And a happy Valentine’s Day to you.
Last year on this very day, I was in Nicaragua. In Nicaragua, as well as most Spanish-speaking countries I presume, Valentine’s Day is called “Día de Amistad y Amor.” Friendship and Love Day. Now, really—what is there not to love about that? A day to celebrate your friends and the people you love. Who do not, necessary, include a significant other.
And so last year, we—my Nicaraguan friends and I—went to a party in Tola to celebrate each other. So this year, in the United States, where Valentine’s Day explodes on the scene in one of two forms (for females, at least)—a nice dinner with your date; or, a lot of chocolate and wine and a little bit of single-person bitterness with your girlfriends—I’ve decided to do neither and instead celebrate friendships and love.
I’m blessed to have wonderful friends, and I’m blessed to be able to spend time with them. On Friday night, I went out for drinks with girls who I’ve known for almost a decade now, and although we’ve all changed since middle school (I would hope so), I still just love each and every one of them. I have wonderful friends in Colorado—a best friend from college sent me the above card; how well she knows me, for who likelier would like to recline in a tub of chocolates than me—and we’re scheming to meet in Peru soon. This Valentine’s Day, I’m celebrating the fact that, although I am living at home and don’t necessarily want to be living at home, I have a wonderful family. My extended family, flung across the east coast and mid-west, just got a little closer, as a cousin moved to Los Angeles, and I get to see him today, too. My sister and her boyfriend make me want to gag sometimes because they are probably going to live happily ever after, but you know, today that makes me very happy—that I don’t have to worry about her.
It’s still unseasonably warm today. A summer’s Sunday. Couples are out and about. There’s a couple sitting across from me at Buster’s in South Pasadena. He’s a wirey pale fellow and she’s a very curvy, Hispanic lady with a tattoo of a cross on her left shoulder. They’re taking photos of themselves and each other right now, which is why they even caught my attention. She’s wearing a very low cut shirt and, unfortunately, I can see her nipple. It’s poking out of her also-exposed bra. And now they are making out. Now, really. What about Valentine’s Day makes people think this is acceptable public behavior?
I’m wearing a pink sundress, mind you, and munching on the chocolate hearts my spin instructor passed out in class this morning, so, you know, I’m festive, I’m into the spirit of St. Valentine. But, this couple really must stop taking pictures of themselves kissing and she should go to the bathroom and put herself together. I mean, honestly, we’re in an ice cream shop—there are children here!