Sunday, March 4, 2012

ghosts of Valentine's past

When I was a junior in college and Valentine's Day hit, I was single and with no real prospects. Barbie-- one of my best friends and roommates-- was also single.

It would have been very easy for the two of us to stay in, watch chick flicks in the sorority house, and eat a ridiculous amount of chocolate while feeling sorry for ourselves.

It would also have been incredibly lame.

And besides, we didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We were single, but we were also both happy-- dating people casually, but without any dude in the picture who we were into committing to. And so, we we decided to go out on the most coupley themed day of the year to one of the most romantic places within walking distance-- a wine bar.

It was awesome. Dark lighting, tons of couples happily cozying up to each other, and Barbie and I splitting the cheese, fruit, and wine plate all washed down with red wine. It felt so classy to me then-- and we had also both just turned 21, so we were feeling grown up and cool for legally drinking at a nice bar. We gossiped and giggled and watched the couples there, and we were both so happy to see how in love they all looked. I have no clue if any of those couples actually were happy, but imagining the stories of their lives gave me such a quiet pleasure-- and even though I was, at that time, super happy being single-- I was excited by thinking of the possibilities of a real, "grown-up" relationship with a deep level of understanding, passion, affection, loyalty, and care.

But I was also happy, because though I wasn't in a romantic relationship at the point, I was getting to celebrate the holiday with someone I loved, I lived in a sorority house full of women I had come to love, and I was growing to understand who I was and begin to love myself.

It was celebratory, but it was also thoughtful. It was a fantastically fun night. And it was just what I needed that Valentine's Day to be.

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