Ah love. We love “love”. In fact, our whole shop is about love – loving the weird and wonderful, odd and creative, strange and beautiful, and sharing it! What we don’t love is how February 14th often leaves people feeling very unloved. I definitely believe in finding ways to celebrate the people you care for and nothing says, “I love you,” more than random pretty things and meaningful words. What’s that you say? No one ever brings you flowers or heart-shaped boxes? I say f&*k that! I think it’s pretty important to show yourself some love on occasion, and I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to do it!
Over the years I’ve found that “getting into the spirit” actually helps me get into the spirit if you know what I mean. By decorating my little world with all manner of things pink and wonderful, sparkly and romantic, (and yes, my mongoose skull under glass is romantic), I feel myself more willing to embrace love-sickness. This year I spent time making hand-cut heart garlands for the shop and nearby special friends. I strung our glass heart Tillandsias and hung them in the window, and I filled my crystal display goblets with Sweetheart candies…I honored my own version of what Valentine’s is about – making my space a lovely place for others to come into.
I’m not saying you have to embrace being solitary. I’m just telling you to take charge. A long time ago, one of my friends was lamenting the fact that she was bombarded by “happy family/couple Christmas letters” when she was newly single. She vowed to make her own “Sadly Single” Christmas letter the following year. We joked about taking pics of ourselves in bath robes, looking like crap, holding bottles of vodka. We’d write a long letter with paragraphs about de-worming our pets on our birthdays, and how awesome our mid-year colonic was (I’ve never had one btw). We were protesting that being with ourselves was apparently not enough. But it is. I don’t care how many romantic comedies you’ve seen, real relationships aren’t made of unicorns and magic marshmallows.
Don’t get me wrong, I am stupidly romantic. I am an obsessive love note writer. I send the most melancholy and lovely greeting cards EVER. I can find romance in things that make other people cringe, but if you don’t find yourself with reservations to a $300 Prixe Fixe dinner, or you aren’t going to get an edible fruit bouquet, then decide to splurge on yourself! Order up a sweet floral arrangement, buy that gorgeous blouse you saw, get a makeover, massage, or a crazy-expensive bottle of wine, and have yourself a Real Housewives marathon with a few girlfriends.
Speaking of taking charge, for years I planned my own birthday parties because no one ever did anything for me and I was sick of feeling sorry for myself. I rented out nightclubs, went to Spain, got cabins in the woods, booked hot tubs and massages, reserved fancy boutique hotels…I had awesome birthdays and lots of people came. The year I turned 40 though, I figured that someone would want to do something big for me right? Uh….insert really depressing night spent crying on the couch here. Everyone called me and asked what I had planned for my big day. Me? Hello? Never again! For my 41st it was a free-for-all in SF and I was surrounded by love, but you know what? I planned that outing too!
As the “big V-day” draws near, think of something you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t, for whatever reason. If it’s within your budget, your reach, or your ability, then schedule that thing and do it up big! Matter of fact, send out an invite for others to come along, and you’ll probably be surprised how big your group gets. Decorate (and eat) cupcakes together, go bar-hopping wearing pink tiaras (men included), host a pot luck, or a bonfire weekend at the beach… It’s kind of like orphan Thanksgiving, except pink and all about love!
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