Accepting that we would all still be single by Valentine’s Day, my girl friends and I agreed to take each other out. February 14th was also a special occasion for myself, for reasons I will not disclose, as they would reveal my identity. Astrid, whom everyone thought was my girlfriend because of the amount of time we spent together,1 made reservations at FOO’D in Shangri-La BGC. We made plans to dress up for the night, and using her connections, Audrey, who completed our little trio, arranged for us to have drinks at the Palace Pool Club after dinner.
As per tradition, I woke up 30 minutes before the 13th ended. I put on my favorite episode of Sex and the City, the Agony and the ‘Ex’-tacy. In the episode, Carrie turns 35, gets stood up by her friends at her celebratory dinner, finds her soulmates in the other girls, and is surprised by Mr. Big with red balloons and champagne when she gets home. Watching the episode was difficult. When I saw it last year, which was also a few months after my first breakup with Connor, I only felt assured that I was still loved despite the absence of the man; besides, I had only started dating, and that only made me more excited to explore more. But this year, something was off, and the idea of wanting my Mr. Big to come up when I went home after my plans for the day consumed me and depressed me.
I went on with my day doing the rest of my little traditions. I uploaded some self-love posts on Facebook, which included shots from a risqué photo shoot I did a few weeks back. I made myself lunch, and got myself some cake. Occasionally, I would burst into tears and lament that I could have been spending the day with a man if only things went a little differently last December, so I took out a bottle of Chardonnay and drank myself into oblivion. I had given up on the idea of finding a casual encounter within the day because it was Valentine’s Day. Men are so anti-relationship nowadays, they’d think I was asking them to move in with me if I asked them out on that Hallmark holiday.2
Over dinner, the girls and I talked about the usual things. I didn’t bring up crying over my failed relationship because it was a time to be happy. We thirsted over the Arab guy at the next table, threw shade at how pretentious some of our meals were, and took in gossip with our Bellinis. Five courses later, it was still too early for drinks at the club, so we went out to High Street to do an impromptu photo shoot. Little did I know that that was their excuse to prepare their surprise for me. When Astrid’s car arrived to take us to the Palace Pool Club, the doors opened to reveal a plethora of red balloons anchored to a bottle of Chardonnay, a variation from Mr. Big’s champagne, as Chardonnay was my favorite wine.
Lost for anything else to say, I thanked the girls over and over until we reached the club. Right there and then, I decided not to let my breakup affect me any more. I was forgetting that I was only turning 21. With so many people helping me3 and so much money in my trust fund, I was free to design my life the way I wanted it. My life was so bountiful. I didn’t need a man to feel fulfilled.4
- I refer to her as my “fake girlfriend” when my dates ask about the girl who’s always in my photos. Sometime in college, we agreed to be each other’s honorary boyfriend and girlfriend, which meant that we would tell anyone who asked either of us if we were dating that we were. We take each other out on the most lavish dates, often lasting eight hours, consisting mostly of eating at the newest places across town. Our fake anniversary is on January 15th.
- Valentine’s was the day after I met Cody.
- The girls, in particular.
- Line stolen from Queen B.