It’s a very special Celebration Friday, the start of a holiday weekend, one that also encompasses the one day that seems most intended to make perfectly normal, wonderful people feel like total losers if they aren’t starry-eyed in love and preferably getting engaged/married/remarried on Sunday. Yes, indeed, it’s Valentine’s Day!
And here in Ontario they added a new holiday a few years back. And, while I applaud anything that will make February a little more bearable, did they really have to name it Family Day? In our house, we call it “We Prefer the Electorate Straight and Procreating Day” because that’s the message it seems to be sending. Would Friendship Day have been too much of a stretch? It’s as saccharine, but way more inclusive. We all have a friend or two. Better yet, why not just call it Bleagh Day, because that’s what most Ontarians say to themselves when they look out the window on a February Monday anyway.
I’ve gone off on a bit of a rant here, when what I really want to do is offer suggestions on how to salvage what can be a pretty dire weekend. And the most important thing I want to say is don’t be mowed down by the Valentine’s Day/Family Day machine. Stand up to it and spend the weekend your way! If you’re single, celebrate the joys of single life. If you’re in a relationship, celebrate what’s good in that without any pressure to fit some greeting card notion of what your relationship should look like. If you’re childless, oh man, don’t get me started….
The impulse to celebrate is a good one. Please don’t give that up just because you don’t fit the parameters of the day. I say hijack the holiday and celebrate your own life.
Since Alan and I have a long history in and around the hospitality business, we avoid restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Entire dining rooms filled with tables for two make for a long and difficult night for restaurants, so out of solidarity with our friends in the biz, we stay home with friends. But you might want to get a group together and go out. A table of five or seven or twelve might make a refreshing change for the wait staff. Just, please remember to tip generously.
In thinking about writing this post, I kept thinking about my Dad, who, whenever he felt like his kids were ganging up on him, would stare us down and say, “My house, my rules!”
I applaud that sentiment and suggest that we all apply it even more broadly. Aside from things like stopping for red lights and not blasting your stereo at 3:00 AM I’d like to suggest adopting the motto, “My life, my rules!”
What do you think?