I may not be a love expert. And I certainly don’t claim to be a guru in the realm of independence (aka singledom). But I do have four cats, a horse and been flying solo since 2012. No comment. What this does make me, is fairly familiar with being single during the “month of love” or THE MOST “couple-y” day of the year (coming in just before weddings) – VALENTINE’S DAY.
It was 14 February 2012 – my first seriously single Valentine’s Day since I was like 12 (so over a decade). And I didn’t know what to do with myself – a newbie at being alone, no clue of who I was, heartbroken and no-one at home.
I at least decided I wasn’t cooking (it was before my foodie days). Instead, I decided to get a massive sushi platter and wine. When I ran into the Chinese Food Franchise – brimming with happy couples, I stared at the lanterns, heavily themed décor and then settled my eyes on the white rabbits and prawn chips. I felt like there was a massive scarlet letter on my head – Sssss for SINGLE it screeched. Once I got to the counter I squeaked my order. And the very friendly gent behind the counter smiles at me and says: “Sushi platter for TWO”. And it dawned on me… I AM ALONE. Those words – “Sushi platter for TWO” made me feel like a failure, a heartbroken loser and lonelier than a piece of hairy gum on a toddler’s shoe.
Long gone (many therapist sessions and tons more) are those morose days. And now my singledom isn’t a condemnation, a death sentence or a disease… just a season that I have learnt to appreciate. Yes – sometimes weddings are awkward. And when people that haven’t seen you in years ask: “Haven’t you met someone yet?” or “You must be happily married by now…” – I still Aaaah and Oooh awkwardly and mutter: “I am busy; many cats you see and a horse… happy and alone”. Mostly – I am happy, confident and would now say: “Nope sushi platter for one HUNGRY lady” and flip the couples off – kidding about the last bit.
But this blog isn’t about me. It’s about the 5 Awesome Things Single People Can Do on Valentine’s Day.
1) SPREAD love like a RABID CUPID on ROIDS
There is nothing better than making other people’s day special – assault them with love. Make people feel special. Bake brownies for your co-workers, treat the office cleaner, or your family or a stranger. Or if the budget is tight, write little notes for everyone and hide it for them to randomly find – oh, so creepy – oh so, cute. Random acts of thoughtfulness will change the world; why not choose the day and month dedicated to love, to start changing the world. Be crazy cute in pursuing your mission of being 2018’s Rabid Roid Cupid of the Year.
2) Take Advantage of the Special Events
Most restaurants do something awesome – three-course meals; romantic wine pairings; live music. A ball! Grab your ladies and/or gents or mix a bunch of golf widows, musicians’ wives or hubbies and the like, and book a table. Every time I have gone out with ladies on Valentine’s Day – I have had the time of my life. And to be honest the couples looked very longingly at us having fun – too much FOMO (fear of missing out)!
3) Valentine’s Group Fun on a Paperclip Budget
If you are on a paperclip (rigid and thin) budget –you can’t afford the R450 plus/minus average price for a set menu on Valentine’s Day – but there are other options. Like dress up fancy-pansy, grab plates, cutlery, a tablecloth and wine glasses. And of course, grab a bunch of awesome crazy people, you call your friends and head to MC D’s or Steers. I have personally done this a few times. And totes-ma-goats loved it.
We all put on our matric dance dresses (when our cushier tushies still fit) or ball gowns/suits and order our favourite burgers and fries, set the MC Donald’s table (outside if it is nice weather), place our food on the plates and de-cant Coke Zero into the wine glasses. It’s the absolute bestest. And once again people get serious FOMO.
4) Host a Dinner Soiree or V-Day Party
Have you seen the movie Valentine’s Day? You know the one lady hosts an Anti-Valentine’s Day party… well, what a concept! Every year I host a themed Valentine’s Day party. 2017 I had an Anti-Valentines vs. Syrupy Valentine’s Day theme. People dressed up accordingly and single people plus couples came together for a night of foodie fun. The point is – love works best when it is shared. Hosting friends means sharing your heart and home… and naturally, love. And the more you give, the more you’ll receive.
5) A Self-Date – The Ultimate Valentine’s Treat
It took me a while to build a solid foundation of the right kind of friends over the years (and lose a few toxic ones). And despite having plenty of awesome friends – I absolutely love having a self-date and have one regularly. A self-date is ALL about you – choosing your favourite movie or series of movies (e.g. Harry Potter or Hunger Games); gathering all your favourite foods (e.g. nachos, macaroni cheese and/or slow-cooked stew); always something sweet for dessert and a glass of bubbly or something equally as decadent.
You get in your comfiest pj’s and slippers; chuck your phone away from you and indulge in pampering yourself with time and attention. Sometimes a nice long bath with scented bath balls or a long soak in bath salts is in order. Make sure you put new sheets and bedding on your bed – and when it is all done, and you feel like a fluffy pillow inside, you climb in your freshly starched bed and be thankful that you don’t have anyone to fight the duvet with. Just crispness, space, comfort, serenity and time to read before you drift off to sleep.
The point is there are lots of things for single people to do on Valentine’s Day or any other couple holidays or celebrations like weddings. If you are still struggling with being single – don’t worry it gets better. And rather single than in an abusive marriage or drowning in despair in a dead-end relationship. Not that that is ever a helpful statement …
And then finally, whenever I feel uncomfortable about being single – like when I go to a braai and once again my meat wasn’t braai’ed; or some couples that speak about stuff that perhaps not purposefully (but perhaps purposefully) excludes single people; or attend a wedding and get poked to catch the flippen bouquet again because everyone else is married, except the 12-year-olds that gather around you like miggies to a punch bowl – I whisper, chant and convince myself that – THIS TOO SHALL PASS.