Falling Into the Love-Drunk Abyss

It’s that time of year again when we are bombarded with romance. Hallmark tells us what to say; Hollywood tells us what to feel; and Russell Stover tells us what to eat.

Once more I find myself loveless (but not lonely) on February 14. I don’t believe in celebrating love just one day a year. I’d rather find out that someone loves me on a random Tuesday in March instead.

Being single or dateless on this particular date means that I can enjoy another peaceful day without worrying I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day all wrong. I don’t do romance. When it comes down to it, I’m just not that into it. I don’t act like the stereotypical girl. I do sports and art and power tools, but not romance. I’m constantly either dirty, sweaty, or covered in paint, and I’m perfectly content being a hot mess. If it were baseball season, I’d be begging to spend the night at a Rays game with a hot dog in hand rather than playing dress up in high heels and makeup I never wear. I choose fun, funny, and carefree over romantic. I choose to be me instead of someone I am not.

Despite my preferred tomboyish tendencies, my one quirk that screams “Hi! I’m a female!” is my irrevocable devotion to sappy chick-flicks, namely from Hallmark. As homogeneous and predictable as they seem to be (and believe me, they are all the same), this time of year I find myself needing a refresher on love since everyone around me is so enthusiastic over the notion.

When I watch these movies, I usually draw parallels between these stories and my own life through the main characters. One of them always has an inability to commit, prefers a carefree lifestyle, and works in a creative or artistic environment. That’s where the similarities end. In my life, there’s no meeting a cute doctor with whom I go out on three dates and then get engaged. Nor would I want that. It’s unrealistic and irritating, yet somehow Hallmark keeps drawing me in for more.

The other night I curled up in bed to decompress and watch one of these mindless scenarios unfold. From the very beginning I wondered if I had any hand in conjuring up this script. If not, someone is stealing my thunder.

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Girl is a writer. – Duh.

Girl writes a column but doesn’t really open up about her feelings until she begins to experience life. – Hello, Diary of a Beautiful Disaster.

Girl finds Valentine’s Day pointless…and writes about it. – Yep, been there.

Girl is also a painter (obviously, she’s a creative type), but her first love is photography. – That’s my response whenever anyone asks if I paint.  I enjoy it but I’d rather be staring at the world through a lens.

Girl has an awesome family. – Have you met mine? Great. No further explanation necessary.

Girl meets boy who doesn’t understand the holiday either. – OK, that hasn’t happened yet. Keep reading.

Boy is a veterinarian. – I firmly believe that all creative types need a stable counterpart; if not all then just me. I definitely need a stable counterpart to balance my constant free-as-a-bird moments.

In the end, Girl says, “I forget how much love I have in my life. My friends, my family… These are my Valentine’s today and everyday. If you have that kind of love, celebrate it.” – And that I will, Girl. That I will.  I have so much love in my life that I couldn’t possibly ask for more.

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Obviously, an entire story unfolded around those aforementioned bits. No one proposed after two months or said “I love you” after three dates. The lead characters held more cynical views on love, much like myself, and that made me believe the story. It entertained me to watch how inline the characters were with my life and my wants for a change.  Although, if I really were anything like Girl, I would have a dog to take to the cute vet.  (That would require actually making a true commitment, wouldn’t it?  One step at a time.)

This February 14, I’ll take the advise of Girl.  I will celebrate love.  I’ll celebrate me and I’ll celebrate all the people I hold dear by simply acknowledging that love does exist.  I don’t need someone to tell me I’m special, send me flowers, or take me out to eat.  I’ll simply turn on a chick-flick and fall into the love-drunk abyss for a couple hours.  Do you want to know the best part about that?  I can be my usual hot mess and no one will mind.