If I were in a relationship and you were my boyfriend, I would probably tell you that I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day — that roses are the tacky flower from the ’80s and only serve to remind me of a bad Jon Bon Jovi ballad; that the chocolates are the same as the Christmas candy that you just spent the last month in the gym working off, but in a different shaped box; or that it’s a consumerist-centered holiday based on Disney fairy tales where love always conquers all, and don’t we know that ain’t the truth! But ladies, let’s be serious. You can call it a Hallmark card holiday, you can pooh-pooh all of the roses, the hearts, the flowers and the chocolate and haughtily claim that we should express love every day, not just on one dumb day to keep us spending money between Christmas and St. Paddy’s. But that is something that girls in relationships say to pretend that they don’t actually want their boyfriends to surprise them with something quirky and spontaneous. If you were my boyfriend, I might tell you all of that, but I wouldn’t want you to believe me. I’d secretly want the indie rom com — creative and romantic, but not overly conventional.
As a girl that’s been single for quite some time now, I have become accustomed to the solo life. I can take myself out to the movies and not feel awkward. I starfish out in my bed, taking up every last inch of space, and I am well versed in Single Girl Behavior (the things we do when no one is watching.) For instance, using a piece of dark chocolate to scoop the peanut butter out of the jar at the kitchen counter with a cucumber mask on your face in ugly undies — I NEVER do that. In the yoga world, there is a code of ethics loosely or strictly followed by some yogis called Brahmacharya, which translates to celibacy or containment of sexual energy. I have two words: Brahmacharya sucks. Especially when it’s not self-imposed.
The older I get the more cynical I’ve become when it comes to matters of the heart. With each broken heart it becomes a little more of a calculated risk to wage the war of love again. The walls we put up around our hearts in the name of independence, strength, feminism and choice are perhaps smoke screens of self preservation. Evasive maneuvers that set the heartstrings to hibernate. Before you know it, your walls are a fortress and ain’t nuthin’ passing through. So I will admit, it’s tempting to drown my singleness in one (or five) bottles of wine on Valentine’s day and pull a living-room Renee Zelleweger.
But this year, I’ve decided I’m going to do something radical for Valentine’s Day. This year I am going to choose to believe in love. I am going to believe that somewhere out there, there is a Harry to my Sally, a pea to my carrot, a friend and a partner to my crime. Somewhere out there, real, true, meant to be love exists and not just in “The Notebook.”
I’m breakin’ down these walls, Berlin style. So bring on the heart-shaped box of chocolates and the Bon Jovi ballads.
Cupid, hit me with your best shot.