B Y S A M A N T H A H I L L M A N
America has a way of celebrating anything and everything it can – A calendar somehow studded with more occasions than days. Today — it’s Valentines Day. A day for lovers and cynics alike. A day of sentimental undertones and Hallmark overtones, a day that, despite being resoundingly devoid of valentines, I love as much as I feign hatred of.
If you’re single, there’s some sad expectation to be anti Valentine's Day. Yes, it’s tacky and cloying and loud, but there’s a frivolous beauty in having just another day to celebrate anything. It is after all, a day for love, and I’m convinced there are few things more romantic than being alone and superlatively happy.
Whilst it’s easy to slip into the #foreveralone blueprint of humour (I love a cat meme as much as the next single gal), relishing solitude on Valentine’s Day is a beautiful thing. It echoes the same cozy defiance of sleeping though New Year’s Eve. The champagne bubble of our twenties strikes many as the shiny pre-curser for our coupled-up lives ahead; a waiting period for the ‘real thing’, when life supposedly begins. But these years - for all their mess and uncertainty - seem to me the most romantic of all. They’re the years of being old enough to move away and into your own apartment (with wooden floors and sparkly light). They are the years of flirting with ideas you’re not entirely sure of. Of buying yourself pretty new shoes with your pretty new paycheck. The years of rounding up your favourite people for impromptu roast chicken lunch parties instead of going to work. Of waking up by yourself and reading the newspaper in bed. Being alone, I’m sure, is something to revel in- not rendered as stale and irrelevant by an annual celebration of love. (And anyway, don’t the best parts of love – the stomach flutters, those nervous lip bites, that impatient dance between dates - happen when you’re technically single, anyway? When you can bask in the luxury of overanalyzing texts from boys that might not matter eventually? But I digress.)
These years – for the boozy dinners and the tears and the regrets and the roaming around new cities alone - seem more romantic, more gasp worthy, than the Valentine’s Day I spent trying on engagement rings with the man I vaguely intended to marry. Being in love is lovely, though I can’t help but feeling that the romance of solitude – of independence and unpredictability - is even lovelier.
Today is just another overblown holiday to celebrate on your own terms– whether by attending an elaborate haters party, getting dolled up on a fancy date, dinner with friends or movies and a pint of ridiculously delicious ice cream. It’s just another perfect excuse to celebrate, however you see fit. I hope that you do.