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Friday, February 14th: Whatever YOU Call It

In a few hours, the sun will rise on 1 of the most controversial holidays on the American calendar. Valentine's Day, known by several horrendous derivations on it's 3rd syllable, is tomorrow. The social pressures of this holiday make it riddled with angst for those "in a relationship," the "single," & those unfortunates who claim "it's complicated". I've lived 2 out of 3 of those realities and honestly don't recall either side causing me any unnecessary feelings of confusion of self doubt, lack of love, or anything else. The commodification of love is indeed strange, but how you respond to it is up to you. If the only day of the year you bother to express your love to your significant other, your current Mr/s Right Now, your long time Boo Thang or Cuddle Bunny, the one who you gave "the precious" (Lord of the Rings reference, in case U.A.E.N.O.), then you have 99 problems and Valentine's Day ain't 1.

If you're in a relationship--of any kind--it really shouldn't be that difficult to figure out how to deal with this day. If you're with a him or a her who has grandiose expectations on this day, where you are supposed to make possible the impossible, then you need to reevaluate your choices. If you know yourself to be such a she or he, perhaps you need to take a moment to reevaluate who you are & why you feel such a sense of entitlement. But I'm not here for these people right now. This is about something else altogether.

I learned in class just the other night that Valentine's Day now also doubles as Single Awareness Day.

Say what now?

I'm sure for those who are single, they're pretty clear that they are, but does this have to be a bad thing? How did not having or being in a relationship become equated with pathetic? Who sat on this council? Who took the tallies on this vote? I've never been one to feel less than because I was not in a relationship. When I haven't been it was because a relationship ended or because I recognized I didn't have time or interest or anything to put on the table. When I have found myself single, no one day made me feel any worse about the end of something that was central in my life. & when people have made assumptions that my then current circumstances were cause for concern & tried to gift my spirits up, I can't say that anything other than the misguided attention was appreciated. Chocolates from CVS have never made me feel better. &, truth be told, I'm not a huge chocolate lover. Unless it's REAL or white. No bear sold on a street corner by Struggle Get Over Artists has turned my frown upside down. No half dried bouquet of several days old carnations has ever changed my life...unless it was from a student.

So, are y'all really nearly suicidal because you're single? This is a real thing?

I completely understand the purpose behind Valentine's Day, but I also know that we are always co-opting things. Love is love is love, right? Whether from a wo/man or a child or YOU, right? If for some reason your relationship status doesn't include another person, I have a few suggestions for you for surviving this day that was sent to remind you how hateful life can be.

1. Treat yourself to your favorite cupcake. Cupcake shops are EVERYWHERE. You can find a cupcake before an actual cake, or even a cookie, these days. Treat yourself to a miniature sweet that involves frosting so that you can sensually lick your own lips & fall in love with you.

2. Wear your favorite color. Dress up. Put on your favorite fit or lay (if you're from Philly) & strut through your day like you're the HNIC. Cuz you are, of your own life.

3. Go to dinner. Make reservations in a cozy corner, with a glass of your favorite spirit, order a plate of something delectable & be well enough in your heart to smile at the love shared by others around you. OR, you can invite 1 of your favorite people out with you & embrace THAT love.

4. Make a grandparent your Valentine. If you're lucky enough to still have 1 or many of your family matriarchs & patriarchs living, take 1 or all of them out to the buffet (cuz you know they love it) & have a good time choppin' it up with the grands. A parent works here to. After all, who has loved you longest & best?

5. Give kiddie Valentine's cards to others (cuffed from a classmate). So maybe no one is spreading love your way but you get what you give. Share with others and bask in their appreciation of your remembrance.

6. Schedule a photo shoot with a friend. This can be whatever kind you want. You don't have to be bare naked & you don't have to "make love to the camera" but allow someone else to capture your best side based on how THEY see you, not the harsh light you view yourself in.

7. Put a Valentine's card in the mail to yourself. Yeah it's a little late for that if it's to arrive by tomorrow, but you can send yourself a free one online & happily receive the other in the mail after you've forgotten all about it. Send it to yourself using the name of someone you fantasize about. Be ridiculous with it & have fun.

8. Light candles in your room, after you've taken yourself somewhere rewarding, & turn on your favorite playlist & fall asleep wrapped up in the arms of your favorite person: YOU.

The point is that love comes from many corners but if you don't love you first & foremost, no one else has cause to.

If tomorrow is supposed to be any kind of Awareness Day, make it your opportunity to become aware of your actual connection to this day or your lack of connection to it, & figure out why it's so deep for you. & then do something about it. & if no one tells you they love you tomorrow, I love you. Happy Valentine's Day!

Watch me move.


  1. how bout if you are a jew and not defined by infantile goyishe dead white men deathculture , rather monotheism tikkun olam and the thirteen attributes of mercy. we should celebate huey p. newton day

    1. The basic point was for those who for some reason feel less than on February 14th. For those who aren't worried about it at all, you're free to do with it what you wish.