So, as many of you may know, I am not a fan of the greeting card industry sponsored sham of a holiday that is Valentine's Day. Much like Christmas and Halloween, any spiritual meaning has long ago been sucked dry, although the latter two I still manage to enjoy - Christmas because I'm lucky enough to have a loving, mostly-functional family to share it with, who don't turn it into a soul-sucking greedfest, and Halloween because well hell, I enjoy any excuse for candy and the combination of sexy clothes and fake blood.
(don't ask me about Easter - it doesn't even register on my radar)
For the last few years, the period between Boxing day up until around the end of February has generally been pretty rough for me. Call it one part seasonal affective disorder, two parts shitty memories associated and one part holiday letdown, it's generally a time for depression, bad thoughts and withdrawing into myself, big time, especially in these recent years since splitting the ex-boy and finding myself perpetually single around the holidays.
This year, I was determined NOT to let all this get me down. Surprisingly enough the drama I've been dealing with lately has actually helped, because even though it's stressful, it's also been exhilarating. Life is definitely not boring. But yeah, back to the story. This year, to make it though this snot-rag of a holiday, I decided I was going to be my own Valentine, and utterly friggin spoil myself.
I ♥ me.
Friday night, I had a friend over for movies and chitchat and whatnot, which was fun. The girls were at their dad's, which on a weekend such as this, is probably a better environment for them, especially if my plan failed and I did get all butthurt and sad and mopey and human-faucetty.
Saturday I got up at a decent hour for a weekend anyway, did my helpdesk emails and took my car up to the dealership for a much needed oilchange, which gave me a good hour for a walk up to wal-mart in the gorgeous sunshine and crisp, cool air. Coming back I discovered that cutting through the woods takes time off the trip, but that breaking through the crusts of the snow every 2-3 minutes is annoying. But I was feeling adventurous and outdoorsy and it was all good.
Next I went to gather Lori and Amber, a couple of dear friends of mine who were also flying solo this year, because we had booked some manicures and pedicures at a semi-posh salon/spa in Penetang (which is why I say semi-posh). I drove out to Vic harbour to get Amber, with the windows down and the music up. I can't even begin to describe how fantastic the weather was this weekend. Definitely a huge difference from past February's. We hit Subway for some lunch (as I am being health-concious once again - broke 200 last week :-) where I discover that I've left my bank card at the dealership, so double back where my card is being kept safe by the very nice, very attractive manager who is a family friend and looks like Gary Sinise. Mmmmmm.
After picking up Lori, we head to the salon, and are escorted up the stairs for our pampering. There were only two esthetician's (holy hell, I think I actually spelled that right) on that day, one of whom was booked, so we went one after another. They have a private room for the mani-pedi's with little whirpool footbaths built into pedestals on which one sits. Royalty, I felt like.
We were sharing the room with a late-forties executive type who seemed none-too-pleased to be in our company, as we are excited and rowdy and generally loving life at this point. I once read in a book, 'The pistachio prescription', one of those young-adult adolescent-angst type novels that women see tile and it's true-confession time. A joke, but not too far off the mark. Bathrooms, hairdressers, spas... these environments just seem incredibly conducive to conversation. Some of my best conversations with my mom/sister have involved at least one of us on toilet/in the bath and another on the counter/perched on the edge of the tub. I've told hairdressers things I wouldn't confess to a catholic preist.
I digress. We worried from time to time that maybe we were too chatty and rowdy, between the irritated exec and our own girl who was very quiet and subdued. That is, until exec-lady left for her facial and it was just the four of us, then she came out of her shell and was laughing and giggling along with us. It goes to show, the level of professionalism required is dictated by the customer.
After we were all pampered and taken care off, they wrapped my toes up in moisturizer and cellophane so I could put my socks and boots back on, and Lori helped Amber with her boots as her nails were still a little wet, and we went to the Rye for coffee. We had planned to browse some of the nifty little shops on P-tangs main strip, but it was after four and a lot of stuff was already closed. Yeah, I know, what is up with THAT?
