Yesterday was Valentine's Day and marked my third year as a bona fide "Bridget Jones Singleton" - complete with reluctant scrutiny over my Body Mass Index, cigarettes and alcohol consumption monitoring and occasional parental disapproval.
I have always despised Valentine's day, even when I was one half of a happy couple for 10 years - the crowded restaurants, heart shaped balloons and corny cards were never my thing. But negotiating the rose-tinted cliches of Valentine's day as a single girl is another matter all together and it is an art that I seem to have finally perfected with a little help from my friends.
After grabbing a bite to eat early in order to avoid the pre-set menus and hordes of couples, my girlfriends and I went to see "He's not that into you" at the Loews cinema on 11th and 3rd. The film was as mediocre as I expected it to be (I hate chick flicks) but at least was not as one-sided as I feared it might be in the fact that there were instances of "she's" not that into you as well, which Libs, Marie & I identified with as much as the other way around. What I did like however was the atmosphere in the movie theater. It was clearly filled with disillusioned New York single girls and the unrealistic Hollywood romantic moments were received with loud caustic comments - much to my delight. For example, when Ben Affleck's character produced an engagement ring after swearing he would never get married, someone shouted "yeah ... right!?" and the audience burst into hysterical laughter. We finished the evening in "winebar", a cosy, brick-walled, candle lit bar in the East Village, sharing more laughs over a great cheese platter and an excellent bottle of Malbec.
I sometimes feel that your love life is like a scorecard and you actually need to go through a number of experiences in order to appreciate or even just recognize true love when it finally comes along. Like many of my girlfriends, I seem to have exhausted all the scenarios over the years - the "he's not into you", the "she's not into you" and the horribly confusing "it's complicated", as well as every other shades of grey in between.
Of course, being single is not always easy and it certainly was a shock to me as I have never been single before in my entire adult life. But I am actually grateful for this experience and I know it is something that I have to live through and enjoy, if only because I would have never otherwise experienced all of the above scenarios and therefore missed out on some invaluable life lessons.
There are things I miss from being in a stable, meaningful relationship (although topping the list is having someone helping me change the bed covers - my most hated household chore!) but joke aside, being in a committed relationship is fantastic. I hope I will have that again some day. But in the mean time, I see no point in pining for it and putting my life on hold while waiting for my "knight in shining armor" to magically appear ... there are far too many things I want to do and achieve by myself before that and I'm only getting started.
So here is to another year of filling up my scorecard!