are lots of avenues I could take. I could pretend that it is not happening in an explosion of candy hearts and singing telegrams and glitter all around me. I could be obstinate and wear black and declare myself to be above the forced commercialism of a Hallmark holiday. I could embrace the atmosphere and wear pink and cheerfully distribute homemade cupcakes to everyone at the office. It doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t have to cause an artificial emotional cascade. It’s just a Tuesday. I mean, whatever.
This year’s strategy is still up for grabs, but it will probably be an assortment of all of the above: denial, superiority, and cheer, with a twinge of regret. This weekend, I was wading knee-deep in denial about the whole thing while listening to NPR. NPR is great for a lot of things, and shaking up one’s sense of denial is one of them.
Weekend Edition was on, and there was an interview with the guy from StoryCorps who just published a book of love stories, collected from people of all ages, all over the country, called All There Is. Valentine’s Day fluff piece. Did I already roll my eyes and say whatever?
About four sentences in, I was sniffling, and considering pulling over on the side of I-40 to have a good sentimental cry. What got me, from the very beginning, was the question, “What did you learn from all of these interviews, all of these love stories?” And the author said, “I learned that no one should ever, ever, ever give up on love. Even when you’ve counted yourself out. Even when it seems like, for some people, it’s not in the cards. Because love will sneak up on you from behind, and it happens over and over, through all of these stories.”
This year, I have two dates on Valentine’s Day, and although they are ages two and five, I think they will be the perfect Tuesday night Date Night. We’ll make Valentines out of macaroni and glitter, and I will feed them candy and we will read books and play with monster trucks until way past bedtime, and I hope their parents are not reading this. Also, I went and bought myself a present: a copy of All There Is.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.