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I’m in the Mood for Love

14 Feb
Photo by Instagram user @daleni01

Photo by Instagram user @daleni01

It’s Valentine’s Day again.

For many single people, that’s a source of much grumbling. But not for me.

I may not have somebody to love, but that doesn’t mean I’m not showing love today. (Or, you know, canceling the day entirely.)

In fact, I’ll be showing love to my favorite things all day long. That’s how I prefer to spend my Valentine’s Day: Eating the foods I love, spending time with people I love, doing things I love, going places I love, and so on. (Really, it’s just another way of loving the one I’m with.)

Every year, I compile a list of the people, places, and things I love. What’s on that list this year? Here’s your answer: Continue reading

I Love These Things, on Valentine’s Day and Always

14 Feb

love-sunset-handsHere’s the thing about Valentine’s Day that so many people forget: It’s not just for people in relationships.

It’s a day to celebrate love, and to do things you love doing.

That’s how I spend the day: Eating at places I love, listening to music I love, giving attention to people I love, and so on.

If you look at the day like I do, it’s hard to get all grumbly when confronted with all the flowers, candy, and general mushiness in the air.

One day, I’ll get swept into all that again. But until then, I’ll be celebrating these things that I love, on Valentine’s Day and always:

Continue reading

I Love Me

14 Feb

I want to like Valentine’s Day — really, I do — but every year I find new reasons to dislike it. (Last year it was the movie Valentine’s Day. This year it’s the excessive amount of emails being sent by 1-800-FLOWERS and other related businesses.) Being single will do that to you. And yet, I think disliking Valentine’s Day simply because you’re single is sorta lame. After all, there’s no shortage of things on which to shower your love today and every day.

That’s why, over the years, I’ve learned to spend February 14 celebrating the things I love and doing things I love — even if they are by myself. It’s like Crosby, Stills, and Nash said: “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” My thinking is, if everyone else is going to be happy on Valentine’s Day, then why shouldn’t I be happy, too, spending the day with the person I love: me. There’s nothing unrequited there. I’m awesome!

So today, for starters, I might enjoy a good breakfast, I’ll listen to my favorite tunes, perhaps I’ll eat lunch at a favorite restaurant, I’ll go out of my way to spend time with people whose company I enjoy, I’ll definitely try to avoid conflict and negativity, I’ll leave work at a decent hour, possibly I’ll cook myself a nice dinner (or maybe I’ll just skip to dessert from Crumbs, my favorite cupcake place), I’ll likely talk to my niece at some point, I’m sure I’ll watch a favorite television show or two that I enjoy … and then, when I’m tired, I’ll go to bed and sleep a good night’s sleep. I love me some me, and today is as good a day as any to show it.

Whether you have somebody to love or you are in denial like I am don’t, I wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day.

Love Stinks

15 Feb

If you don’t already hate Valentine’s Day, you will after seeing the movie Valentine’s Day. A film seemingly devoid of purpose after February 14, this cinematic waste of time employs practically every romantic comedy cliché in the book: Best friends who realize they’re attracted to each other! A hot chick who can’t find love! An old couple who learn a secret about their relationship after all these years! A precocious kid who pines for an older woman! A naive woman who realizes her boyfriend is still married, and exacts revenge in front of the wife! Two virgins who are about to have sex for the first time — until one of their parents catches them! A cynical man who hates the holiday but somehow manages to fall in love anyway! Stevie Wonder singing “Signed, Sealed, Delivered … I’m Yours” on the soundtrack! Characters singing “I Will Survive!” A sassy black woman played by Queen Latifah! A sassy Latino sidekick (played by George Lopez)! An unseen radio DJ doing voice over! Oh, and this being 2010, two characters who turn out to be gay and a Bollywood-style dance number! (Whoops. There’s a spoiler or two in there. I guess I just saved you $10.)

Yes, Valentine’s Day, with its holiday-centric story and large ensemble cast (including Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Shirley MacLaine, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo, Jessica Biel, Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Topher Grace, Taylors Swift and Lautner, Grey’s Anatomy stars Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, and my beloved Jennifer Garner), wants to be Love, Actually. But it’s not. It’s not even as good as last year’s large-ensemble rom-com, He’s Just Not That Into You (which I actually kind of liked). Rather, it’s over-stuffed, overly long, really obvious, predictable, and pandering, and just an embarrassment for nearly everyone associated with it. Sure, I didn’t groan as often as I thought I would, and for the first third or so, I thought this was actually kind of a light, fun flick, but some plot twists (such as the ones mentioned above) you can see coming from miles away and director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) takes his sweet time letting them play out. Ultimately, this is a film that’s even more of a chore to get through than the day on which it’s based.

Neither a good date movie nor a worthwhile anti-holiday movie, Valentine’s Day instead confirms that February 14 is the stupidest of days, the most Hallmark of holidays. (And I actually like Valentine’s Day!) That’s why the movie gets a D from me.

Love Ain’t Gonna Let Me Down

14 Feb

Contrary to popular belief, I really don’t have any problem with Valentine’s Day. Sure, I’d probably like it more if I had someone to spend it with, but who needs another person? As the Beatles sang, “All you need is love.” Or, to quote Stephen Stills, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” And that’s why today, like in years past, I’ll be spending the day doing things I love: I’m going to sleep late. I’m going to have brunch. I may go to a movie. I’m going to talk with my niece. I’m going to watch the season premiere of The Amazing Race. I’m sure I’ll have some form of cake. And I’m sure I’ll listen to some great music, including Jamie Cullum’s “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down” and Dave Matthews Band’s “You and Me.” It’s going to be a lovely day.

So, whether you’re single or in a relationship, I wish you a very Happy Valentine’s Day, and a day full of love.

Crazy Love

14 Feb

I’m sure that when I’m actually in a relationship I’ll feel differently about Valentine’s Day, but since I’m single at the present time, I think that gives me the right to make fun of the folks I saw tonight in Harvard Square. (Yes, I know. Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I try to do things I love on VDay, and going to Harvard Square is not one of them. But forget that for a minute, alright?)

Anyway, where was I? … On Valentine’s Day, do couples know how silly they look when they walk around and the girl is holding a single rose with all the care they’d give a child? Or how it looks to all the non-coupled people when they see couples walking together holding hands and looking like they’re out having the single greatest night ever? And how phony it looks when the guy is holding some small bag containing the girl’s gift? Or, better yet, when they’re riding around town in a limo? I was out tonight with three friends — two women and one guy, just for the record — and even though two of them are a couple, it was totally casual. To all who could see, we were just a group of friends hanging out. And I don’t say that to be holier than thou. My couple friends are casual. There was no hand-holding, no PDA, no “couple stuff.” So it was really fun.

Now, I totally get that not every relationship is like that, and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing when couples are affectionate. And I’m also not saying I have anything against couples. All I’m saying is that on Valentine’s Day eve of all nights, it’s amusing to be single and to see couples being all, you know, coupley, because it looks really forced and obvious. And again, I’m sure I’ll feel totally different about this when I’m in a couple; hell, I’m sure I’ll overdo it just like the rest of the folks I saw tonight. But until then … I think this is a funny night to people watch.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone

13 Feb

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