Good lord, has it really been over two months? You've got to love the way the time just flies by between Thanksgiving and Single's Awareness Day ... oops, I mean Valentine's Day. Especially when the interim involves, besides the usual holiday festivities, the inauguration of the first African American president in the country.
I spent Inauguration Week crashing on a couch in Georgetown. I ended up with no tickets to the main event (I know, cry your tears for me) but that just meant that I got to sit around and sleep in while the rest of the town was freezing in the 20 degree weather. But don't think I got away completely hassle-free; trying to make my train meant that I had to spend more than one hour in a taxi trying to get from Georgetown University to Union Station. That's about five miles.
Yeah. An hour.
On the other hand, and to quote Helen Fielding, the wilderness years are over! I have employment again! And it pays and everything. And I've gotten back to doing (some) regular blogging over at GameFace, which, by the way, is also a great book that everybody should buy, especially women who want to prove that yes, we CAN follow sports just as well as any guy.
Only a part of what's great about employment is that it actually gets you out of the house. And into the city. I'm daily exploring a part of town that I've only ever looked at through a car window. And, I'll admit, I have a certain glee when I go to Panera not to serve annoying customers, but to be an annoying customer. Ahh, order is restored to the universe.
Okay, I try not to be too annoying. Most days. But I do flirt with the sandwich line guys in order to get a second piece of bread.
Also, it's nice to know that at the end of the day I've accomplished more than watching endless episodes of 'West Wing' or 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' Because good as those shows were, staples of my youth and all that, it's not quite the same as "I contributed to the welfare of the nation today." And plus, you just feel better about yourself when you know that you're more than a statistic. I'm feeling so good about myself, I've hardly even noticed that Valentine's Day is almost here. Does it seem to anybody else that the recession (isn't it nice that Bush finally decided to start calling a spade a spade?) has put a major damper on the usual shmoozy love-fest that generally is February 14? Other than two tables (spread very far apart) at the local Barnes & Noble, there's been a noticeable lack of cheesy pink and red heart-shaped balloons and stickers in every window. Ironically, the lack of focus on couple-y love has put me into a more generous and giving mood for Valentine's Day. I want to buy a big box of chocolates for my sister (and maybe even some small ones for her roommates.) I want to cook dinner for my housemate. If the nice weather keeps up, I might even be tempted into letting the dog take me for a walk.
Yes, I know it's supposed to be the other way around, but you haven't seen this dog. Any illusion that I'd be the one in charge of this walk would be pure fantasy.
Maybe this holiday for couple-y lovers has led us all to believe that love has to look a certain way, has to be a certain thing. When we don't have that, it leaves us feeling inadequate and like there's no place for us in this holiday. But we forget that there are so many different kinds of love besides romantic. There's love of your family, love of your friends, love of the people who fill up your day (if you're me, this especially pertains to the guy who gives me coffee every day.) And perhaps the easiest and most overlooked, particularly on Valentine's Day, is love of yourself. No smut intended or required. You drink one more glass of wine. You can eat another piece of cheesecake. Run a bath and fill it with the flower petals from the bottom of the box - go ask your local florist, they'll give 'em to you. Buy tickets to something, a sporting event or a local community thing that you'd usually just skip in favor of cable TV. Do something special for yourself, something you wouldn't normally do. And prove the card companies wrong about this holiday.
Hey, the rest of the world is falling apart. Why should Valentine's Day be an exception?