It’s funny. Somehow, those not in relationships who aren’t all about Valentine’s Day are painted as carmodgeons who simply don’t get love. Um, no. I am one who from the time of age thirteen, seemingly bounced from relationship from relationship. Am I now saying oh no… it was a mistake? Um no. Am I saying that I am feeling incomplete because I am single again this year? Um again, no. I think I was fortunate to experience a lot of that at an earlier stage in life and I’m sure I’ll return there again at some point in the future. But now? For now? I’ve got a slightly different focus.
I’ve always found Valentine’s Day to be arbitrary. Even when I had my sure-bet gentleman to at least hand over a much appreciated card and chocolates. Sure, any occasion that affords one the additional excuse to say what might have otherwise gone unsaid can never be bad. By any means, please please – go ahead and express (and least this go to my detriment – I again must emphasize I do ALWAYS support chocolate and flowers at any given date/point in time – period!). I’m a self-professed choc-o-holic — so please don’t let anything stand between you and sending your loved one chocolates and/or flowers (equally encouraged).
However, I’ve always felt much how one of my married friends here feels though. As a couple, if you should currently be in one, you have other points in time of a much more personal significance. An anniversary of when you first met. An anniversary of that “official” first date. An anniversary of perhaps that eventual marriage. To me, Valentine’s Day seems arbitrary. A confirmation of what should already be expressed on a much more personal level. A friend said “it sounds cheesy – but really, every day for me is Valentine’s Day…” and you know what I said? No, cheese aside — that’s how it should be. If that’s how it is for you wherever you are in reading this, I applaud you. And I am sure that Russell Stover’s and Hallmark is shedding quite a few tears right now. But it’s true.
Honestly, until I was out of college, I was always dating someone. And not that it’s bad, but I always had someone to connect with (no matter how new and awkward) on any given Valentine’s Day. And I’ll be honest… sometimes I think I would have rather opted out than have had to deal with um trying to deal with trying to figure out how to handle.
But you know what has no random day of celebration? Friendship. And you know what? I’ve had as much fun, if not more (although clearly in a different way), celebrating and enjoying such connections on this lovely holiday supposedly focused on love. So this post – this post a few hours shy of the “technical” day with such a focus – is focused instead on those who mean the most to me. The ones who perhaps in years gone by in high school and somewhat through college may have taken a bit of a back-burner to the males front and center. And you know what? I realize that some day that balance will change, and that’s okay. That’s the way it goes in this cycle of life. But for now? In the meantime? It’s all about the girls. MY girls. And look at me. Go ahead. Judge me, if you dare. Think that a 28-year-old ode to my gals makes me single in the city and bitter.
But I think you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Cause in years where many my age were so absorbed in their friends, I’d split my focus. And now? Yeah, now – it’s all about the ladies. And celebrate? Oh celebrate, yes we will…
Here is MsH and I at our final lunch at Just Fresh. Our almost weekly staple. This is symbolic of not only how hard it was to say goodbye to MsH, who I got to know so well over these regular lunches, but to the personal aspect of DC that held me there so long. It was my girls. It was always about my girls… miss you guys… and I’m so excited to have the lovely MsH visiting me in NYC this very weekend. Oh the good times, they are a’coming. They might be starting surrounding Valentine’s Day, but they’re continuing until we cease to celebrate those Presidents which came long before…
One of the best things about moving to NYC is getting to spend more time with my sister on such a different level. It’s one thing when she’s the one you remember being 8 with and wanting to put masking tape across the backseat of the car to divide space with, but it’s another when you reach my age and you finally are able to relate beyond that — on a friend level. And that’s something you just can’t replace. That’s been a nice plus to the NYC move, for sure.
This is the complete family at Christmas. I feel blessed. Really blessed. I am so close with my family. My mom has always been one of my best friends. And really I hope some day I am lucky to have such a relationship with my own child. If I’m recognizing my girls here, I’ve most definitely gotta give a shout out to my mom. She might get another on Mother’s Day, but she’s earned the double yell — ’cause she’s most definitely been in it for the long haul.
And three cheers to Holl who’s just returned back to Manhattan after a hiatus. A former colleague of mine from the wasteland some like to call South Florida, we have had such a great time reconnecting up here in this strange Yankee-esque land. I look forward to seeing what the next day shall bring (literally – as I hope she’s still in for tomorrow’s festivities!).
And finally, and most certainly not least, here’s to friends new post-move to the city. Thanks for welcoming a Southern nomad into a new big city. For being such great people. For warming up so soon. For exposing me to such fun things. Oh and yes yes yes… for what still lies in store for 2008. What’s this I hear about some Johnny Cash? Oh yes, word is Fat Tuesday and the Super Bowl ain’t got nothing on that there…
Much love. Xoxo from the Big Apple. To my District Divas, may I see you all in April… love you all and for all you have meant over the years. All you continue to mean to me across the miles. The care you continue to have and those connections that just won’t fade. Thanks for hanging in there on this journey with me. Look forward to many more years to come – whatever those years may bring.