Valentine’s Day. The images that might come to mind are cheesy cards from grade school, those chalky-wafer heart candies with flirty or weird sayings (the only thing keeping Necco in business), PDA couples spending way too much money on dinner, cards from your parents, 50% off chocolate at the drug store the next day, bad movies on the Hallmark Channel, and so on…. Or at least, these are the images that came to my mind during my long stint at being single. I am in a happy relationship right now, but I was successfully single for over six years. I’m sure that’s a lot shorter than some people’s single streaks. And perhaps it’s a lot longer than others’. But for me, it was a substantial time.
In that time, I felt a variety of different emotions about the holiday on February 14th. I attended anti-Valentine’s parties and cursed it one year, then the next, I’d give cards and flowers to friends and family. Sometimes, I would celebrate the holiday of love by spending the day simply doing something that I loved. Sometimes, I would get myself a Valentine’s gift, thankful that I was single and really knew who I was. Other years, I would watch crappy movies, eat delicious chocolate, and wish I had someone to share my life with.
Since last February, I have met a nice gentleman, so as it turns out, I’ll actually “have someone” on Valentine’s Day. After being single for so long, I was more than ready to fall in love and have all of the fireworks. I was surprised to discover how incredibly ordinary it feels to be in love. Not “ordinary” in a bad way. It just feels incredibly natural. Yes, it’s wonderful and fantastic and amazing. But I guess the most striking thing for me is how a new person can come into one’s life and so quickly become such an essential part of it.
So, this Valentine’s Day will be a little different for me, I think. In a very good way. I get to spend Valentine’s Day with TWO of my loves. My boyfriend and my other love–the one I’ve spent over half of my life with: theatre.