Alright it’s Valentine ’s Day and the inevitable talk about relationships, being single etc etc has come round. Sure enough I have a number of people who have asked me about my “dating life” as the holiday approached and to all of them I say “nope, not dating and I’m good with that.” As usual some people don’t believe me. Some people try to convince me I’m wrong. Some people warn me that time is a ticking away. Some people tell me I’m being silly when I say I don’t have the time for a relationship. Some people think I’m in some lonely girl denial when I say I’m happy on my own.
But the truth of it is: I AM sincerely happy on my own. I AM too busy for dating. I AM too involved in my own plans, thoughts, needs, dreams, desires to be able to expend energy on someone else’s plans, thoughts, needs, dreams and desires. There is no case of “doth protest too much” when I say these things. I am however getting really damn sick and tired of saying them. I am getting really annoyed by the shocked “you aren’t dating someone?” when my response to the inquiry about my Valentine ’s Day plans is that I’m spending them with my mom. Especially since even if I were dating I’d be spending the day with my mom. Valentine’s Day has always kind of been more about mommy/daughter time over the years and when I think of the holiday that is what I associate with it.
I’m not going to rant about it being a Hallmark card holiday like some bitter old cat lady. True it’s kind of frivolous and silly but a day about celebrating love—no I’m not going to object to that like some sour cherry on the fruit stand. I think it’s a perfectly wonderful excuse to celebrate if you happen to be with a special someone and regardless of the origins of the holiday, the point is that it’s a day set aside each year to make you slow down and reconnect with your lover. The restaurants might have crazy markups and the expectation that you shower the object of your affection with gifts—those aren’t things I’m crazy about. However that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to have one day a year that serves as a placeholder where you push aside work, stress, trivialities and try to remember to spend time with a cherished loved one.
Okay so has that demonstrated that I’m not just a bag of mostly-water with a dusty vagina? Can I rant now about how ANNOYING it is to be confronted by people who think it’s absurd that I’m happy in a single state? It ain’t that strange folks. I was in a relationship at this time a year ago and looking back on it, I’m in a much happier and balanced place now than I was then. Coupledom does not automatically confer upon its participants a golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
Admittedly part of this is that I burnt out on my last relationship. I gave a lot of myself and got very little in return. I was trying to remember what I did for Valentine’s Day last year and to be honest…I can’t remember. I remember what I baked and I remember that because of the distance and my job I wasn’t able to spend the actual day with the ex-boyfriend anyway. I remember secretly hoping he’d have the kind of initiative to send me something at work or at home, because like all women what I really wanted was some sign that he went out of his way to let me know I mattered even if it was something as simple as a postcard in the mail with the words “I love you.” I let it go since we were going to celebrate the following weekend but if I’m remembering correctly, and I may have blocked some of this out or be mis-remembering because to be honest I still don’t want to think about the unbalanced energy I spent on my last relationship, but if I’m remembering correctly I got mostly misplaced for a Magic the Gathering tournament that weekend. But I don’t blame my ex for any sort of burn out I have experienced. The truth is that I knew almost the entire time I was in that relationship that I gave more than I got, and I kept doing it the whole time knowing better. “I give myself such very good advice…but I very seldom follow it.”
It’s kind of a relief for me right now to be able to be completely selfish and focus on what I want. Like completing a 30 day yoga challenge (which I’ve almost made it through!!) or to work late and not have to worry that I’m short-changing a boyfriend when I do so. I’m going to be taking some classes again soon, training for my first 10k as well, and so to be honest, the idea of having someone to care about is just exhausting. The mere thought of it makes me tired. When I do, or rather if I do, because I’m still not sure I’ll ever get sick of this bachelorette lifestyle, start dating again I have decided I will settle for nothing less than perfect. Now if cupid wants to plop Joseph Gordon Levitt on my doorstep today, I’ll eat my words here today, but since I don’t see that happening anytime soon I’ll eat this tangy blood orange tart instead.
Blood Orange Tart
Modified from Dorie Greenspan’s Orange Tart recipe in “Baking from my home to yours” Read more