Ah, the notorious Valentine’s day. I used to love it, Horatio. Next to Christmas, I’d say it was my favorite which, for a five-year-old, is pretty impressive. The trick was that my parents celebrated Valentine’s Day as an awesome family holiday.
I don’t think they understood the kind of social experiment they were taking on. The romantic trappings of the day just weren’t important to them. They only wanted to celebrate love. You know in Girls when Lena Dunham’s TV parents fly her back home so they can celebrate their wedding anniversary with their “favorite person”? That’s my parents.
You’d think, being raised with such a happy-go-lucky attitude about the holiday, I’d avoid some of the pitfalls the it holds for others. But you can’t go home again.
Every February fourteenth, my mom would braid my hair into a heart-shape. I would dress in something pink or red or occasionally purple that also had hearts on it (don’t worry, I had plenty to choose from). At school, I took great pride in distributing the valentines my mom and I had crafted earlier (one year, the greatest year, involved splatter-painting). The teachers had gotten hip to the possibilities of cruelty and a strict rule stated that if you brought valentines in for anyone, you had to bring them for the whole class. It was probably, looking back, the day of the year I worried least about being disliked. The thrill of a classmate approaching my desk to drop a card into the pocket I’d made out of paper plates and yarn was never diminished by the knowledge that everyone else got one, too.
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Friends, everything has gone wrong for me (so far) in 2013. And yet, I feel liberated, elated, optimistic, passionate and inspired.
Share in my joy! All you have to do this New Year (ASAP) is:
1. Get robbed. When some lame downer of a pickpocket in Times Square stole my iPhone at approximately 10pm on New Years Eve, the cops on the scene told me they were unable to file a report due to the massive crowds they were handling. Fair Enough. “File the report later. Enjoy your night,” they said. And so I did. I missed the Ball Drop because my group and I were trying to beat an early retreat out of the madhouse morass of the Madame Tussaud’s party, but truth be told, I’m not sure I’ve ever even seen it on TV before, so it turned out I didn’t really care. Gathered, as I was, with two kick-ass young lady friends and my own handsome man, all I could think about was how much they make me laugh and smile and how-in-the-hell we were going to make it to our car on 11th Ave in high heels.
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