Alone on Valentine’s Day. Christina Mannochio.

Alone on Valentine’s Day. Christina Mannochio.

Last Valentine’s Day was incredible. I was in my car and the cool February air made the windows fog up faster than I had anticipated.

I had managed to fog up the car windows from heaving desperately lonesome tears on to the steering wheel of my rusty 2002 Hyundai Elantra parked outside of my house. There was no traumatic past relationship that sparked such a violent sob fest and there was no guy I was longing to be with on that February night, it was nothing of that nature. I didn’t want to boycott Valentine’s and be “that girl”, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to punch the love drunk faces of those girls walking around school with a rose clutched in their hands. I had cracked under the pressure of the holiday and I felt emptier than a student’s gas tank.

Looking back now, it was there behind a steering wheel coated in salty mascara tears that I realized the truth about Valentine’s Day. I was blessed with the crying style of a Kim Kardashian, so I sucked the snot back into my nostrils and braved the remaining two hours of the night completely, utterly and undeniably alone. I went inside and ran upstairs — straight into the shower. I wanted to avoid the Mom radar so I wouldn’t have to be consoled with promises of finding eventual love. So into the mildly scalding water I went.  The shower happens to posses an extraordinary ability to coax out my most philosophical side, which is where I experienced a minor epiphany.

I know what you’re thinking, “It’s just another day… It’s a Hallmark holiday,” yeah, okay. Thanks for that advice, but unfortunately I am a product of a childhood that majored in Disney princesses, wedding Barbie and a detailed plan to marry all of the Backstreet Boys. It’s completely unrealistic to shroud any trace of melancholy lonesomeness on that fateful holiday, it’s human nature to long for affection. Amidst the stream of the shower I realized Valentine’s Day revolves around all types of love, family love, erotic love, romantic love, chocolate love … the list goes on. There’s one kind of love that’s missing from that list… self-love. In that moment, I couldn’t honestly recall a recent occasion where I did something to show myself a little love. It was easier to whine about my cellulite or tell myself to put down the Nutella and go to the gym. So I turned off the shower, dug out those scented candles I’d saved for possible re-gifting, grabbed the bubble bath and had an intimate date with the sounds of John Mayer and my bathtub. That night, in the most sincere way without a trace of narcissism, I showed myself some love. So if this Valentine’s Day you find yourself alone, don’t take it out on your liver. Dust off an old book, watch an entire season of Full House, buy a guinea pig, colour a colouring book and watch baby animal videos on YouTube. You have relied on yourself your entire life, show a little gratitude. Ditch the self-pity and self-sabotage for one day and confide in the fact that it’s completely acceptable to love yourself.  You deserve it.

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