I am not really one to celebrate holidays. My family stopped celebrating the main holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas many years ago. Birthdays are usually not a big deal either. Usually a few of us will manage to meet for dinner at a Indian restaurant or something. I have worked almost every New Years Eve since I was twelve. My family is not very religious so Easter never made a big impact. Alas, this lackadaisical attitude towards red-letter days has permeated Valentines Day as well. To the delight of several of my exes, I have never been the girl expecting flowers and chocolate at my bedside when I wake up or a pretty trinket to hang around my neck.
Over the years, I have taken to spending my Valentines Days with close friends. Although it is a holiday associated with “romantic” love, I find that my true loves have always been my dearest cohorts rather than boyfriends or girlfriends. Friends are forever, lovers aren’t. In my humble opinion.
Last year’s Valentines Day was pretty great. I spent it with my girlfriends at the infamous Brass Ass in Covington, Kentucky. A strip club that doubles as a time portal to a ’70s coke den, complete with dingy, red carpet and a trampoline on stage (which to my frustration, the dancers NEVER use). And don’t forget the grumpy “house mom” who dons the most hideous sweatshirts emblazoned with sleeping cats and bunnies. I lovingly call The Brass Ass “The place where strippers go to die”.
This year, Valentines Day was markedly different. A beautiful sunny day in Bretagne, I spent the morning drinking coffee and cracking jokes with a charming beer rep at the local cafe. I received a lovely card from my grandmother and a rose from my boyfriend’s mother. My boyfriend, not one to be upstaged, tore out an advertisement for flower bouquets from the daily paper and presented it to me along with another advertisement for engagement rings. We had a good laugh about that one. And then we were off to Dinan, a picturesque, Medieval town with cobblestone streets and Gothic churches, to celebrate the engagement of a couple of friends. We spent the early afternoon walking around making photographs. We visited a local staple called Le Nez Rouge (The Red Nose) for some choice people watching. Arriving at our friend’s flat around 7:30, the evening commenced with drinks, music, laughter and a delicious meal and lasted well into the night. Friends were made, one of whom I am positive was Bob Dylan, toasts were made and as the candles burned down, Valentines Day 2013 came to a lovely, soft end.