Four years ago I was living in Japan for my first Valentine’s Day ever in a relationship. You can imagine my excitement: there was to be no single-girl-pity-party for me that year. I was ready to be showered with chocolate, flowers and love!
My partner was Japanese, and although men who hail from the land of the rising sun don’t have the best reputation for living high on the romance scale, I was sure my man was sufficiently smitten to go all out. Reflecting back, I can see the folly in my thinking: I had high expectations which went un-communicated as I passively waited for my “needs” to be met. You can imagine how the story unfolds.
By noon I was getting antsy waiting for a call. My aggravation escalated until it became unbearable around dinnertime and was thence directed into one very uncensored text message. Shortly thereafter I got a reply: “I thought you were going to bring me some chocolate.” I was dumbfounded but as it turned out, I had not read the manual for Japanese Valentine’s Day culture, for if I had, I’d have known that women give chocolate to their beaus or love interests on this special day, and not the other way around. So much for my deluded vision of being hand-fed chocolate covered strawberries.
If anything came from this disappointing episode it was a great lesson: the importance of taking Valentine’s Day into my own hands, which I have done ever since.
This being my first Valentine’s Day as a single vegan (last year doesn’t count because I was living in an ashram), I’ve compiled some fun ways to engage in a V2 Day (that’s Vegan Valentine’s day, just so you know) when you are out of a relationship:
Vegan Valentine Bakeoff
I firmly believe Valentine’s Day is about love, not couples (and I’m not just saying that ‘cause I’m single). Is there really any better way to show your love than with some home-baked goodness? My German Grammy has taught me well.
I propose: gather your loved ones – friends, family, whomever – and have each person bring some sweet vegan loving in the form of a Valentine’s treat. If you want to make things more interesting, keep it secret who made what and have everyone vote for their favorite. The winner can get a prize of your choosing or just a little extra loving.
Valentine’s Vegan Singles Party
Know a lot of single vegans? Have a party! Don’t know a lot of single vegans? Check out the Vegan Meetup in your area and suggest a party.
You can make it a potluck where everyone brings their favorite dish and plan some fun activities to get people mingling. One idea is to have everyone bring a small gift, say under ten dollars, for a Secret Admirer game (a new take on Secret Santa). Put numbers on all the gifts and have everyone write a little “love note” with a number corresponding to that of their gift. These notes can be silly or serious; either way, no one knows who the receiver will be. Place the numbers in some red and white balloons and recruit some lungs to help you blow them up. After some time, have everyone chose a balloon to pop and let the fun begin!
Keep it Simple
I once heard it said that love pays attention to detail. What better a day to see where a little more attention could be placed than Valentine’s Day!
This works whether you’re single or in a relationship. If the former is the case, see where you can give yourself some more love; after all, loving yourself precedes all other forms of love. Buy yourself something nice, take a long bath with candles and wine, eat your favorite food, or simply engage in some “me” time, something we could all use a little more of with our hectic schedules. It doesn’t really matter how you do it; just give yourself the love that you absolutely deserve as the beautiful Goddess that you are.
Follow the Lead of Our Friends in Japan
Single but have a crush? How fun would it be to muster up the courage to give the gift of vegan chocolate to the one you pine for? Anxiety provoking, you say? How about if you were to give said crush some of your own delectably prepared vegan chocolate or baking?
My point is, sometimes you’ve just got to go out on a limb, make the first move, impress your male-friend with your mad vegan baking skills, win him over and live happily ever after, or something less fairytale-ish than that. But trust me when I say there’s not much worse than sitting alone waiting for that phone call on Valentine’s Day. Don’t become a vegan Valentine victim: feel the love through giving. And if you chicken out, I’m sure your mom would appreciate the sweets.
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