It is Valentine’s Day later this month. I am single, and I am not cynical about that crazy little thing called love.
Below, I will share excerpts of my correspondence from last year with two friends – BFF Two and Tina, and I will conclude with an excerpt from a newsletter I sent out (to my personal contacts) two years ago. My views on Valentine’s Day mentioned in all the excerpts, remain steadfast. Like true love.
This first excerpt is between BFF Two in China and myself two years ago.
BFF Two’s text is in her favourite lilac (or the closest I can get to it) and my text in brown.
SUBJECT: Happy V-Day!
Or as you used to call it – ‘Singles Day’. Ha ha! To us, single people, cheers for having the strength to listen to our inner voice, for not compromising on what’s important to us and for remaining single by choice. And for our ability to be happy for those who experience romantic love.
Nothing decided yet for today. I asked Jake* if he’d like to go out. Don’t know yet if his schedule will permit it.
*Jake is my friend. He is a Human Rights lawyer (sigh!) with an international organisation, and therefore, has to travel overseas … a little too often for my liking. >< Boyfriend? Nope. Jake is gay.
Later this evening, I will get chocolate pastries for Mum and Papa Saluzinho**.
**Papa Saluzinho and his family live directly across my home. I like all of them very much. Papa Saluzinho is 69, lost his vision completely 10 years ago, lost his wife, Mama Amalia, 3 years ago and their only daughter, Eva, 6 years ago. Eva was 31 and died in an accident. I drop in at Papa Saluzinho’s for a chat every day. The handful of times I’ve gone more than three days in a row without making a nuisance of myself visiting him, he’s got his son to e-mail me a reminder …. from across the street! Aww.
Papa Saluzinho has a great sense of humour. His only son, Dave, takes care of him now. I call him Papa and (used to call) his wife Mama because growing up, I heard Dave and Eva call them that. That’s how I think of them, too.
Enjoy your day, BFF Two. One day, one sweet day, it will happen for you and me. Until then, be proud of your single status. I’m proud to count you as my friend.
I logged on to write to you and wish you ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. And there was your mail!
Yeah, our inner voices are very strong. I think most of the people must be wondering why those two bloody women (you and I) are still so happy, possibly even happier than some of them, even though we don’t have boyfriends. Ha ha!
We are happy even without boyfriends because we have not settled for just any boy to keep society happy. We are blessed that we don’t have any pressure from our closest family members and closest friends. I know many people tell us that we are too strict with our criteria for a boyfriend, but really, Kate, like you, I just cannot think of compromising on things that are important to me. We make choices that don’t have to include men as romantic partners and we have learned that life as single persons is no less enjoyable. Cheers to us!!
But I also wish that people in love with a partner enjoy Valentine’s Day today.
So you and Jake are going out today? Cool! Is his boyfriend out of town again? Good for you!
Chocolate surprises for Mum and Papa Saluzinho. Cool, Kate! Give them both and Dave a hug for me.
I am proud of being single and I am proud to count you as my friend, too, Kate. Enjoy your day, too.
The next excerpt is with my friend in Toronto, who I call Tinamisu and a few other nicknames. Her name’s Tina, she’s of Italian origin and I like her as much as I like TiRamisu. She’s just so good natured with my um, name calling.
This exchange was during this recently past Christmas week. Tinamisu’s text in her favourite blue and mine in brown.
Me: I am happy to be home for Christmas this year, Te-yo. Not just because I have my nearest and dearest ones around me. It also means someone else not-necessarily-near, but just-as-dear isn’t struggling alone somewhere because guess where I would be otherwise? I am so very grateful that Mum and the rest of my immediate family understand that I have to ditch them at special times like this because I simply cannot wish everyone ‘Merry Christmas’ when I know that someone I care about is alone and sad at this time of the year.
Tinamisu: Just wanted to say I’m really happy that you got to be home this year for Christmas, Kate! I know very well that family, tradition, helping others and of course, food* are very important to you. And when you can enjoy all of these in one place, all the better!
