A Little Valentines’ Day Self-Care

by V. Buritsch-Tompkins

Last year I had my first “single” Valentine’s day in almost 16 years.  I must have pulled myself completely off social media for it.  No tweets, no facebook posts, not even an Instagram photo from that week.  No blog post.  I was avoiding all of the hearts I came across like the plague they were.

It wasn’t always this way.

This year’s a year later, I wanted to find ways to worry less about why this Hallmark Holiday should bother me, and more about why I should enjoy it.  So here’s some silly memoir-esque snippets about the holiday.img_20170209_092239

  • The real reason why I’m so fond of the holiday is because of my Mom and Dad.  They always tried to celebrate for us kids.
    • My mom borrowed a short film from a local Christian bookstore: she was a Sunday School teacher and was likely going to show it to the confirmation class.  I don’t remember whether she did or not, but since it was at the house she allowed me to watch it, too.
    • The story, like St. Nicholas being evolved by Coca Cola, was evolved by Hallmark and other card/candy companies to include more commercialism and the flood of hearts that we think of now.
  • Hilariously, my first character from high school was named “Valentina”.  When digging through boxes this year, I found a copy of the draft.  It’s lighthearted, and silly, and everything you would expect from a teenager trying to write about something that they don’t have a lot of knowledge about.
    • It was a fable about the abdication of a king, started by a vocabulary lesson where I was too lazy to write the same word ten times, instead opting to write a paragraph using each vocabulary word in it.
    • You write what you know, so there were characters for my brother, and my best friend.  I ended up changing Valentina’s name to something more greek in my second pass of the draft, but I wonder if switching it back wouldn’t be the right call.
  • The year after I started college, I remember a particularly crisp February that included visiting Cravings in Webster Groves for Apple Galette (a flat apple pie pastry), buying chocolates: Dove promises (which were NOT romantic in nature, but also little self-care fortune cookies at the time) to share with others, carrying around a ginormous fake rose, and generally trying not to think about my choice to more or less opt out of dating.
    • The team at Cravings allowed me to give my compliments directly to the chef, which was really sweet. (It was a great cream of broccoli soup.)
  • Once upon a time, I worked at a florist shop – just an ordinary shopgirl.  Valentine’s day is not just a holiday there – it’s the busiest season of the year.
    • Watching a florist build a rose bouquet – their first or last for the day, is almost a science. Where to place the flower? What height?  How many places should the ferns or baby’s breath sprout from? How full? How light?
    • One other thing about flowers: Not all flowers have a scent but many do – and they can be powerful, light varied, syrupy, sweet, or just plant-like warmth.
  • I am a ridiculous fan of haunting the half-price Valentine’s Day sales after the fact, like post-Halloween sales.  Aside from the candy, there’s also some really adorable nonsense that goes up for sale on Valentine’s day.  I think my favorite was a pillow that said “#LOVE”.
    • Let me say with my most wicked grin, “This year will be interesting, because the day after Valentines’ falls on a payday.”
    • While I don’t plan on buying anything, looking is always half the fun.

While this year is going to be a little more tense than usual, I keep rededicating myself to other things that are important to me:  My child, my job, my mental health, my myriad hobbies and my writing… and maybe one day, I’ll be able to appropriately balance all of them.  Until then, though… Happy Valentine’s!

20170205_134616

(What do you like to do for Valentine’s Day?  Do you have any suggestions for me?  Things to read? Things to avoid?  Speaking of writing: On Anime Binge, I reviewed the Princess Ai series, which is a really #throwbackthursday moment for the blog.   Check it out!)

Advertisements