Single guys look at Valentine's Day and breathe a sigh of relief that they make it through the day without spending a dime. Single girls dread it for weeks beforehand. As soon as the Christmas clearance is gone from our favorite stores, the shelves fill up with chocolate and roses and reminders of the fact that we are indeed alone. This time last year, I was single. Very, very single. Just-been-dumped single. In fact, right before Valentine's Day, I was shopping and came across a card that said "I want to grow old and disgusting with you". I posted it to Facebook with the caption "Found the Valentine's Day card, now I just need the Valentine". And when I posted it, I had no idea that I would meet my husband two days later. And of course, even once we met, it took a little while to know that he was supposed to be my husband. So last year, I made girl plans. For all of you guys out there (or girls who married young and probably never had to make them), girl plans are the thing to make when you are single and female and a holiday all about love comes along. You make girl plans to tell the world "I don't care that I don't have a man on this day filled with chocolate and flowers and romance!", even though you clearly do. It's self-preservation, really. And it prevents you from gaining twelve pounds by staying home and eating an entire container of Ben and Jerry's while watching Love Actually or Sleepless in Seattle for the 30th time. Girl plans are fun. They provide solidarity and camaraderie on a day when you most need to feel like you are not alone.
Last year, though, at the last minute, I added a boy to my girl plans. (Thanks, Katie, for allowing this) My new friend Jake, my girlfriend Katie, and I went out for dinner to Urban Taco, one of my favorite Dallas restaurants. I am pretty sure Jake paid for our food, and so Katie and I got the best of both worlds. We had girl plans, and we didn't have to pay for our own dinners. It was a win-win. And in the end, I got a husband out of the deal. Even bigger win.
But today, as happy as I am to have a super cool husband to spend the day with and to write me love notes on my Starbucks cup sleeve, my thoughts are with my girlfriends. The ones who are waiting on Mr. Right. The ones who have been left by Mr. Right. The ones who don't care about finding Mr. Right (there are a few of those). The ones that aren't quite old enough to need Mr. Right. The ones that I have on my prayer list. I am praying that Mr. Right comes along at the right time and that Mr. Wrong stays away. He does more harm than good, I promise. I am hoping that you have made girl plans. I hope that you have worked to fill this day with all kinds of fun and excitement and people who love you. Because even though it's always true that you are loved and valued, on this day the feeling might be harder to find. So, Happy Valentine's Day, friends. I love you. And if you are still hopeful that you can find a last minute date, I am pretty sure this guy's not busy tonight.