For single people, Valentine’s Day is often a harsh reminder that you are alone. ALONE. Every kiss does not begin with Kay, but more like a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. Valentine’s Day for me, in my short 20 years of celebrating alone, has brought me See’s molasses chips sent from my Aunt Marilyn and cute poems, and “Roses are Red/Violets are blue/This Valentine’s Day/I’m thinking of you,” from none other than my Dad. But how desperately did I want a Valentine? Not really much at all. I was content with not focusing on the dreaded day in February – the 14th. The number fourteen was quickly relegated out of existence, ripped out of every calendar, stricken from all book pages. Instead of spending Valentine’s Day moping around wishing I had a boyfriend, I simply pretended it did not exist. Every year passed and I accrued Valentine’s from friends and family, yet the day came and went without notice, and still held no meaning. I was single, and that would be true the next day and the day after that and the day after that.
This year is my first Valentine’s Day spent with a significant other. This is the first time I am able to swoon over Valentine’s Day themed cards. My dreams were filled with hearts, and chocolate, and roses. I no longer wanted to throw up when I thought of people dressing in pink and red on February 14th. I was falling into the trap. Was I really making plans for Valentine’s Day? Thinking of presents for my boyfriend weeks in advance? Wondering where we would go for dinner? Valentine’s Day became an obsession. Years of alienating myself from the “Hallmark holiday,” I had few preconceived notions about how the night would go, but still wanted it to be special in its own way. I told my boyfriend I wanted to “get wine drunk” and spent approximately $11.46 on his present, because I wanted to draw him something special (even if it did have a heart or two in there).
When Valentine’s Day finally arrived, I found myself waking up to a blanket of snow covering the ground. A thick, powdery, cold, blanket that threatened my Valentine’s Day plans. But things never go as planned. Still, sometimes the things you never planned for are the most magical. At least that’s what my boyfriend tried to tell me when we changed our reservation three times, his car was stuck under a pile of snow, he missed the bus, we searched for shovels/rides/plans, and I forgot my ID, but in the end we were together. He promised to make up for his “complete ineptness” (his words), and I learned how to make compromises. Just as I thought before that I would be single in the days to follow Valentine’s Day, February 14th is just another day. Maybe just a tad warmer, and filled with slightly fewer chocolate roses. But for now we would face those days together, doing crosswords on the couch and jumping puddles in our less than adequate shoes. For life is often a comedy of errors, and we are just along for the ride. I did not envision our night – a mediocre dinner, wine at home in mason jars, and “House of Cards” with the roommates – but it was magical. And when I woke up it was February 15th, it was snowing, and Michael was next to me.