Dinner for One

I haven’t been single (or without a date) on Valentine’s Day in 12 years.  Now, mind you, I’m not boasting.  I’m actually in awe.

Before I get into all of the V-day hubbub, I have to say that I had a terrific day.  And that’s rare for someone studying for a state bar exam.  I was productive, I received encouragement and support, I laughed, I had great food, and I was really proud of myself.  Mind you, tomorrow’s studying may not feel the same — I might hit a subject that I’m not particularly strong in, or my multiple choice scores could drop.  But I had a great day, even with that big, red-hearted day looming ahead, bringing just a tiny reminder that I don’t have a special someone to share it with.  At least not in the traditional sense.

And I’m not a person that hates Valentine’s Day when I’m single; I don’t think that tomorrow will be “Single’s Awareness Day,” nor will I be depressed because I don’t have a date for tomorrow’s romantic holiday.  I really don’t like when some folks get all bitter and abrasive just because they’re spending this particular day alone.  You were alone the day before and you were just fine, right?  So it follows that you’ll be just fine tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day.

Single and all, I still actually love the thought of Valentine’s Day, though I know full well you don’t need a special day of the year to express feelings of love.  It’s the romantic in me.  I don’t think of it as a forced cliche where you have to be lame and lovey-dovey just for the hell of it.  I think of having a valentine in terms of the person I’m with.  It’s like having someone who I can’t celebrate enough.  And life with a few extra celebrations, does that really hurt anybody?

My last single Valentine’s Day was when I was in college.  I had just turned 19, and though I was dating, there wasn’t really anyone special.  There was no date, or anything like that.  It didn’t matter to me — I sent myself a lovely box of my favorite chocolates (Ferrero Rocher), had a bubble bath, and was as happy as a clam.  Tomorrow, I’ll be showing myself love and appreciation by ordering some pad see ew from my favorite Thai food take-out spot and continuing to study for the bar.  Maybe a glass of wine once I’ve finished study for the day.

As much as I want to find someone, sometimes circumstances are the way that they are for a purpose.  I believe that.  Maybe this is what I need to pass the bar and finally feel like I accomplished a goal that I set out to do when I started law school in 2006.  I love the idea of love and romance — of a meaningful relationship and all of the bells and whistles — but I love me first and foremost.  Passing the bar just gets one more hurdle out of the way.  Then I can focus more on other things I love:  helping people and writing.  I’d rather feel that sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction than just have a date on a Tuesday in February.

Really, what’s more important?