Hands

V-Day.

As a uniquely named child, I lost when it came to one of life’s cheaper thrills; monogrammed heart keychains. Dig as I may through the spinning tower of trinkets, I knew I’d never find a “Vicari” among the sea of abundant “Veronicas” and “Victorias.” I never wished for a re-name, but as a tiny, fashion-forward human, a sister just wanted a sparkly Vicari-heart dangling from her backpack. So I often settled for my first initial etched onto some cheap piece of nothing.

Unless, of course, the retailer decided it was more profitable to appeal to the Bs, Ls, Rs, Ss, and Ts of the world. Then V wasn’t even an option.

Bitches.

But I digress. My point is, with age I developed a deep appreciation for the rarity that is my letter. Some of the coolest things are Vs; vermillion, voting, vodka, victory, vaginas. And Valentine’s Day, the worldwide celebration of love, and one of my most favorite holidays.

Despite the marketing push to capitalize on romantic love, my ideal V-Day far exceeds that of a designated day to bask in the loving gestures of a manfriend. As a single, it’s an opportunity to practice some serious self-love, and show a little appreciation to those that fill my heart with joy every other day of the year.

It’s so much more than flowers and chocolate and monogrammed hearts. It’s about love—the love of people, the love of places, the love of things. And for the weeping majority pulling a Han and flying Solo, you’re not unloved.

You’re just single.

Following the Treat Yo’self philosophy, I celebrated Valentine’s Day by spoiling the shit out of myself, and the ones I love most. Decadent homemade buttermilk pancakes and raspberries for me, and peanut butter chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate-covered strawberries for everyone else, along with handcrafted, hand-written valentines.

“This Valentine’s Day, smothered with sugar, stuffed mammals, and mounds of chocolate-covered confections, we are encouraged to express love—to shower our dearest with gratitude and affection. But no candy heart, no immaculately crafted valentine could accurately express my fondness. For I love you today, and 364 more.”

—A Letter to Friends, 2.14.14

I stuffed my face, bathed in lavender, and took a nap. It was simple, sweet, and perfectly mushy, as any well-done V-day should be.

Homemade buttermilk pancakes with raspberry sauce and too much butter. Blushing roses and Baby's Breath for garnish.

Homemade buttermilk pancakes with raspberry sauce and too much butter. Blushing roses and Baby’s Breath for garnish.

Early in the week, I purchased a bouquet of my favorite blushing roses. When the floral arrangements poured into the office Friday afternoon, my bouquet stood proudly upon my desk.

Early in the week, I purchased a bouquet of my favorite blushing roses. When the floral arrangements poured into the office Friday afternoon, my bouquet stood proudly upon my desk.

In the evening, my beautiful, not-so-single best friend Jill and I dined at a tavern down the road. I elegantly smashed my face in a pile of fried chicken and waffles smothered with maple bacon gravy, while my homegirl indulged in some fantastically cheesy shrimp and grits. Our meal was garnished with giggles.

I observed the lovely couples feasting around us, holding hands and sharing smiles, some with and some without children. But the pang of loneliness most would expect was absent; I am just as loved as, if not more than, all of them.

Later, Jill and I cozied up to her floor with some sweatpants, paint, and two fruit loop martinis. Romantic notes of teakwood, mahogany, and Hip-Hop’s Top 50 filled the room. Our setting was intimate. And while the rest of the world made love, we made art.

Sitting on the floor of my best friend's apartment, I broke in my brand new set of watercolors. While our masterpieces varied drastically in size, our work shared pretty abstraction rooted in emotion.

Sitting on the floor of Jill’s apartment, I broke in my brand new set of watercolors. We both managed to avoid drinking our rinse water.

This little abstract gem was nothing more than watercolor practice, and a test in paper response. Sharpie was added later, post-martini.

This little abstract gem was nothing more than watercolor practice, and a test in paper response. Sharpie was added later, post-martini.

We painted and rapped, drank and laughed. Told stories. Shared secrets. Reveled in the love of two women, bonded in deep-rooted friendship. And everything was right with the world.

A most perfect V-Day.

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