“This year may have been different had I been able to date normally.” thought Cora to herself as she contemplated the fact that she’s single for yet another year. “Another year alone on Valentine's Day. Another year I’ll have to avoid all social media. Avoid those annoying posts of happy couples on a date,” she said aloud to her dog Obi, with a tinge of crankiness in her voice. “Yes, yes, I sound bitter,” she confessed to him, as he jumped onto her lap to curl up as if he knew exactly what she needed at that moment. She gently caressed his back. “Well, you must be happy that I’ll be home this year instead of traveling.” Every year prior to the pandemic, Cora would make plans with her bestie, who is also single, to travel to a new destination. A true getaway from the red and pink, sugary sweet, cupid reminders that this was not their holiday.
After a brief romp with self-pity, Cora recalled a quote her mother would reference, especially during her tumultuous, angsty teen years.
“I’ll abandon everyone else’s expectations of me before I’ll abandon myself. I’ll disappoint everyone else before I’ll disappoint myself. I’ll forsake all others before I’ll forsake myself. Me and myself: We are till death do us part.” - by Glennon Doyle.
“Abandon everyone else’s expectation of me…..Till death do us part,” she whispered to herself, hearing her mother’s melodic voice coming from within her core. “Me and myself! Till death do us part.” These words kept resonating within Cora, and what came next was an epiphany into an entirely new way to perceive Valentine’s Day. With a smile, she eagerly reached for her laptop and got to work on it. And Obi was none the happier to snuggle in even closer.
Although this short story is loosely based on an actual person, Obi the dog is entirely fictional. To be honest, I wish I would have named one of my dogs Obi.
Sure, Valentine’s Day has been criticized as a consumer holiday where love has been monetized for the profit of jewelry and chocolate businesses and quickly taking over many others. But truth be told, most of us look forward to spending that day celebrating love with that special someone. What happens though if you do not have a life partner to visit that romantic 5-star restaurant with, or trade heart-shaped chocolate boxes and flowers with? Don’t fret; not all is lost, and your solution does not need to be to avoid all forms of lovey-dovey civilization for the day.
The protagonist above, (we are calling her Cora), spoke to me about her plans this year for Valentines Day. She does in fact have a date. She loves to cook and has planned out a fabulous romantic dinner. And to top it all off, she has prepared an evening filled with intimate moments to re-connect. No different than many other couples, right?
What makes this fantastic in my book is that Cora’s date is with HERSELF. Yes, herself!!! I was wide open to listening to this opportunity to reinvent Valentine's Day.
We invest a lot of time getting to know another person emotionally, mentally, and physically. We put in extra effort to mesh with their likes and their goals. We fall in love with them despite those pesky annoyances. We become each other’s cheerleaders and display large amounts of patience with one another. Cora simply explained the importance of getting to know herself, learning to feel comfortable in her own company, taking the time to listen to her own voice and thoughts. Giving herself the time and respect to be who she is and accepting who she is becoming.
And what better way to do that than to cook herself a “romantic” 5-star quality meal. “Why should the best food only be reserved to eat with another person? I love food. Food is fun, food is sexy, and eating something you’ve created is an amazing experience.” She will set her table to the same standards as if she were trying to impress a guest. Providing herself with an exquisite visual dining experience is just as important, if not more, than someone else’s.
Cora has also planned out a dreamy evening with herself after dinner. She has prepped in advance, ordering items to give herself spa time, then a facial, by scented candlelight while she relaxes in beautiful sexy loungewear. “A person should feel sexy to themselves, for themselves, and not wait for that validation from another individual.” In an era where self-care is being highly encouraged, I genuinely connected with how she coined it…
Please note there is a difference between sexual and sexy. Both are great, but in this case, feeling sexy with oneself is making sure you realize how beautiful and powerful the self can be. Nourishing your self-esteem is critical to growth.
A long-awaited movie and time to read her book will complete her evening. Each one of these moments, the dinner, the candles, a spa day, the pretty red nighty, demonstrates that SHE matters, that SHE deserves it, that she does not need to wait for another individual to reserve this holiday for. The popularity and acceptance of Galantine’s Day proved that love is all encompassing and was well received from the get-go. Cora’s “sexy-care” on Valentine’s Day reveals that there are many more facets to LOVE. Loving herself enough to celebrate this day on her own, along with the rest of society, is something I hope that everyone can embrace, both from those that are single and those that are coupled. Let us ALL continue to evolve for one another and for ourselves.
Wishing Cora a beautiful and relaxing Valentine’s Day. Truth be told, I’m almost jealous. But don’t tell the hubby that!
-The Lopez Lot
Below are the items Cora invested in to make her Valentine's Day with herself a special one. I've thanked her for sharing her story with us.
This company has an amazing story. As quoted from their blog... "FORVR Mood is a brand that celebrates Blackness and Black womanhood. [...] We are proud to be Black women owned and Black women centered at our core!" Plus, I absolutely love their creativity in naming their scents.
Margherita Pizza is the sexy sister of all pizza's. And what isn't there to love about fresh mozzarella and basil for a romantic dinner.
Red wine in your glass and now in your facial. Winning!