I’ve been looking forward to today since my visit to the spa last week, when I walked in for an eyebrow wax and was greeted by an array of Aveda products, packaged and wrapped with enticing bows and ribbons and topped off with red hearts that said 2 for 1… (obviously they we referring to 2 for the price of 1, whereas I just took it as 2 for me 🙂 As it just so happens, I’m single this year! When I looked at the 2 for 1 sign, my immediate thought was “yes please”… I could use both the foot therapy (which is really a deal, considering I only use half as much), and the hand therapy… don’t mind if I do! By the time this piece is finished you may be asking yourself if there is any additional type of “therapy” I may require above and beyond luxurious lotion for my appendages; joking!
As I sashayed from reception into the waiting room, I was feeling a little lighter and maybe even a tad giddy; a feeling I normally associate with excessive “juicing” in lieu of solid food. It took me a moment to identify the source of my mood shift and I realized that my spirit had elevated at the prospect of planning a full on, blow out valentines day celebration for one! Why not?
I sat down to a cup of herbal, surrounded by relaxing music and being warmed by the fire and picked up the pink, polka doted menu filled with all sorts of delightful “romance packages” and “specials for lovers”! Suggestions to “treat her”, “treat him” or “celebrate your love together by way of your choice of 2 for me, opps, I mean 2 for 1 spa services! I then retraced my steps through the downtown core and realized that the city was peppered with all sorts of delightful deals for lovers that I had overlooked, like “2 can dine for something 99”, begging the question “what does one do for dinner”? Down a sleeve of Premium Plus crackers and call it a night? I think not!
Everybody has their view on this day dedicated to love (I’m sure most of your friends have let you know how they really feel about it, good or bad, via Facebook already ). I have friends who are in love, and have been together longer than I’ve been in all of my relationships combined. I love to hear about the surprises they have planned for each other, mainly just because I like knowing secrets about great stuff happening ahead of time. Good on them! Keep it up. Being around people in love makes me happy 🙂
I have friends who may not always have had the luxury of loving who they truly were meant to love but have either changed games, or switched teams all together, and want to squeeze every ounce out of every second on a day devoted solely to love. For some of these friends, everyday is Valentines day, and I think that’s just great.
Then I come across the ladies on the street or in the shop who say things like “you go girl!” or “who needs a man”? as I hand over the “2 hour massage for couples” coupon, and indicate that both hours will be reserved for me. Reactions like this would indicate to me that deep down, these ladies have it in their heads that I’m coming in to bask in some sort of lovers scorn, or in a cry of “I am woman, hear me roar”, when really I’m in it for the relaxation, champagne, essential oils and chocolate. A cute masseuse would be a welcomed bonus, of course 🙂 It’s been my experience that women who shout out things like this just a little to enthusiastically, with the offer of a “high-5” are typically dealing with recently having been “wronged” and are a little too amped on “girl power” for my liking; to each their own.
On the other hand, I have friends who will declare today is “lame”, and who’ve turned down my invitation to join me in getting dressed up and hitting the town for dinner tonight. My response to one friend was “why do you want to stay home alone all evening being sad”? (This is not assuming that staying home is synonymous with being sad, this is just the temperature I was reading from the conversation) She looked at me with mischievous smile, one eyebrow raised and said “maybe being sad makes me happy, how do you know”? Good point. How do I know?
All any of us every really knows when it comes to matters of the heart, and life in general, is what we know, and in my experience that changes on a day-to-day basis.
What I know to be true is that I love Valentines Day! I always have. I remember reminding my mom and dad around the end of January to save an empty Tide detergent box that would soon be transferred into my “love” mailbox. I would decorate it from top to bottom in tin foil, shiny side out, of course, and plaster it with hearts, ribbons and all things frilly, using the good part of a glue stick to ensure that all of my flare would stick! I would then finish it off with plastering a heart shaped doily with my name written across the centre in big, pink bubble letters. CANDACE. There. Surly no one would make the mistake of delivering a Valentine intended for me to anyone else.
