Well, kids, another Valentine’s Day has come and gone. I’m as enthusiastic about the holiday as I was at 10, when I was not yet embittered and 28 classmates were obligated to give me candy.
I understand that, for most people, it’s not the focal point of the year, but most people are not 20-something single girls who watched Bridget Jones’s Diary on their grandma’s VCR every single day of seventh grade. Because of its wildly exaggerated importance in my emotional life, I like to use this time to take stock and reflect on the progress I’ve made over the year.
Last Valentine’s Day was, um, bad. Mostly unavoidably so; I was freshly dumped and failing math, and that cease-and-desist letter from Adrien Brody’s attorneys certainly didn’t help matters. I decided to “lean in” to these feelings, really let it all out. This turned out to be a mistake. After a little too much rosé and a lot too much adult contemporary, I was practically inconsolable. My nextdoor neighbor, a surly, middle-aged Scot, actually came over to check on me, because apparently my sobs of anguish sounded “like a goat being murdered.” I’d call that rock bottom, but I don’t want to jinx myself.
Truthfully, I’m no less lonely now, but this year, rather than lamenting all I don’t have, I’ve decided to celebrate all I do — a great job, wonderful friends, a freezer full of half-price chocolate and soon, the first of many senior cats. (Shoutout to the Cedar Valley Humane Society. Adopt don’t shop.) That’s pretty good, right? Medical science has made so many advancements in the last few years. There are people who have babies at 50. It’ll be fine. Anywho …
In the aftermath of what is easily the second-most devastating Hallmark holiday, I encourage you to follow my lead. It’s hard, especially this time of year, to realize how fortunate we are, but please try. Look on the bright side, and take care of yourself during this long, hellish winter. If you were lucky enough to share V-Day with a special friend, go get tested. It’s not VD-Day, am I right? Get it?
And if you’re reading this, Adrien, give me a call sometime. We can work this out.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 258.