Party of one
Perhaps it’s a sign of maturity on my part, but I’ve stopped referring to Valentine’s Day as VD.
Whatever the reason, I think it’s time to retire my annual I-hate-Cupid façade that has poorly masked my self-pity at being single for yet another Feb. 14.
The past couple of years, I’ve actually come to embrace singlehood — or, at least, acknowledge it. Maybe even patting it on the back sometimes — but not fist-bumping because I always feel like one of the Wonder Twins when someone comes at me for a fist bump. Like, “Wonder Twin powers, activate! Form something that looks ridiculous when done by white men in their late 30s!” (For the record, I never said I was surprised I was single.)
Crazy aside, I’ve decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day without a trace of facetiousness. Well, not heaps of it; just a sprinkle of it, heavier on the sincerity and — if you’ll please pardon — some reflection on holidays past.
I kinda miss my elementary school years, when teachers would have us fashion valentine cardholders from colored construction paper and Crayola markers.
Mom and Dad would take me to the K&B drugstore the night before my class Valentine’s party to pick out a bag of cards, then home to write each classmate’s name on one of them — even the class bully. OK, maybe that part I don’t miss.
Mamaw, God rest her soul, would sometimes buy the grandkids little heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover chocolates, pieces of which my brother and I would bite into carefully in case we encountered a maple or strawberry filling in one of them. Lord, I wish I were that picky about chocolates now.
My only two true valentines — as in living, breathing love interests, not Hallmark cards — came in 1998 and 2007, the latter year being memorable as it involved a trip to Florida and my first conch salad — which, no offense to my ex, was a highlight of our relationship.
Now, a nearly 40-year-old porch-swingin’ single, I’m toying with the idea of taking myself out for Valentine’s Day — in a nice, non-mob hit kind of way.
I used to take myself out on “date nights,” as I so cleverly called them 10-plus years ago. My favorite thing was going to The Chalkboard for escargot and a chocolate martini or to White River Fish Market for flounder or sea bass.
But if dining out is tantamount to Valentine’s Day, I’ve been living most nights of my week like it’s Feb. 14 for a long time. So, maybe this needs to be a dine-in experience. After all, I have an oven that works now, so I may as well use it.
I could even go as far as inviting other singles to join me, which would necessitate a manic cleaning weekend — but may be worth it.
Instead of romantic comedies, we could watch horror flicks like “My Bloody Valentine.” What dish would one pair with that, though? Maybe I’ll bake heart-shaped cookies with short phrases drawn in frosting like “Bite Me.”
That’s not bitter, by the way. But I might just have to sneak in an “Enjoy Your VD” into the cookie pile.