Last Valentine’s Day was hard.
I had had plans, of course. I was going to continue the tradition that my boyfriend and I had started two years earlier where we give each other President’s Day cards instead of Valentine’s Day cards. The card was still sitting in my desk drawer. It said, “You baRACK! You’re da oBAMa!”
But now the plans were cancelled because there was no one to give the stupid card to anymore and the student union was rubbing it in my face with all the hearts on the walls that said things like “URA ZERO,” and I couldn’t decide whether to put the obligatory Christian Valentine’s Day facebook status about how God loves everyone or to make some bitter comment about how this day was meant to remember a priest who was beheaded anyway and…
I had an email.
But wait. It was just another notification from that stupid Christian dating website. Ugh. Christian Cafe? Really, Sarah? Why would you sign up for that? What possessed you (besides crippling loneliness and desperation and four days with no sleep) to join Christian Cafe? It was some guy with the screen name Gnomad something or other, and he thought I was cool because I had a picture holding a toy stuffed Link from The Legend of Zelda. He seemed like a nice guy and he was really cute which obviously meant he was probably really a 60 year old creepy man using a fake photo (because everyone on the internet is, or so I’d been taught). Or maybe he was just a fake account set up in order to lure me in so I’d buy the Mocha Grande Payment Package (seriously, folks) after my free trial was up ’cause no one that attractive would be on Christian Cafe (and then I thought, “Wait! I’m on Christian Cafe! Lovely. Just lovely).
And with THAT, I closed my computer and resumed the break-up routine that had been going on for a few weeks now: listen to Relient K’s Forget and Not Slow Down all the way through, cry, eat about a million beefy crunch burritos from Taco Bell, try to sleep, fail, repeat. That was last Valentine’s Day.
Then I woke up. Valentine’s Day was over, and I think it was Tuesday because I didn’t have to work and I’m pretty sure I skipped all of my classes and I decided “Hey. It is the day after Valentine’s day and I am going to love myself today.”
And so I walked to my car, because I was going to go to Walmart and buy clearance candy and eat it, damn it!
And then I was going to cut off all my hair, damn it!
And then I was going to dye it red….damn it!
And my car’s tires ended up being frozen to the ground, but I didn’t even care.
I would walk two miles to Walmart in the cold if I had to. And I did.
As I walked, instead of listening to Relient K’s depressing breakup album, I listened to sunshiny 60s pop music (’cause the magic’s in the music and the music is in meeeee!) and I fell in love with me again.
The red hair, and the cheap chocolate, and the fresh air after months of sulking in my dorm room, and the Lovin’ Spoonful? That was the turning point. The point where I untied the chains of that three year long failed relationship. That was freedom.
This Valentine’s Day, I celebrate a personal victory.
I celebrate the seemingly ordinary factors that combined in a magical way to give me the strength to move on.
I celebrate the message in my email inbox that was waiting for me when I got back from Walmart saying, “I forgot yesterday was Valentine’s Day! You seem pretty awesome so this is for you: <3” and I celebrate the fact that I decided, “Oh, fine, I’ll talk to this Gnomad guy. He seems alright.” (he was)
But mostly, I celebrate love and the fact that no matter how broken your heart is, you can still find it–in the clearance section at Walmart or in a box of hair-dye or in a song from the 60s or even on Christian Cafe.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends.
Let’s celebrate love.