Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Table For One

Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
~Veronica A. Shoffstall

When you’re single and female, certain holidays pose specific challenges. There’s New Year’s Eve, when everyone else is kissing their sweetheart at midnight and all you can do is watch Ryan Seacrest in Times Square; Halloween when you want to dress up as Wilma Flintstone but it won't make sense unless Fred is at your side; and your birthday which, depending on your age, serves as only a reminder either that your biological clock is ticking or confirmation that you’re destined to be old and alone.

It’s taken me ten years of single hood to make peace with all of this. Last year, for example, I threw myself a fabulous birthday party. I invited all my besties and their significant others, where applicable, to join me for dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant and to my house for cake and ice cream afterwards. It was a happy birthday, indeed. On Halloween, I turned off the front porch lights, poured myself a bowl of candy corn, and watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I felt like I was seven again. And I brought in 2012 with my brother and his wife and my kids. We listened to 80’s music and played board games and drank champagne. I hugged my dog at midnight and went to bed feeling nothing but joy and optimism.

But now it’s Valentine’s Day, and I can’t even go grocery shopping in peace. I am forced to swim through an ocean of beribboned balloons just to find a loaf of bread. The gargantuan assortment of floral displays makes it difficult to find the chicken noodle soup. And as I approach the checkout line, it is impossible to avoid the cheerful displays of stuffed animals and heart shaped candy boxes, none of which have my name on them.

Finally, though, I understand that being single is not a punishment for evil doing in a past life, a consequence of any shortcoming of mine, or even a state of lacking something. It simply is what it is. I am complete whether or not I am in a relationship.

So this year, I am going to be my own valentine. The last time I went to Kroger, I tossed a perfect pink rose into my shopping cart to enjoy all weekend. And at the end of the day, I’m going to light a candle and say a prayer for each of the men I have ever loved as well as for the man I still believe is out there for me.

Whether you’re happily married, unabashedly single, or somewhere in between, I wish you and yours the happiest Valentine’s Day ever!

Note: This post first appeared at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales on February 10, 2012


Michele Stefanides said...

Good for you! You are taking control of your own happiness, and that is the only kind of happiness you can truly count on.

Pam Asberry said...

I'm doing my best, Michele. Hope you have a wonderful day!

R.R. said...

Singleness can be a beautiful thing - you only have to please yourself! I was going into another long-winded remark I am known for but figured a picture is worth a thousand words!:

_________Pam is a____________Pam is a
______Pam is a Sweet_______Pam is a Sweethe
____Pam is a Sweetheart___Pam is a Sweetheart
___Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a S_______Pam
__Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a S_________Pam
_Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweet_______Pam
_Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweethear______P
Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!__Pam
Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam_P
Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam i
Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam i
_Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam
__Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!!!P
____Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweetheart!
______Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a Sweeth
_________Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam is a
____________Pam is a Sweetheart!!!Pam
______________Pam is a Sweetheart!
_________________Pam is a Swee
___________________Pam is a
_____________________Pam i

R.R. said...

Also, I don't want you to think I went through a lot of trouble making that, but so you will know I made a little sacrifice, I blind-folded myself, slipped on a straight jacket, sat in a tub of crushed ice water, and typed it with my big toe! RR

Interested Woman said...

Thanks, R.R.! Hope you and your family are having a great day!

Eydie said...


Whatever our relation situation is, we are solely responsible for our own happiness.

I loved the energy of your candle. It will certainly shine light one that one special man who is out there for you.

Sending you an abundance of light and LOVE,

Pam Asberry said...

You are so right, Eydie. Thank you for your special blessing. Love you much.

S.M. Carrière said...

You are so much more gracious about this day than I ever will be!

I hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful, and that you enjoyed the best possible company - you!

Pam Asberry said...

I did, S.M. Students surprised me with sweet treats, my youngest surprised me with a sweet card and handwritten note, my middle son saved some dinner for me, and I enjoyed a lovely bottle of wine at the end of the day. I have a lot to be thankful for; I just have to keep reminding myself!

Dan said...

Sometimes I hate holidays. Or at least the commercialization of same. Its no wonder that there are so many unhappy people at these "special times" or seasons of the year.

You have some really great commenters coming to your blog. Loved the post about the trouble "RR" went to for that previous post.

Happy belated Valentine's to you too. We all come into this world single and whether we like it or not, we all leave this world alone. So live and love with all you can while you can with whomever you are fortunate enough to share this life with be it friend, family, lover, or otherwise. Love is never worthless.

Pam Asberry said...

Thanks, Dan. I know we enter/exit the world alone, but just as I had parents who greeted me with open arms when I was a baby, I hope there will be someone to hold my hand when I am dying. And maybe even a special someone to help me fight some of life's battles along the way.