So my Valentine's morning begins waking up in bed alone. Not really new, but always slightly irritating on a day I know has become essentially Hallmark but still pokes at the princess in me . Rising solo is a 6/7 day reality being the new gal in NYC. And so the ritual of hitting Snooze four times begins as does some contemplating. I know its Valentine's Day and the romantic, slightly brain-washed part of me longs to roll over and see the smiling, chiseled face of my current love staring back at me with only devotion on his lips, and his love-in-action rising beneath the sheets. After we get our sweat on, he whips up his infamous triple spinach omelette, fried potatoes and coffee (sugar please!) which we chomp on before heading to the park for our hand-in-hand walk down lovers lane. Right?!!! A girl can dream can't she.

I did get the walk though, with a boy who lives in my hood and decided to befriend me on the train some nights ago. A little yoga by the lake, sweet conversation and fresh air got my spirits lifted in time for the walk back home down Church Ave. Here I was confronted with different aspects of how people celebrate St. Valentines Day - a young man carrying a freshly bought, corner store bouquet of red roses with a cheeky grin on his face, two older women selling single yellow roses out of white, plastic water buckets in front of the subway station, and then the horrifyingly, kitchy display window at the local pharmacy- a tragic mess of heart-shaped balloons, limp teddy bears made in China and ribbon-confetti madness galore. All to be embraced or passed by.

The rest of my day will be filled with writing, emailing, getting the nails done with the girls (because in Finland, it's "Friends Day"!) and playing texting games with "potential suitors". Now the latter receives quotations mainly because I have been quite tickled lately by the many ways boys have gone about asking me out since my arrival in New York City. Example - Myspace message : "Yo girl, you fly. Let me show you round my city." Text: "Lets grab a drink b4 the weekend is over. I've got 1st and 3rd rounds". And my current favorites: "Yo" and "Lets talk a lil L8r. "

There is a scene in "He's Just Not That Into You" where Drew effortlessly expresses how overwhelmed she is with virtual and cellular dating- Myspace, Gmail, Facebook, Blackberry texts etc. She just misses the good ol' days of one phone and one answering machine...Sigh...Drew, I couldn't have agreed more. If I let myself, it's a piece of cake to find out a fair amount about a person before the first date just by one of these services alone. And hey, sometimes this is a very good thing because it can give you some insight into a person (potential sociopath / narcissist?) that may have taken 4-5 dates (or heaven forbid- 4-5 years!) to discover.

Still, there is something romantic about being called up, asked out for dinner DAYS before it actually happens (3 at least), and then organically learning about the person sitting across from you without text messages, emails and crisis cell phone calls interrupting your golden evening. Now this is a small part of the old-fashioned side of me, because I definitely enjoy sassy little text conversations that result in drinks or even a new friendship, but asking me out via text is where I draw the line. How hard is it really, to pick up the phone, dial my number, enjoy some honeyed bantering and plan a date? Not so hard. You want to date me, ASK (vocal chords please) me. The less technology involved, the better;)

Rant aside, having been part of a couple on previous Valentine's day's, I can still appreciate the 14th as a day made specifically for lovers to express their heart's truths to one another in whatever form suits them. As cliche as it may be, if my man knows how to choose a beautiful bouquet and some organic dark chocolate truffles, the "standard flowers and chocolate" doesn't seem so bad. Still, the ultimate pleasure reigns when a partner surprises me with a unique offering in the form of an adventure, spontaneous poem, or, dare-I-say, outpouring of love on other special days that are created between us, for us, and not because the calender says so.

Now this gets me thinking, it doesn't matter how many years pass when I'm single and strong on Valentine's Day, what is up with this urking little voice, I assume conditioned into my being from the society I grew up in, that presses on about how I SHOULD have something going on for Valentine's Day. What?! Who said that?!! But it's still there, even when I tell myself I don't believe in corporate Valentines, this little voice who just wants someone to notice me. And who can I blame really? I can get mad at Greeting card companies for exploiting a traditionally pagan holiday where handwritten love notes were exchanged. I can scoff at friends who are tripping over whether their current baby is gonna take them out for the necessary dinner.

But at the end of the day, I am reminded of this fact: we are all human, and we all want to love and be loved. Even if that love needs to be marked on a calendar, gifted in a little blue box or acknowledged in a lingering kiss before heading to work, this love that Valentine's Day reminds me of is absolutely necessary. It is this love between friends, family and especially partners, that breathes life into our he(art)s, calls forth our passions to be expressed outwardly and invites inspiration forward to be embodied. Love is why we live, and it is this truth that warms a single woman's insides on this blistery, beautiful, 1st NYC Valentine's Day. I hear, "If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere" and I'm hopeful that this means in the realm of relationships too. And so this evening, I shall indulge in some drink dates with those who have under developed vocal chords, and charming grins.

truly, leah nicole.


jess said... @ February 15, 2009 at 12:07 AM

Leah!!! fabulous writing!!! I am spending my valentines day sick on the couch watching COPS, with my husband writing a term paper in the other room! romantic no? xoxo

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