Feeling satisfied, I would grab a pair of extra fancy “indoor shoes” (think pink, patent leather), to go with my red hoop skirt and my favorite bubble gum pink “I HEART LOUISIANA” T- Shirt(heart in red glitter). My mother always advised against me wearing that outfit; something about red and pink and “clashing”…. I disregarded her fashion advice and made my way to the bus looking like some sorry of human disco ball in all of my pink and red, shimmery, shiny glory. I was ready for the sock hop! Look out boys!
After securing my “mailbox” to the side of my desk with an unnecessarily excessive amount of masking tape (wasting, Mrs. Colpaugh would scold), I would prance around home room, twirling my skirt and swinging my ponytail as I dropped of cards and candy hearts with messages that we carefully selected for each recipient. “Be Mine” and “So Fine” were in heavy rotation in those days. I would wait in anticipation to see if the boy I liked the most would head in my direction with the “biggest” valentine; and he would (remember how there was always one that was bigger than all the rest in those books of punch outs we used to get when we were little… remember? Was that just another one of societies sneaky ways of peddling monogamy in stages of elementary? Nah… couldn’t have been :).
My elementary on again off again boyfriend was from up the road and his name was Chauncey. He would arrive at school with a book bag full of stuffed teddy bears and various pieces of jewellery that I”m sure were on “lend” from his mothers collection, and even though we were only 7 he always referred to me as “darlin'”. I would return home with a book bag full of tokens of love by way of Chaunce (as I called him) and a few cards left unopened (like the one from the girl who didn’t like me and only gave me a valentine at all “because her mother made her”. A fact that she couldn’t wait to share with me. Oh… those were the days.
The days of kissing Chauncy behind the oak tree at recess have long passed, however for some reason, whether I’m in a romantic relationship or not, I still feel a lot like that girl in the red hoop skirt when Valentines day rolls around, albeit a bit taller and hopefully much wiser.
The Ghosts of Valentines Past. Surprises that have arrived via the recognizable and oh so cherished “little blue box” (… “and I said, what about, Breakfast at Tiffany’s”). Others have been carved out of wood and required no wrapping at all (a flower that would never die “for the girl who loved flowers”…that was one is still my favourite). They’ve been dinners, and theatre shows, vacations in Napa, and hikes to the camp. If I’m to be honest, which I am, they’ve also been a few forced celebrations that have ended up in major disaster; no amount of pretty bows and ribbons can wrap up a relationship you’re not meant to be in and make it look pretty.
There have been a few Feburary 14ths that have come and gone where the only Valentine I received was by way of my dad, who never forgets (Thanks Dad!). I”m sure he’ll be calling me soon and telling me to go treat myself to something nice,considering he’s in Florida… that phone will probably ring any minute now…(she checks the phone to make sure the line is working)… any second, I can feel it 😉 LOL
I know that one of the reasons that some people dislike the holiday so much is because they’re on their own, but wish they weren’t. We’ve all been there. Or maybe there not on their own and wish they were. Yep, been there too. Others just dislike anything perceived as sappy and gooey in general. And then there are the naysayers, the ones that go on and on about an occasion that’s meant to be fun and toss out words like “ridiculous” and “commercialized” with a scowl and great disdain… The Cadbury Easter Bunny has been hip hoping her eggs to a store near you since mid January. Commercialized? What holiday isn’t. Let’s lighten up, I say!
What I’ve come to discover so early into this new year, most likely by way of “The Callenge” is that I love being good to myself. It makes me what to be good to others. I love how it makes me feel to feed my soul and my heart with love that is all-encompassing. I love my friends. I love my dog. I love my family. I love tea. I love the newest Radiohead album. I love wool socks. I love my freedom. I love my sheets! I love cashews, dammit. Cashews! I love the exciting prospect and surprise of who I may love next! With so much love to put out into the universe for all things big and small, why on earth wouldn’t I want to go all out on the one day a year dedicated to just that? I can’t think of a reason either!
Katherine Hepburn once said the “Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything”.
This year, being happily single, I can spend my time preparing for what I’d like to give, rather than what I might be expecting to get , which I’m pretty sure is nothing, making the timing on these oh so profound realizations just perfect 🙂
Signing off happily, and with the words of 30 Rock’s, Jenna Maroney “I love you, Myself” 😉