Took Amber back to her house and hung out with her and her mom for a bit, then decided to visit my parent's just to say hi. I'm quite proud of my dad right now, as he quit smoking two weeks ago, and from what my mom says, he's NOT driving her nuts with it. They had some friends up and were getting ready for a country-themed dance. Mom invited me to stay for dinner, so I had what was probably the best batch of spagetti I've ever had of mom's, and that's saying a lot as she makes some damn good pasta. After we clean up I decide to head home, debating whether or not I want to try and go out that night, or stay home and paint and watch movies.
Amber and I had discussed going to the rippers, and although I was intrigued, never having been, it just wasn't really appealing to me. Lori gets on MSN and convinces me to get all tarted up so we can hit the bar, and go dancing, which is what we did.
Now, in the time that we've been hanging out, Lori and I have discovered that we tend to doppelgang (can that be a verb? I'm making it a verb) each other. So it was quite the laugh when I showed up to the door to discover we're both in the exact same shirt ready to go out. Incidentally, a similar thing happened when my friend came over friday - we were wearing sweaters that were frighteningly alike).
Hitting Bleachers, we discover that we are there entirely too early, showing up at 10, and that there is about a dozen people there. Positioning ourselves with a view of the bar, we're almost immediately approached by some adorably socially-awkward barely-legals who have dared each other to approach the two women at the bar. Giggling uncontrollably we make conversation with these two for a few minutes before they make their way to a booth.
The bar was full of young bookish types that night, and we had nicknames for them all - 'Weedy-shy-guy', 'Sloan-guy', 'Adonis' (a tall drink of water with a head full of blond curls), Punk-boy etc etc etc. I ran into my former co-op student and told him we were out ooogling attractive young men and that he should consider himself oogled. Ran into a friend from high school who told me with an appreciative look that I was looking really good.
We danced until my feet were killing me, closed the bar, all the while being chatted up by several randoms, or being made eyes at etc. The belly dancing lessons have been a great help to me as I felt like I knew what I was doing and not just A) flailing wildly or B) half-assedly swaying back and forth. Yes, we were a sight to behold on the dance floor. After closing the bar we headed home, each on our own as planned but with an inflated ego and sense of 'Damn-I'm-Hawt'ness. Well, I did. I can't speak for Lori, but all in all it was a hell of a night.
Sunday morning I got up, either hung-over or strung from lack of sleep (I was fairly moderate the night before), drank a butt-load of water, ate a banana and headed out for yet another beautiful, sunshiny walk (although more sore than the day before) walk to retrieve my car from Bleachers' parking lot so I could drive down to Barrie for some thrift store shopping and all-you-can-eat sushi with Sam. Again, I'm feeling in love with myself, and rather extravagant. I pick up some incredibly cute finds at VV, including a flowy green and black type blouse-thing, a cute black and white striped sweater, a very flattering tank, striped t-shirt and a pair of adorable hippie jeans with a bunch of emrodiery and designer holes worn in the fabric. The jeans are a bit tight, but if I get down another five, should look Fabulous.
Sam and I meet up at Aji Sai and I have the Rock'n'Roll, which I have been aching for for almost two years now. We talk and I catch him up on all my recent happenings and I come out of the conversation feeling good (or better) about some of the stuff I've been feeling not so good about.
Go to pick the girls up at the ex-hubsters and find myself grateful that I can go there and be relaxed and chill out while they get ready to go without hostility and drama. I wouldn't say we're friends, but we get along and can hang and chit-chat without issues.
Now I'm waiting for the girls to get their room cleaned. It's the second annual 'Family Day' and I'm not working today... Good times. If the rooms get cleaned, there's the possibility of swimming at the Y, or tobogganing (provided there is enough snow left on the hill) or something fun like that.
All in all, despite one or two dark 'poor me' moments (coming home tipsy and alone is not always fun) I'd have to say this was one of the best 'Day before Flag Day's (which I have been referring to it as, to avoid the dreaded V-word) I have had in many years... definitely in my single years (although 2004 was close with the Nickelback/Three Days Grace concert - back before Nickelback sucked ass) and even rivaled some of the married years.. which incidentall, I don't remember many of those.