Valentine’s Day was really, really hard. Not for the typical reasons that people struggle with the holiday (and that I’ve dealt with in the past), but because it was my surprise! last day of work. Yes, it was shitty timing to have my last day on a holiday that’s supposed to be all about love, flowers, chocolate, and wearing pink.
But it was also a day full of love: both the traditional romantic kind, and the kind I got from my coworkers. I can’t even write this post without crying, because they’re wonderful and I miss them.
Top: Old Navy, tutu and socks (and possibly headband?): Target, leggings: American Apparel, shoes: Naot (I wore sneakers to work, but changed for my outfit pics), necklace: So Good, earrings: Betsey Johnson via eBay
My workday was full of hugs and goodbyes, and feeling appreciated and valued on the human level (if not so much on the economic level). It was painful and wonderful at the same time.
One of my coworkers gave me two cards and a chocolate heart, and one of the student workers bought another card that she had a bunch of our co-workers sign. And the best thing: she also gave me a fascinator! I don’t even know how she found a fascinator on one day’s notice, and it means so much to me that she did. That she saw me, and cared about me, enough to go hunting for my signature accessory.
It’s a lovely red fascinator with a flower, feathers, and mesh. I just…I don’t even have words.
I’m so lucky to have worked with the people I did. Especially the student workers. There’s plenty of cultural grumbling out there about the kids these days, but if the ones I worked with are any indication, today’s 18 to 21-year olds are awesome people. (And yes, I know I fit into some definitions of “kids these days,” as I’m only 28.)
I’m also lucky to have Steve, who was an immense comfort when I came home from work drained and hurting.
Being silly with him is the best. 😀
Chocolate always helps, too. The heart-shaped thing is a raspberry cheesecake, and the frog is made of pistachio buttercream covered in marzipan. It was both tasty and adorable!
On a related note, I just finished reading It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel. It’s basically a book-length expansion of Kate Harding’s wonderful post On Dumb Luck (but in a great-minds-think-alike way, not a plagiarism way). Eckel writes about all the ways our culture blames single women for their singleness, and how they’re all bullshit–how finding the right partner is really just a matter of luck.
As a now-happily-partnered person, I can attest to that. I didn’t find Steve because I magically became perfect–I found him because our mutual friends thought we might make a good match and introduced us. Just like Kate Harding met her partner because a friend introduced them. It’s luck, plain and simple.
Like Kate, I remember what it was like to be single for “approximately 9,000 years.” I want to send all the Jedi hugs and encouragement to everyone out there who’s single and doesn’t want to be, everyone who sometimes wonders if there’s something terribly wrong with them.
As Kate says, as Sara says, and as I’m saying: you are fine. Exactly as you are.
I have some quibbles with the book–it’s very heterocentric and upper-middle-class high-powered New Yorker-centric. There are too many references to men who live in their parents’ basement as a negative thing. There were times I just wanted to scream at the author that not everyone can afford to live on their own, let alone in New York, and that being unable to support oneself is less often a personal failing than a reality of the post-employment economy. But if you can get past that, there’s a lot in the book that’s useful, especially if you’re single and having a shitty time around V-Day.
(Note: of course not all single people are unhappy with being single, and I don’t want to imply that! There are plenty of people who are single and not looking, or single and looking but not stressing about it much, and that’s totally cool. In fact, they should get more cultural attention, because the prevalent stereotype of the sad single woman is just UGH. But I think it’s also important to acknowledge that sometimes, for some people, being single just sucks, and that it isn’t their fault.)