I’ve never celebrated Valentines Day. My primary school never participated in the custom of exchanging Valentines, and by high school we (I) were all much to cool for such childishness. Plus, I’ve been single - happily so I might add - for most of my adult life, with brief pockets of relationships never happening to fall on the day claimed by lovers and sweethearts world over.
The cynic in me wants to denounce the commercialisation of a day who’s origins are murky at best. And the cynic is me has generally won out, pointing to the millions of dollars in revenue for florists and chocolatiers as seemingly in contradiction to the notions of the day being about love, as opposed to a symbol of love as benign as red roses.
But then I read this piece by Stevie at Discotheque Confusion and suddenly I want to reclaim Valentines Day, but as ode to my solitude, if you will. The romance of solitude, as Stevie wrote, is often overlooked or drowned out by the operatic noises of those that find themselves in the traditionally celebrated relationships of Valentines Day.
But, as Stevie wrote, there is a romance to solitude that is vibrant and real and full of all the things you really love - so reading Anthropology textbooks for me - things that can be lost when you find yourself wrapped up in the idea that the only way to be a Valentine is to be a part of a pair.
I wrote about my desire for solitude here, and it seems most apt today to celebrate that notion. To embrace the romance in my solitude, the loner in me. The person who eschews roses and chocolates in favour of a book I bought myself, or a late night solitary trip to the cinema. Or hours spent at my desk writing every thought that falls from my mind. Or driving at night, with the music loud and the road clear with only my (horribly terrible) singing for company. Or an early morning mug of green tea while the sun rises over my neighbours backyard. Or a long hot shower with only the sound of the water in my ears.
So many moments, where being alone is the greatest thing you could want or need or get.
All these things and more are what I’ll be thinking of today, without a rose or chocolate in sight.