Me: You betcha, T-Ice! If I could have my way, I’d make sure we all live together in one big, beautiful place. We already do? It’s called Planet Earth? Oh.
*Have you noticed that T-Not-a-pain included ‘food’ up there in the list of things that are important to me? Will talk about this, um, other love of mine in my next post.
This last excerpt is from my newsletter to my personal e-mail contacts on Valentine’s Day two years ago.
The Subject of that newsletter (via e-mail) was the same at the title of this post – Love Is All Around Me.
In that newsletter, I shared stories and photographs of some of the people (geographically and emotionally) closest to me:
My 5-year old neighbour, Cahill
My favourite in-state cousin, Henry
Mum’s (now) 92-year old bestie, Auntie Alicia
- On the left: Auntie Alicia with her granddaughter
On the right: My folks
In all our excitement, we i.e. my family, forgot to take a photograph with Auntie Alicia that night, so I merged two shots (above) and sent it as part of my newsletter.
This was the conclusion of that newsletter. True to style, it’s a long winding road to the end.
So there. Those are some of the people who put a smile on my face every time we meet, and who I am completely myself with because, like you all, they accept me for who I am, dazzling personality hideous warts and all.
I deliberately chose to send this edition out today i.e. Valentine’s Day because it’s about some of the important people in my life. Also, I’m not a cynic about my single status; therefore, I do not scoff at all the pink and red hued stuff around me. I also do not delude myself by wishing my other single friends, “Happy Singles Day!” or some such thing that has caught on recently. Want to celebrate your single-ness? Get yourselves your own day, I say; do not hijack this one. Hoping to go there and do that*, I am happy for those blessed to have a spouse or significant other.
*Note to self: Please make sure you do not marry an adrenaline junkie like James Franco’s character in ‘127 Hours‘. Sitting in your seat, you barely survived watching that part and that other part. Whew!
I thought of all of you when I read this recently. This applies not just to the people I’ve talked about in this newsletter or the ones who live here in my city, state or in the country, but also to all of you, my dear kith and kin scattered around this big, wide world:
Each one of you contributes to the song that is my life. From some, I get the chorus, from some a verse, some a line and a few contribute a (musical) note, but every single one of you is vital. Thank you for filling my life with music.
And you, dear e-Friends, provide infrequent, but regular beats to the song of my life. Thank you.
“Love is all around me,
And so the feeling grows.”
I, um, borrowed the title of this post and the two lines above from the following song:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: BLOG BUDDY BIRTHDAYS :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::
I hope I’m not ruining surprises for anyone with these very early wishes to two of my blog buddies.
1. At first, I found a nice Canadian style wish, but I did not get a response from the blogger whose site that personal photograph is on. Then I saw this one.
I do not know what you look like and I do not know if there’s any truth to the statement, but I do know that you are a good sport (and a great husband, father, son and son-in-law!)
This year, with your book, ‘The Bellman Chronicles’ (http://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/), and with whatever else your heart desires, I hope you get things that are important, not urgent. What does that mean? Buried in the following article is what I’m on about. Not exactly what those words mean in the article, but for your life in general.
‘How to master your time’
Oh, since you like lists, here’s one; especially for your birthday.
‘The 35 Dumbest Things Ever Said On The Internet’
Oh, and Happy Birthday, Hook!! I hope you have as lovely a day as is possible on the 25th!
2. None of the, um, fun things in this picture come to mind when I think of you.
Which is EXACTLY why I chose it for you! Ha ha!
It’s been a while since I enjoyed your posts at http://www.mjmonaghan.com/, but I know that that silence is for a very good reason. I’m also happy that your extended family and new(ish) co-workers are now enjoying your warmth and humour in person. I hope you and YLB (and Duke, of course!) are doing well in Nebraska.
Breithlá shona duit, MJ! May your Irish eyes keep smiling all day long on the 28th!
Thank you, A Clown on Fire, for signing up to follow my posts.
Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked!, for commenting on my last post.
P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.
I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!