By Holly A. Phillips
As a child, Valentine’s Day was marked with gifts. There was a party at school, my dad would buy something for my mom, and my parents would get me one of those heart-shaped boxes of truffles.
Since then, my parents divorced, my dad decided that Valentine’s Day was “just for women,” and he quit talking to me altogether.
As an adult, I’ve spent several Februaries being bitter that I didn’t have a Valentine, until one year, I did.
It was many years ago, my boyfriend and I joined each other on his back stoop, drinking wine from a liter bottle. Eventually, I got drunk and decided climbing his fence was a superb idea — I ended up falling, but he was there to catch me.
I was so in love with him, and I’m certain I haven’t loved someone quite that much since. I didn’t need a gift; I just wanted his company.
Though it didn’t last for us, I’ve spent recent Februaries reminding myself that love comes in many forms — romantic love is just one of them.
Last year, I went on a first date on Valentine’s Day night. It was probably a terrible curse, considering the kiss at the end of the date was one of the worst I’ve ever had.
But, there’s something to be said about celebrating the holiday, even if you’re single. After all, I hate feeling left out.
Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, meaning every decent food joint in the city will be packed with couples. Skip the smooch-fest and do something you like instead — see a movie, hit the spa, or invite your friends over for dinner.
This year, I decided to tell those in my life how much I love them by way of homemade Valentines. I remember how fun it was to get little red and pink cards as a kid, so why not bring that joy back? A trip to Hobby Lobby, a pound of glitter later and I’d made cards for my coworkers, my workout partners, my friends, and maybe a crush (or two).
I owe one to Papa Murphy’s for making those heart-shaped pizzas every February too. I adore them.
These are the people in my life, and if they weren’t there, I’d be one sad gal. We don’t say it enough. And if you’re reading this, I love you, too. If I had your address, I’d mail you one of my crafty cards.
If you’re lucky enough to have romantic love in your life this Valentine’s Day, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little envious.
But hey, there’s always next year. Just be sure to tell them how much you love them; because romantic love, the good, honest kind, is rare and special.
On Valentine’s Day, I haven’t quite decided what I’ll do. I might have to work, maybe I’ll hit the gym, or perhaps I’ll indulge in something sweet. Regardless, it’s just another day in my life — a life I think I’m finally starting to love.
Read more about celebrating love on Holly’s blog, TheBitterLemon.com.