Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cards, Candy, and Booze: Why I Love Being Single on Valentine's Day

You don't need a valentine to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

I realized this in high school, and many crushes and flings, two boyfriends, and one (ex) husband later, it’s still true:

Valentine’s Day is best spent single.

When I’m single on Valentine’s Day (which has been the majority of my life), I focus on the good stuff about the contrived holiday:

  1. CANDY. I’m big on eating healthy but I have a huge weakness for seasonal candy. Red, white, and pink M&Ms. Heart-shaped Yorks. Conversation hearts. Red Hots. Crappy Russell Stover chocolates. Bring it on! Enjoy for two weeks, and then it’s over for the next 50.
  2. CARDS. I absolutely love paper mail, and Valentine’s Day cards are among my favorites to select. They are about expressing gratitude and love for all kinds of relationships, from lovers to grandparents. I can spend hours picking my Valentine’s Day cards. Ever since college, I exchange cards (usually ones with Winnie the Pooh) with my parents and my BFF Ali. My other BFF Sue doesn’t send me a card but she gets one from me anyway because I'm nice like that.
    Beyond these annual card recipients, I sometimes feel the need to remind other loved ones that I'm thinking of them. One year Nora was feeling blue and unlucky in love, so I found her the perfect card that told her how much her friendship means to me. This year is Pete’s first divorced Valentine’s Day, so Pete got a card.
    It truly warms my heart to give my loved ones written expression of my affection for them.
  3. BOOZE. I discovered in college that Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to go drinking with your fellow single pals. And, you know, I like drinking and I like friends, so let's raise a glass!

When I was with Max (my only significant other as a grownup), other than having an excuse to buy him a romantic card and eat candy, Valentine’s Day was lame:
  1. PRESSURE. This dopey holiday that had no particular significance to us put this pressure on us (well, mainly him) to be romantic. Max was a decent husband, but all in all, not the romantic type (with some exceptions, like how he proposed). And even though my expectations were low, I admit that I was usually disappointed by his lack of effort.
  2. RIPOFF. I’m very practical person who’s careful with money. Yes, I love flowers, but flowers on Valentine’s Day are way pricey, not to mention cliché. And yet, several times Max came home with a dozen roses. Red. Obviously. The real downer was that he didn't even seem excited about it -- this bouquet was just something he had to buy. So not only was he unoriginal and unexcited, but he just blew a wad of cash on a flower I don’t even love and that would be it until the next overpriced bouquet a year later.
    (Yikes, do I sound like a super brat??)
  3. SEX. Meaning, I didn’t get any. Not getting laid on Valentine’s Day (or, you know, any day) isn’t such a biggie when you’re single. When you’re in a relationship, there’s pressure to perform. If you’ve ever read my blog before, you know I was not getting my freak on, not on February 14th (or 13th or 15th).

This Valentine’s Day, I’m happy to say my four cards are in the recipients’ hands. I have already eaten my conversation hearts and pink M&Ms. I have plans to hit up half price wine night with friends on Friday AND go out for drinks on Saturday because I don’t mess around!

As the second anniversary of my divorce draws near, in all my single glory, I will revel in the love and friendship in my life.

(And perhaps I'll spend a little time with my battery-operated Valentine!)

What do you think about Valentine's Day? Are you marking it this year?


  1. It was never my favorite holiday while married either. Lame presents. Having to by a card for my ex...who at the time I wanted to be my sex...Uggghhh..

    Much better now.

  2. Do you actually celebrate it now?

  3. V-day is a made up holiday and I don't appreciate all the pressure. If two people (not just the guy) care about each other then should show when they want to (hopefully often, and not just in material ways), not just when they have to.

  4. I know, the pressure is silly!

  5. My girlfriend and I had a quiet celebration last night since we have family this weekend. Cards, small presents and I worked hard on opening a bottle of wine and cooking Stouffers lasagna :) I really can cook, but when you are gone for 10+ hours between swimming, commuting and a full work day, it is hard to feel like making a gourmet meal. And yes, we did get physical!
    On a negative note, I am getting roped into the whole BS by Daycare tomorrow. Cards, making fruit salad for the school party, leaving early from work, etc. = yuck!!!! For God's sake, he isn't even 4 yet and being sucked into this Hallmark Holiday. At least his Mom already had the cards made...

  6. That sounds like the perfect way to just carve out a little time together!
    My friend was just grumbling about her children's daycare party too! What a pain in the butt!

  7. Yep. We skip the lame presents, and go straight to the fantastic sex. ;)

  8. Waiting for Mr. Right :P :)

  9. Valentines Day for me is only vaguely interesting if you've just started seeing someone
    I hate schmaltz, teddy bears and a dozen red roses-if someone can't get imaginative about showing their appreciation in a way I'm going to dig, then that person doesn't

  10. Yes, I agree. I just hate the idea of forced acts of affection!