Thanks to some severe PMS I’m a little more broken up about today — Valentines Day — than I think I normally would be. This is my first Valentines Day alone since I was about 19 years old. In fact, the last single Valentines Day I had, I remember fondly and my BFF and I still laugh about it to this day. And the irony? My broken heart was over The Ex, yes the same Ex I left last year.

We worked together at a restaurant and Valentines Day was, of course, a mad-house. We were young and broke. Part-time students, full-time jobs, no boys, car payments, rent, shitty apartments with even shittier roommates, living on top ramen and whatever food we could score at the restaurant. After work that night we went out to eat at a Mexican food place up the street. It was very late, probably 11pm or so. We sat at a booth, tired and moping over our lack of men on this special day. The waiter brought us each a red rose and a free dessert, which made us feel even worse. I can see myself slouching in the bench, picking at my food, lamenting over the fact that I was never going to get married or have a boyfriend!

In the end, we decided to high-tail it out of town, to the beach. We took her car, a station wagon, and filled it full of blankets and pillows. We both changed our clothes and took off toward the ocean. It was cold, but not rainy, with a clear sky. I remember seeing a herd of elk, well, their shiny eyes, anyway, on the side of the road.

When we arrived, we parked in a residential neighborhood and made ourselves comfortable (ha ha) in the back of the car and slept until daylight. We woke up when it got light out, found some bathrooms, then walked the coastline for hours. I have photos of that day taken with a disposible camera. I was in black leggings, a purple and black flannel shirt, and my hair was in a curly bob with styled bangs. We had little money between the two of us and used it to purchase gas, a loaf of bread, and chicken salad (or potato salad — we still argue over this one).

That Valentines Day ended up being one of my best memories and it didn’t involve a man or romance.

Last Valentines Day was my last one with The Ex. I did not get him anything because at that point I had decided that I hated his guts and was leaving. He bought me a couple things, but I dont remember what. It was miserable and awkward. I was at a point of resolve, I had decided what to do and I was excited for it. I was done. But, I didn’t yet have a plan and he didn’t think I’d really leave. We fought and he made me pay for not celebrating Valentines Day for the entire week afterward.

This Valentines Day will be different, I can’t deny that. My BFF has a boyfriend and as she was my only single friend, I will go it alone. I think it will just be a day. And yes, a reminder that I don’t have anyone in my life to call mine. But it is also a reminder of how good things can be when you’re single (my last single Valentines Day, my life this past almost year, etc.), how rough things can be when you’re not (last Valentines Day, and all of the Valentines Days I can’t remember), and how much things can change in the blink of an eye (self-explanatory).

I’m OK, happy, and healthy, as a single person. I’m not ready to give myself yet. And, I haven’t decided what I even want out of a relationship. So, this is a good place for me. But more and more, when I think about it, which I do occassionally, I think about what I need and want from a relationship. Someday. Just not right now.


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