True story: When I was about 27, I was working as a therapist in a psychiatric hospital. We rotated weekends on-call and would sometimes have to go in on busy weekends and do assessments on people who had just been admitted. It was a Saturday evening; I had just finished up at the Hospital. I was still on call, and this was a time prior to cell phones, we wore actual beepers and had to stay close to a phone (land line or pay phone).
I was at my local grocery store grabbing a few things for a good night in. I had in my basket some gossip magazines, diet coke, a frozen pizza, and found myself standing at the ice-cream section staring at the very minimal supply that was left. Standing next to me was a mother and her young son. Their grocery cart was overflowing with food. The young boy was complaining to his mother because they did not have any ice cream left that he liked. I could totally relate to this young person, I was equally bummed about the sparse selection. The mother tried to comfort the son by saying, “I know, I am sorry, it must be all of those lonely women out there drowning themselves in ice cream because it is Valentine’s Day.” Just as she said that she looked at me, I was smiling because I thought she was funny, she looked down at my basket and back up and said, “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean you.” I looked down at my basket, and it suddenly clicked that she was thinking I was a lonely woman who was going home to drown myself in ice cream. It was a good assumption considering it was Saturday night, Valentine’s Day, I was alone, and my basket had all of the tell tales signs of a lonely heart. (Little did she know I had stopped by the video store and had two romantic comedies waiting patiently in my car). She was utterly embarrassed, and I found the whole situation rather amusing.
The irony was, yes I may have been single, but I was not lonely at all. I was looking forward to a relaxing evening after a rather long week and I was still on-call until Monday morning, I was just making the best of it. I bet 90% of married women would love to have a Saturday night to themselves, eat whatever they want, whenever they want, and watch all the romantic comedies they want.
Point being; don’t let a date on a calendar make you feel unhappy about your current state whether it is married, single, or dating. Forget the pressure that corporate America puts on you and everyone else so they can make a buck. And, let’s not forget how all the great things about February 15th! Yes, that is right, here are some great things about February 15th:
Most red flowers will be 50% off!
Most chocolates in red packaging will be 50% off!
The card aisle will no longer be filled with men!
You can actually get a reservation and order what you want!
If you live in New England, the blizzard will be winding down!
If you do not live in New England, you do not have to shovel!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all and a very happy February 15th!
Sarah Stewart, MSW, CPC