I’m lucky–I’ve always dated people whose birthdays were close to Valentine’s Day. Even better, I married someone whose birthday was on Valentine’s Day itself.
Of course, I didn’t always realize my luck.
But first, let’s have a Sophia Petrillo moment, and “picture it”:
Valentine’s Day, 2014, a not-so-little Indian restaurant in the heart of Rome’s Monti district, a solitary woman dressed in bright colours walks in and asks for a table–alone. Already the front room is crowded with couples, but there is one table tucked away in a corner where the woman can sit…completely observed. It’s perhaps not the strangest sight that the diners will see for the night, but it’s definitely contrary to what’s expected. Where’s her date? or Is she waiting for someone? or Has she been stood up? they might wonder. Nope. She’s there on her own, taking herself out for Valentine’s Day.
Of course, I’m not the only one who does this. I’m sure many people do, regardless of gender/sex. It’s just not what others apparently expect. What they seem to expect is that you ought to be at home, complaining to fellow single friends about your single status, drinking your sad singleness away, pining after an old lover or unrequited love, shoving a ton of chocolate down your throat, and then chasing it with a tub of your favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream (or gelato if you’re in Italy). What they don’t seem to expect is that you can celebrate Valentine’s Day all on your own and love doing it. If you’re single, then help me to disspell that misguided notion.
After all, let’s consider what Valentine’s Day really is: a day dedicated to Saint Valentine of Rome, who was executed just outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269 for refusing to renounce his belief in Christianity. His feast day is February 14th, hence we celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Moreover, he’s not just about candies and hearts. Saint Valentine is the patron saint of “affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people.” (Catholic.org)
So, this brings me back to being lucky. I’ve been lucky because I’ve never really had the thought that Valentine’s Day was something do with my receiving anything (be it candy or flowers). It was always a day about my remembering someone special to me and showing them my gratitude for their existence. Being single doesn’t change that. Valentine’s Day continues to be a day that I remember someone special and that I show gratitude for their existence…it just happens to be me. 😉
This Valentine’s Day, try to remember that it’s a day to:
- honour your faith (if you are Christian)
- remember a saint (if you are Catholic),
- thank the universe for the existence of bees (if you are bee keeper),
- ask for relief from suffering (if you have epilepsy or fainting spells or the plague),
- pray for a safe journey (if you are a traveller),
- embrace your youth (if you consider yourself young),
- say hello to people around you (if you are not alone, and if you are, then go find someone to say hi to),
- remember that someone has decided to put up with your crap (if you are engaged),
- remember that someone has been putting up with your crap for some time now (if you are married),
- work on having great sex (if you have a lover),
- and love yourself and those around you (if you aren’t already doing it).
So, what will you do this Valentine’s Day? I know I’m looking forward to going to church (since it falls on a Sunday–lucky!) and thanking the universe for all that I have. To top it off, I’ll likely have a piece of chocolate, give my mom a hug, make plans to travel in the near future, and wonder about the beauty of bees.
In the meanwhile, check out this video 🙂