By Christopher Confero
Valentine’s Day: marked with the exchange of decadent chocolates, sweet mementos, and bountiful red roses. No, thank you. And I’m certainly not hoisting my flag for some “Single’s Awareness Day” either. The commercialization of this holiday shrouded in a mysterious history dating back to Ancient Rome is certainly not atypical of our society, so let’s take a step back this one time to observe the occasion by doing the things we do best for ourselves and by ourselves.
By now there has been ample time to review all the gifts received from friends and family during the holidays. Certainly there were some items that perhaps were on your list that you didn’t get. Well, there is no better time to go fetch a few personal items and treat yourself. The throngs of holiday shoppers have vacated the Summit for a more peaceful stroll at Saks or Gus Mayer. Although the chill has really started cutting to the bone, start thinking about key pieces for spring and summer. It will be tough to get gorgeous new clothing you can’t immediately wear, but exercise some patience! When in doubt, a new pair of great shoes is always the way to go—that goes for both guys and gals.
Body, Mind, and Soul
By now, you have either really committed to that resolution to get healthier or have slid off the wagon with everyone else. This is a perfect time to look at your progress and reevaluate what has or has not worked for you. If you have not found something you enjoy doing, maybe it’s time for a change. Finding a routine you love doing that keeps you fit is the ultimate goal. If hitting those weights at the gym just doesn’t make you want to ever come back, perhaps look at alternatives such as group cardio workouts or even hot yoga. On the note of yoga, taking time for a quiet space to meditate and escaping from the hustle of life for a short period is another way to use this day to better yourself.
Learn a New Recipe
If you want to celebrate your own fabulous self, restaurants are not the way to go. Every menu will have been modified for a “Couple’s Special” and will be slammed with lovebirds. If New Year’s Eve is amateur night for drinkers, then the same goes for “foodies” on Valentine’s Day. Suddenly everyone is interested in gourmet dining. So rather than fight the crowds to wait longer than usual to gorge on a meal that is heavier than you really need, stay home and cook. Decide on a light but lovely recipe you would like to try and make a stop at Whole Foods for ingredients. Go ahead and peruse their wine selection, too. In fact, a little red wine is good for the heart, they say. Play some music at home and let your culinary talents take flight. If you do hope to have a Valentine next year, you will have the perfect meal to make for him or her.
As RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love anybody else?” So show yourself some love this year, Birmingham. The only person who can truly make you happy is you.