Submitted by: Big Little Wolf
Valentine’s Day is coming up. Is it pulling on your heart strings, and making you feel a little bit sad? Are you facing it alone, and feeling pressure to be part of a couple? Valentine’s doldrums? Cheer up!
Valentine’s Day is intended to be about love, right? You have children you love, parents or siblings you love, friends you adore. Perhaps your kids are grown, but you’re learning to love yourself all over again.
Who says Valentine’s must be about romantic love with a partner offering a rose and a box of chocolates?
Make Valentine’s Day about what matters – to you
Here are some suggestions for making V-Day a great day, whether you’re part of a couple or not.
- Head out with a girlfriend for a wine tasting at a bar or restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Or choose a cozy café. Go at lunchtime if you prefer, so you don’t feel sorry for yourself in the evening, when the cooing “dating” crowd is out and about.
- Try something exotic! Grab that girlfriend and head to the Middle Eastern restaurant with the belly dancer. Or go for a new type of cuisine – a taste of Korea for example, or whatever might suit your fancy. A little bit of spicy food will hit high notes with your palate on an evening when spice is nice.
- Do you prefer to stay in? Then rent or pick up a few movies – the sort of films that make you cry (and you feel better afterward). Yes, I am a HUGE fan of chick flicks. Or, try a movie that’s totally different – an action-packed thriller with a hunky star, or a foreign film simply because it’s French and you’ve always wanted to visit France. Pick up a bottle of French wine while you’re at it, and plan on an evening of pleasure, just for yourself.
- Maybe you imagine yourself in a villa in Tuscany – some day. Lovely dream, isn’t it? Then rent an Italian film, pick up a bottle of Chianti, and indulge. Foreign films offer intrigue as well as romantic escapades, but not just for the “beautiful people.” Frequently, quirky humor and more real men and women are the stuff of European film making. I even have a recommendation – Bread and Tulips – a delightful Italian film, perfect for Valentine’s.
- Since we’re on the subject of Europe, might you care to indulge in a little dreaming? Browse through your favorite travel sites online. Imagine the Mediterranean vacation you’re going to take – whether it’s by yourself or with a friend. Prefer a more exotic locale? Or a ski trip and a cabin in the Alps? There are tremendous travel deals in winter, with both hotel discounts and bargains in air fares. And if you can’t afford it now, it costs nothing to dream. And dreams make you feel great!
Around the neighborhood
Planning on sticking closer to home? You can entertain yourself in the neighborhood or around the house.
- Invite a single friend (or several) to your place for Valentine’s evening – make dinner together. Cooking with another person is always more fun anyway. It needn’t be a budding love interest; it can be with a buddy.
- Wander your favorite department store at the local mall. Oh hell – walk through Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Nordstrom’s if you can! Try on the most gorgeous designer shoes you’ve ever seen. I don’t suggest this for a shopaholic, but otherwise, it’s my favorite therapy for whatever ails me, and guaranteed to leave me feeling sublime.
- And speaking of department stores, a little stop at the perfume counter to sample a fragrance is always fun. Is it time for a new scent? New stage, new perfume? Why not try one for Valentine’s? Remember you can also enjoy the offer of a free makeup consultation, and let a makeup artist do your face. Try out a new look. Why not?
- If you still have children at home, share your love and enjoy those kids! Find an old blanket or table cloth and make a picnic on the rug in the living room. It won’t matter what you actually cook – make sandwiches, or microwave chicken fingers. They won’t care. Eating on the floor will be delight enough, because it’s unconventional. And don’t forget those wonderful candy hearts!
- More Happy Valentine’s Day projects to show your love to little ones? Try your hand at construction paper projects. Bake heart-shaped cookies covered in icing or sprinkles. Do it together in the evening. Make a mess, and leave the rules behind. It’s Valentine’s!
This is a day that should be about happiness – and that can be shared with anyone who is lodged in your heart. It may be your children, your best friend, or with your best new, emerging self. Make it a special day. There’s no need for sadness, even if you recall other holidays when things were different. Make new memories – about you, for you, and for those in your life now.
These days, Big Little Wolf (”Ms. Big”) reflects on life and her Daily Plate of Crazy, where she writes essays on everything – sometimes serious, sometimes fun – whatever strikes her on a given day as interesting, unusual, entertaining, or of concern.