So Valentine’s Day finds you minus a man (or woman) this year. Whether this is a regular occurrence or a new “romance-less” situation for you, spending this special day alone can be depressing, or at least disappointing, especially if all of your friends are either married, in a relationship, or with family on February 14th. Even though other holidays are more special when you have a partner to share them with, it seems that Valentine’s Day has the largest impact on our state of mind when we are left to celebrate alone. If Cupid is AWOL this Valentine’s Day you can still celebrate life and romance by planning a meaningful day for “one” versus two.
Why do we celebrate this holiday, anyway? As with most “fun” activities in our culture, the Romans brought this tradition to the world back in the 5th century (those crazy Italians). The ancient pagan festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration, was recast as a Christian feast day and declared as St. Valentine’s Day by Pope Gelasius I. Fertility was crucial to the survival of any society back in the 5th century; cultures needed as many farmers, soldiers, and servants as they could produce to survive! It’s doubtful that most celebrants this Valentine’s Day will have fertility on their mind, but it’s almost a sure thing that they will share their feelings with at least a Valentine’s card! But what if Cupid is AWOL?
“Table for two” is not a prerequisite for a happy Valentine’s Day. A little planning is involved, but there are plenty of options for enjoying February 14 without Cupid. If obvious suggestions are impossible, like spend the day with family or a best friend, then why not plan a day of activities that help you feel happy and loved (loving yourself is a good thing)? With Valentine’s Day on a Sunday this year, you can plan a day-long list of ways to treat yourself. First, decide if you want a quiet day (or maybe even weekend) of self-absorption or a busy, activity-filled celebration. A more quiet approach could include pampering yourself with sleeping in, your favorite morning drink, a mani/pedi later, or massage, an afternoon nap with your favorite book under a new fuzzy blanket, Chinese delivery for dinner, and a Netflix marathon with a glass of red wine. If you already spend every Sunday like this, then change it up. Why not get up early (still get your favorite morning beverage) and drive to a city that you would like to explore. Do a little homework ahead of time and find museums, shopping, restaurants, or parks that you would love to explore at your own speed. Many times art displays and shopping malls are more enjoyable when you can linger as long as you want in front of a painting or can try on as many outfits as you want without having to hurry. You can discover new cafes, sight-see through new neighborhoods, or walk in a new park (dress warmly)! Asheville, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham are great choices for a “Valentine’s day trip.”
If you really want to change up your Valentine’s routine but want to stay in Forsyth County, then you might spend the day in service to the community through a church, soup kitchen or senior center. Or you could try one of the wonderful art classes or artistic offerings in Winston-Salem. It’s not called the City of the Arts for nothing. There are Merlot and Van Gogh Wine and Paint open classes, a Theatre Alliance musical, a Hanesbrands Theatre play, filmmaking winter screening at the UNC School of the Arts, Winston-Salem Symphony salute to Elvis, a lecture on how Winston met Salem, a Wind Symphony concert, and much more (visitwinstonsalem.com).
Whatever you decide to try on Valentine’s Day, do some planning and treat yourself (like a Valentine should), rather than letting the day come and go without celebrating how wonderful and deserving you are of some TLC. You know better than Cupid how to make yourself happy. Maybe he’ll show up next month?