When I was in college, Valentines’ Day was the best or the worst day of the year, depending upon who you were. In the dorms, girls were literally grinding their teeth, wondering if a Valentine would show up, or even better, flowers (not candy though, because that you’d have to share with your roommates)! Those who had boyfriends with cash, got dinner dates. The others watched them dress up and go off to a romantic meal, while they trudged in their everyday outfits through the snow (it was Syracuse NY and it snowed every day until June), to dreary (and probably solo), dorm dinners. Later on in life, I realized it was so crazy!
Of course it’s nice to love and be in love and have someone adore you, but first, you have to love yourself.
That being said, I’ve been fairly lucky in love. There have been a few heart-breakers (who doesn’t have those), and a cheating and crazy ex husband I was glad to get rid of (for a MUCH better one I have been with for nearly 25 years). But I never forgot how it felt to attach more importance to a silly holiday than it was worth. So if you’re reading this today and feeling a bit “down” because Cupid hasn’t tossed any love arrows at you lately, consider this as my annual Valentine’s greeting, and cheer up!
Light up your life! Candles, scented or not, are a calming but also seductive way to relax and enjoy the end of the day. The soft, flickering light makes any room romantic. Try tall tapers on your dinner table to add a special touch to any meal, even if you are dining alone. If you have little ones or pets around, the battery operated faux votives are fabulous, and look almost like the real thing. You’d be amazed how even a little candle can make you feel calm and pampered. Try it!
Dress for love and romance! Red is the color of love. In fact, it’s been proven that the color red makes hearts beat faster. You don’t need permission to wear something red any day of the year, and especially, today or onight. Wear something red today, and get noticed!
Clean Up: Does your house look like a disaster area you never fix or clean because “no one ever visits me anyway?” A ripped, dirty, smelly “man couch” with sunken pillows is no place to enhance romance! Who wants to hold hands and be romantic on that?! At least replace the stinky pillows your pet likes to drool on, with new ones. And if you do get visitors tonight, tomorrow, any time, use a lint roller! Pet hair stuck to your …well…everywhere, can be a real romance-killer. Of course, if it’s your annoying sister in law, or the pesky neighbor, feel free to let them leave with a bit of “fluffy” on them (no, just kidding)! Finally, check out the bathroom and make it your business to clean it up befrore someone else goes in an does his/her “business!” At least change the towels and make an air freshener available!
If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On. This is one of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare (extra points if you can identify what play this quote came from). Music music really does have magical charms. Even the noted philosophy, Plato, warned of it’s power, so many decades ago. There’s nothing less romantic than hearing the your neighbors, kids, dogs and babies, and other invasive noise. Worse still, is dull, deadly silence. Romantic music helps soothe the mind and get you in the mood (for whatever it is you’re in the mood, for)! Of course, what’s romantic to some might not be for someone else. But if you don’t have a clue, a classic crooner to sing you to a happier place is a good choice. Some are: Barry White, Johnny Mathis, and Frank Sinatra. Maybe it’s Lady GaGa that gets you going, but classical music will move you in ways you can’t imagine! Liszt, Chopin, Vivaldi…they will make you feel better in minutes.Even the Beatles or Celine Dion enhance romance! Put on your favorites and play them often.
Find Flowers: Flowers are the ultimate romantic touch that make you feel loved. No wonder those girls at the dorm literally salivated with each bouquet that was delivered on Valentines Day, even if that bouquet wasn’t for them! Don’t wait for someone to buy you flowers to enjoy the romantic touch they bring. Just a single, beautiful rose, or an inexpensive bouquet romances a room. Tie a ribbon around the vase for an ultra-romantic touch. If you have a garden, clip a few blooms and feel their magic, immediately. I never realized this, but men really like getting flowers, too. So send some to the special men in your life, today.
Write Your Own Love Story – Keep a personal journal: This is a day to write, whether it is all about you in a journal, or a special note to someone else to let that person know you are thinking of them. If you are dating or on a date today, write down everything that happened on the date. Some day you may have the basics for a best, seller!
Eat, Drink & Be Merry! Ok, just drink! No I’m definitely kidding about this. No one should drink alone, and certainly not in the morning (LOL)! But food and wine make a lonely evening, better, and a lovely evening, lovelier. Set a nice table, even if you’re dining solo. It makes even lukewarm takeout look and taste better. And don’t even think about drinking wine, water, whatever, out of paper cups or old juice glasses! That just cheapens the experience, even if the beverage in it is expensive! If you don’t have plans tonight, pull together a group of similarly solo friends, or even family. You’ll feel much better.
Don’t Let the Day Bring You Down: If you find yourself alone, or without a special love on Valentine’s Day, or any other day, don’t despair. You don’t need to celebrate Valentines Day at all. While you’re plotting revenge fantasies because you were dumped right before the big V-day, consider that there really are more constructive ways to use your excellent brain power. And if you really can’t think of any, just remember: no day is forever. It is just 24 hours and then it’s over.
By Alison Blackman Dunham