As I typed the words, “I’m Going On a Date With Myself For Valentine’s Day”, I threw up in my mouth a little bit. Not because the idea of being alone (gasp!) on Valentine’s Day (faint!) is so abhorrent, but because it feels like “dating myself” is a very insufferable Carrie Bradshaw sort of thing to do. And Carrie Bradshaw is in my Chris Brown bucket of people I’d like to punch hard in the asshole.
Regardless, I’m going to take responsibility for the fact that something I’m about to do seems akin to a grossly wankerish thing Carrie Bradshaw would do. Now let’s move on.
I don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day, which is OK, because Valentine’s Day is utterly stupid and potentially horrific for anyone that’s not Zooey Deschanel or part of a wildly horny, pubescent high school couple. Most sane people understand Valentine’s Day to be a commercial holiday, that, where possible, can be humored in an understated, cutesy sort of way, but definitely not to be taken as seriously as say, a house fire. I am one of these people (although let it be known that I take Galentines Day very, very seriously).
When there’s someone in my life to buy me flowers, take me to dinner, or I don’t know, totally surprise me by forgetting entirely, that’s great; when there’s not, that’s great too. And this year, there’s not. At first I thought I’d just let the day roll around, maybe watch TV in bed after work or do some writing, but then it sort of hit me that that’s even lamer than a singing teddy bear holding a bouquet of glitter embellished roses.
It’s second nature to put effort into a relationship (well, from what I can tell from everyone else’s relationships), but for some reason it’s so easy to be careless with one’s self. And that’s the person in my life right now; me. And I am definitely not putting as much effort into me as I would be for a guy.
Me: with unshaven legs, wearing the nanna panties, possibly pushing that one extra day without washing my hair (when it’s starting to look kind of Loki from Thor — manky, oily, and sticking to my head), staying home all day on Sunday not wearing a bra and forgetting to clean my teeth in the morning. I get slack because there’s no one to impress but myself, and putting on a new pair of tights when the ones I wore yesterday aren’t visibly dirty just seems a bit luxurious when no one else is going to smell my feet at the end of the day but me.
It seems neglectful and somehow really unfair that the best me — the one with all the energy, all the cute dresses and the clean hair — only comes out for peen. So when I thought about being alone on Valentine’s Day, I thought “Girl, get in that shower and pumice that grandma skin of your heels, mama’s takin’ you out!”
Not that I’m saying there’s anything wrong with being gross; being gross is the best, but not being gross shouldn’t be a precondition of dating (or maybe it’s the other way around and we should just all agree to smash down the fourth wall and be gross all the time?). Also, and maybe more importantly, there’s nothing wrong with being alone and actually admitting that I’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate my own company, probably a lot more than I enjoy the company of a lot of the guys I’ve dated.
Valentine’s Day might be a twee occasion to have this realisation and to act on it, but if the partnered around us can use a frivolous holiday to enjoy romance and hand holding, so can I, even if it might look weird to walk around holding my own hand in public.
Armed with this Carrie “Ermahgerd I’m Going To Marry Myself How KUTE!” Bradshaw courage, I booked myself a single ticket to see A Good Day To Die Hard. After which, I plan to eat the most delicious burrito ever. Alone.
I’ll admit I was, and still am, a tad insecure about this — don’t only public masturbators and strange old ladies who smell of mothballs and like to chat with strangers on public transport go to the movies by themselves? I definitely had to g-chat at least 5 different friends to ask if this was OK (only one said it was “worrying”, the rest thought I was weird for thinking it was weird), but in the end I thought stuff it; I want to see John McClane kill the baddies and all my friends are either going to be doing romance or not enthusiastic enough about the part where McClane says “yipee ki-yay motherfucker!” to satisfy my Die Hard watching needs or they’re a stupid (and please ignore my casual sexism) girl that’s “oh, never seen that, is it good?”
It did make it easier that the fifth installment of my favorite movie ever opens on Valentine’s Day. And it makes is much easier to think about my hero McClane, who ran through broken glass in bare feet. Who walked through a rough neighborhood wearing nothing but a racist placard and who wrestled a fighter jet with his bare hands and won. Who beat Alan Rickman and Jeremy Irons AND Timothy Olyphant. Because if John McClane could do all that, surely I can take myself out on one lousy date?