I knew a girl once who, only semi-bitterly, referred to Valentine's Day as "Singles' Awareness Day."
Newly engaged, I merely laughed at the notion -- the most fun I'd had on Valentine's Day was during my seahorse period. My girlfriends and I, who all happened to be single at the time, by some miracle of luck, went out and celebrated together.
It was the best Valentine's Day ever.
This one, though, which is looming over me like a particularly cheerful cloud, is going to be a bit ... different.
This year, I'm of the age where almost all of my friends have coupled off -- can't say I blame them, I was one of the first to be married and, of course, one of the first to utter the dreaded "D" Word.
This week marks the first Valentine's Day in which I am no longer a couple. One of the hardest parts about going from a Plus Two to a Plus One for me has been the absence of a built-in Plus One. It's been so long that I've had to think about being alone that I've nearly forgotten what it's like to beg for dates for a wedding or funeral.
It's not all bad, though. I'm almost entirely certain that my husband never did manage to properly remember Valentine's Day, so at least I'm not looking back at 10 years' worth of candlelight dinners and weeping over the "days of wine and roses."
So instead of crying about being alone into my lonesome pillow after wearing my sad pants all day, I'm going to take a page out of the playbook I wrote before I was a Plus Two.
I'm celebrating Valentine's Day by myself for myself.
Rather than feel sad that my partner (once again) forgot this special day, I'm going to smile at the beautiful pinks and reds decorating the world. I'm going to beam at the hearts and the flowers and the chocolates, because some day, I too, will again be a part of a Plus Two.
Until then, I will pamper myself, buy myself something not entirely necessary, and I will smile because I am able to take care of myself.
And while it's not the candlelit dinner, it's better: because I know that it'll be exactly as I want it. Nothing more, nothing less.
How do you celebrate Valentine's Day as a Plus One?
Image via thepinkpeppercorn/Flickr