Valentine’s Day is huge. It’s huge in the sense that it’s one of those holidays that’s guaranteed to have some sort of an effect on you. It’s also one of those holidays that won’t always affect you the same way year after year.
For instance, St. Patrick’s Day influences giggling pinches, a yearning for copious amounts of beer, and the shoveling of mass quantities of cabbage and corn beef down one’s throat. When the next year rolls around, it will most likely play out exactly the same but with the possible addition of a freckled face ginger ending up in bed next to you…because…well, St. Patrick’s Day. Same goes for Cinco de Mayo except with the substitution of tequila, a couple tacos and a hottie named Pablo. Point being, these holidays are fun because they promote universal celebration dependent on alcohol, food, and good company with a side of culture and heritage.
Valentine’s Day is different. Universally, Valentine ’s Day is a day that highlights and focuses on romantic relationships…ONLY. And what do you need in order to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Ding, ding , ding… a romantic partner. And what do most of us actually have every time Valentine ’s Day rolls around? Ding, ding, ding… pizza delivery, Pretty Woman on repeat, and a box of chocolates to boost our incredibly low levels of serotonin.
But it doesn’t always have to be this way. There are many other types of Valentine’s Day possibilities. In fact, the options are endless and it’s really up to you to decide who you’d like to be come dooms day:
- The single girl bar hopping with a fresh new blowout, crisp manicure, and a choker necklace to signify to her prey that she’s literally up for anything.
- The long term relationship girl who’s impatiently waiting for her Valentine’s Day engagement so she can finally submit her long overdue romance novel to “How He Asked”, because she’s literally the last one of her friends that hasn’t been published.
- The group of feminist chicks, single and taken, who’ve come together to bash the patriarchy and revolt against this consumer-based for-profit holiday, all while enjoying Olive Garden’s all-you-can-eat pasta buffet because they literally will NEVER give up carbs.
- The girl who’s in a relationship but is guaranteed to be absolutely miserable and disappointed come Valentine’s Day because her expectations are so high and her boyfriend can literally never do anything right.
- The Anti-Valentine’s Day girl who’s currently suffering from a recent break up and spends her night setting fire to all his remaining belongings, while watching The Craft, and slowing pricking that beloved voo doo doll over, and over, and over, and over again; but then ultimately ends up calling him 50 times throughout the night because she literally cannot live without him.
- The girl who’s currently in the honeymoon stage of a brand new relationship and will love anything and everything her new boo will do, because she’s literally just SO happy right now.
I have no shame in admitting that I’ve literally been every single one of those girls EXCEPT the “How He Asked” engagement girl because I haven’t quite learned how to nail down a guy long enough to even joke about marrying me. But, out of all my Valentine’s Day years and the variety of stages I’ve gone through, there’s one that has definitely been the most memorable and one I shall never forget. My honeymoon stage Valentine’s Day! Here’s the story:
I was 20 years old and recently started dating this mysterious guy who’d always been a part of my friend group but easily slid under the radar with his quiet and awkward aura. The day I noticed him he was sitting on the steps of his stoop with long shaggy unwashed hair and a one inch handmade hemp necklace wrapped around his neck. He had a sparkle of freckles across his cheeks and piercing eyes that revealed so much and so little, all at the same time. He was so intriguing and so different; I was immediately hooked.
When February rolled around, I really had no expectations for Valentine’s Day. He was a very “anti-consumer” type of guy and didn’t believe in following the trends. But, to my surprise, he had a few unique tricks up his sleeve. He asked me to meet him at his apartment and then our Valentine’s Day surprise would begin. When I arrived at his place, I walked inside the house and was immediately met with a very strange and foreign smell. It was a smell I wasn’t quite familiar with, but if I had to throw out an imaginative guess, I’d say it was a scent similar to deep fried Loch Ness Monster. I looked at him with big bug eyes, scaled the kitchen for evidence of the scent, but all I could see was his smiling face and a picnic basket filled with what I assumed was the legendary sea creature I was about to eat.
Off we went to Golden Gate Park, picnic basket in hand and love in the air. We found ourselves a grassy patch among some Eucalyptus trees right next to my favorite family of inbred bison that rarely moved and mainly looked like gigantic rocks resting amongst a gated field. We threw out our Mexican poncho blanket and began our romantic Valentine’s Day lunch with a glass of red wine. As the mood set in, the time had come for him to reveal the contents of the mystery basket. He was so excited and I knew I had to put on a smile and tap in the” mind over matter” mentality as I prepared to ingest something I knew wasn’t going to be my typical go-to macaroni and cheese.
He opened the basket and revealed his award winning, never before cooked, alligator meat he somehow discovered in a China Town market in San Francisco, California. He paired it with a side of grapes, raw bell pepper, a red rose and itty bitty diamond earrings. I was completely enamored. We tore in to the alligator meat and were surprised to find it tasted a lot like chicken but had the texture of beef jerky because, well, he cooked it himself in his kitchen. It was weird, it was interesting, but overall – it was special.
While most of my Valentine’s haven’t been as luxurious and romantic as my alligator meat date next to the inbred bison in Golden Gate Park, I am lucky to have one man I can always rely on to celebrate with. He’s always in great spirits, always up for an adventure, and always the life of the party. While this specific Valentine of mine doesn’t come bearing gift, he is always accepting them with open arms. This Valentine is my Dad, and February 14th is his BIRTHDAY! If you’re wondering…no, his name is not Valentino. His name is Fidel… and no, he’s not from Cuba.
Happy birthday Dad, my forever Valentine.