In the last 24 hours, three conversations have resonated with me about the meaning of Valentine's day: conversations with a really good (male) friend who is going through a separation; with one of my very best BFFs, who is single; and with a work acquaintance who shared she will be flying back from Seattle to NYC on Friday, landing around 1 am (technically Saturday morning). None of them were excited about this upcoming Friday, which in case you didn't know it is Valentine's day.
Here are some reasons to not like Valentine's Day:
• Roses are more expensive during the week of Valentine's day than the rest of the year
• It's just another excuse for Hallmark to sell cards
• Chocolate-themed spa services are really not pleasurable
• Restaurants are harder to get in to, offering restrictive prix fixe menus that shouldn't be as expensive as they are
• There is an overabundance of pink hearts everywhere I turn - in shop windows, in my emails, in magazines
• It is often an excuse for men to buy women completely uncomfortable and unrealistic lingerie, sometimes even in the wrong size (I can never decide if it is worse to receive lingerie that is a couple sizes too large, or too small...)
• It has the potential to make thousands of people feel bad about their relationship status or lack thereof
• Having my loved one be extra special to me one day a year is not good enough
If I am fully truthful, I do have to admit I can't hate all of Valentine's day... because I love:
• Sending hand-written notes to the people I love
• The color pink and its iterations including red and purple
• The idea that every woman owns at least one gorgeous piece of lingerie (for herself first of course)
But I love these things year-round, not just on Valentine's day.
Here are things to do if on Valentine's day if you want to take the best of this holiday, and ignore the worst - or if you just want to be your own Valentine. After all, shouldn't we love ourselves first?
1. Sign up to become a mentor or volunteer, what could be a more loving act?
2. Send an anonymous hand-written note as a secret admirer to someone elderly you know, a neighbor or relative.
3. Go to a gallery or museum and see that show you have been meaning to see for ages.
4. Take the night off and watch favorite movies featuring your favorite heroines. Mine would include The Long Kiss Goodnight and The Thomas Crown Affair. (Full disclosure: No one has ever lauded me for my movie choices)
5. Take a last minute trip to visit someone you miss (of the opposite sex or not).
6. Watch the Olympics. Full of dedication, hard work and drama, these incredible athletes are more exciting than even the best of dates.
7. Invite your BFFs to a mani-pedi party at your favorite spa
8. Call three people you love just to tell them you love them (don't mention Valentine's day)
9. Turn off all electronic devices, and read a book you have been meaning to start.