Valentine’s Day. For some, it’s a joyous holiday for celebrating with your significant other. For others, it’s a treacly, Hallmark-created font of materialism to be totally spurned. It’s also a 2010 movie which I consider to be a very poor man’s Love Actually.
Nevertheless, it’s the movie I decided to emulate this Valentine’s Day. Alas, my day did not include a star-studded cast of celebrity man candy. No, I decided to do as Jessica Biel’s character Kara did, and throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party.
As you may have gathered, I am single. 364 days out of the year, this fact doesn’t really bother me. It shouldn’t bother me on Valentine’s Day either, but this particular one marks the first I’ve spent “alone” in five years. (I know, I know, I should really just be excited that I spent the last four Valentine’s Days with someone. Whatever.) I wasn’t going to face the ultimate couple’s holiday lying down (or curled up in the fetal position on my couch with a box of chocolates), so I did what any sensible person would do and threw a party.
I use the term ‘party’ loosely. It would be more correct to say that I hosted a small gathering of friends. Sending out the party invite, I realized that of the many people I know, the vast majority seem to be in relationships. My list of “people who are single and will enjoy sitting in my apartment drinking red wine and eating bread pudding” (yes, that is the kind of party I throw) turned out to be exactly five people long. And this realization, of course, brought forth a moment of panic that I was being left behind while everyone else was coupling up and getting married and having babies, while I was destined to become the weird maiden aunt who sleeps in the guest bedroom and dotes on everyone else’s kids because I have none of my own. (Incidentally, it is the first Valentine’s Day my sister is spending with a boyfriend, which only reinforced this theory.)
So, given my singleness and my friends’ lack thereof, I approached the holiday with extreme trepidation. Turns out, I needn’t have. Firstly, because there is very little that bread pudding with salted caramel sauce and chocolate cheesecake cupcakes won’t fix. Secondly, because my lame little I-hate-Valentine’s-Day party made me feel more loved than I have on some holidays spent with actual boyfriends. I was mildly terrified that no one would show up, as I knew of at least one invitee who actually pulled off the impressive stunt of getting a date at the last minute, but people actually put off homework, video-game related commitments, and possible dates to come hang out with me. The always fabulous N was in attendance, and told me she’d been looking forward to the party “for months”. “Have I even been planning this party for months?” I wondered. Her enthusiasm was heartwarming, as were the elementary-school style paper Valentine’s my new friend H brought. We gossiped, we laughed, we ate way too much spinach artichoke dip, and I never once even thought about, let alone felt bad about, the fact that I was single.
If you’d told me a year ago – actually, if you told me a year ago I’d be spending Valentine’s Day 2012 having this sort of party, I might have been a bit confused, but it would have on some level made sense. If you’d told me two years ago that this is what I’d be doing, I would have laughed myself silly. I’m not ashamed to say that February 2010 Andrea thought she’d be knee deep in wedding planning by this point. Life throws us curveballs sometimes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hit them out of the park. I can’t think of any way I’d rather have spent this Valentine’s Day than eating too much brie with this small but fantastic group of people. There’s no need to hate Valentine’s Day (the holiday); whether you’re single or not, it’s just a good excuse to spend time with people you love. On the other hand, if you want to hate Valentine’s Day (the movie), I will not blame you in the least.
Image via All Movie Photo