Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will I Be My Valentine?

Just where, I wonder, does Valentine's Day rate in per-holiday chocolate consumption? Lower, maybe than Halloween or Easter, given that adult valentines are often dinner out or Victoria's Secret. Still, those glossy red boxes call out to me. I always got one from my father...but then I always got this or that for other holidays as well. The Fourth of July, Labor Day, Presidents' Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, St. Patrick's Day -- these are my saf[er] holidays.

I know I've bought those boxes for myself, with a tight-lipped justification that everyone else is getting chocolate, everyone else is somebody's valentine. I've walked by the delis where flowers are sold and into the local uber-florist's shop to torture myself/admire/laugh at the last minute dash for roses that happens on Valentine's Day. My favorite experience of Valentine voyeurism was the big bouquet of roses being sent C.O.D.

Of course, this year it falls on a Saturday. Oh joy. This means the restaurants will be wildly busy with patrons nose-to-nose, guys will be carrying home flowers by the bushel. The world will be full of the black plastic bags with gold crisscrossing from the liquor stores. There will be a run on seafood. The Promenade will be a place to avoid unless I'm in a prankish mood and Daisy is in an obstreperous one.

Then again, Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday. I don't have the excuse of not having time to be my own valentine. I can take a shower, buy flowers for myself, and blog about some of the things I like about being single.

1. I used my Christmas check from my parents to get flannel Dick and Jane sheets. This seems to me a very Single Woman thing to do.

2. I have a cadre of Facebook pals who are into sending each other Barbies. I happen to love Barbie if she's the Barbie of my childhood. I've been holding my money market close to my chest, paying off credit cards, but I did cave and buy a "Busy Gal" Barbie for myself.

3. My apartment is rife with Girl Things like that. A winter Madeline doll. Very tall Princess Di and Jackie O. dolls. A "That Girl" Barbie. Many artifacts from or like my childhood.

4. I can be abstinent and not have to watch a civilian eat a couple of normie meals a day.

5. My bad habits disgust only me.

6. Thinking of being my own valentine as a year-round, lifetime proposition that could mean I will give myself the decadent gifts of what I REALLY want.

It's not chocolate I want, or to be a cozy half in a restaurant (I'd have to change my sheets), or even flowers, really. I might want a piece of salmon and I prefer pink-tinged white roses to red, and hydrangea to roses. Those are very local desires and very meetable. I need to pay attention to them.

But I also WANT to get Angry Fat Girls into production and I want it to do well enough to be another step UP in my career. I want to finish my novel. I want to learn to deal with life without sugar -- I want to GROW UP. I want to go somewhere by myself where I will load up on new information (I was looking at Orbitz deals for Amsterdam and Prague last night). I want out of debt. I want to move. I want to be secure enough to put together a life that includes a bedroom, electrical capacity for a blow-dryer, health insurance and a refrigerator taller than my thigh.

I've said all these things before but I'm attaching them to being my own valentine. And looking back at that paragraph, I have to say growing up is the locus of everything else. Maybe I have to do two things at once in all this. Maybe I have to enjoy my Dick and Jane sheets and Barbies to honor the parts of childhood I fuzzed out on and in celebration of the parts I lived and loved. And maybe I have to decide what being a grown-up is and aim for it.

Right now the only things I know about being a grown-up on Valentine's Day are that I will not hover on the edges in self-torture, I will not eat chocolate, and I will get to a meeting, which is a class in growing up I desperately need. Aside from that, let the Barbie game begin.


Anonymous said...

You deserve to be your own valentine - we all do. It's hard to be single on V-day but it doesn't have to be if we remember we are our own BFF. Treat yourself to some beautiful flower(s) and enjoy the day.

Anonymous said...

Patt J
Having been in and out of many relationships, we both know that there's more to it than what you see on Valentine's Day. I am alone this year (not unhappily, I might add) and so this year I am again the object of my affection. I'm just going to do something nice for myself.
PS: Even in a relationship, I'd have bought those Dick & Jane sheets!
Happy Valentine's Day.

Helen said...

Man, I love those sheets! And a friend of mine actually bought me a Barbie paper doll card for a 4-year-old for my birthday. :-)

Being ok with being your own Valentine is a huge thing...why is it so hard for us to really really believe we ARE lovable? We are.

Cindy said...

Love the sheets! Happy Valentine's Day! Last year I looked up the story of St Valentine and sent it to some people. there are a couple of versions out there. I am ignoring the holiday myself this year. Even when I have a boyfriend I always find the day a bit uncomfortable..

Unknown said...

Those D&J sheets are the best things ever! Of course, I'm old enough that I actually learned to read with the Dick and Jane books in first grade. For a little white girl living in the suburbs, the often-maligned 50s were good times.