There are men in my life who will buy my gifts. Necklaces with pearls imported from Italy. Bottles of wine. Dinners at local restaurants. Tee-shirts from bands they wish I’d been able to see. Whatever. Men, when they’re feeling generous, give gifts. And I receive them, gladly. I love presents. I blame my father. But I feel like we’ve discussed this before. So let’s move forward.
While I count my blessings that I as a single woman in her thirties still warrant gifts from men especially on holidays designed for exploiting lovers, this does not negate the fact that I can provide myself those same luxuries. While I may not be able to afford the aforementioned pearl-imported necklace, I can buy myself the super awesome octopus necklace that I found at BookPeople. So I did.
Additionally, I splurged on flowers, Ann-style, as the flower came on a giant ring for my finger which pops opens to reveal lip gloss. Functional jewelry. Fabulous.
I also bought myself a feminist coloring book lest I become too wooed by the allure of relationships, the emotional intimacy, the financial assistance, the physical comforts, the flowers that show up on my doorstep unexpected and beautiful, lest I forget the heartache that men cause, the existential angst associated with finding Mr. Right, how long it takes my dog to adjust to a new man in the house, the cringe that comes when someone asks, “So who are you seeing, now?” I bought myself a feminist coloring book. And it is awe-some. After I buy some crayons, I’ll mail you a pretty picture.
My final splurge of the Valentine’s Day money went toward two books: A Doll’s House (a play – my most practical purchase although I don’t know anyone in town doing Ibson in the near future) and Haiku For the Single Girl, a book of poems by a girl in New York. I read the whole thing in about ten minutes and laughed out loud at this woman whom I know would be my best friend should our single paths ever saunter across the U.S. Future poetic classics include:
Really? This is standard now?
Shit, man… I give up.
On my kitchen floor
We screwed* loudly, more than once.
Take that, married friends!
Sorry about the language. I didn’t write it. I just laughed at it. And if you don’t find it funny, you probably married too young or found love at first sight. Either way, you will probably appreciate neither of these poems or the movie Bridget Jones’ Diary. Your loss.
But I digress. This isn’t a diatribe against married persons. To you, I raise my glass. Marriages take work, lots of it. And if you didn’t choose a good spouse or don’t have a good therapist then you’ve really got a task ahead of you. But for those of you whose gain outweighs the cost, and sweet Mary, mother of God, you get to live out life with your best friend, I do not disparage you, I congratulate. That was my goal too. I just haven’t reached it yet.
And until I do, I will continue to kindly accept gifts from men… from those who woo me and those who have won me. And I will take the $40 I get from Mom and Dad to splurge a little on myself so I am always reminded that I have the power to make myself happy too.
And sometimes my friends, happiness comes in an extra-large rose shaped ring with lip gloss on the inside. And sometimes it comes in a coloring book or script or poem. And sometimes it comes as an octopus that hangs around your neck upon which when someone compliments it, you can say, “Yeah, I saw this on V-Day and couldn’t resist.”
Valentine’s Day 2012.
Here’s to loving on yourself.
*"screwed" substituted for actual word used by poet to keep this a PG13 blogpost.