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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love Game

For Valentine’s Day, I’ve rented a romantic comedy, bought a large box of chocolates and a fine bottle of wine all to celebrate with the one person I love the most….ME! Unlike the millions of couples spending their V-day with their significant others, I have bought these things in preparation for my day alone. Now don’t feel bad for me. I’ve had my fair share of valentines, all which included big red heart cards, pink and white bears with magnet noses, dozens of roses, countless boxes of chocolates, and even the occasional diamond. But this year, I am without question looking forward to a stress-free holiday where I can just celebrate being alone.

To me, a newly single girl, Valentine’s Day doesn’t bring about a bitterness or sadness that cause some to rename it ‘single’s awareness day.’ It’s a day I have chosen not to ignore or dread, but rather use to my advantage to celebrate my independence: a woman free of a man.

As I walk to the cash register, arms full with valentine goodies, the middle-aged female cashier’s lips pull into a wide smile.

“Aw honey,” she says, “Donchu’ have a lucky boy for a valentine! What are ya’ll doin’?”

“Oh, ah, no…” I stumble awkwardly, “These are for me.”

I half expected her to give me a high five, or a ‘more power to ya girl’ speech, but instead her smile quickly dropped to a confused frown.

“Huh, funny how a girl as pretty as you is gonna be spendin’ the night alone,” she said.

I winced inside. I think she meant it as a compliment, but nonetheless the comment really struck a nerve with me. What was so bad about being alone?

I think all the anger I harbor stems from the first time I went home after breaking up with my boyfriend of three years. I had never realized how much being in a relationship had given me a sense of validation in my family that was, until I came home for the first time without one. Once again, I expected my family members to be happy for me. I wanted the ‘good riddance, he was a jerk’ (which he was) spiel, but instead my relatives kept telling me, “Don’t worry Court, you’ll find someone.” This statement would then be awkwardly followed by a change in subject about my brother and his girlfriend, and how they would be getting married soon, how cute they are, and how long they’ve been together.

At first I thought I was just being overly sensitive. Being single, in fact, was a very weird thing to get used to. I didn’t have to think about my man before I made the decision to travel to Europe, didn’t have to feel guilty about studying for a test with a guy in my class, didn’t have to be glued to my phone to answer every text, phone call….. Yes, it’s a weird thing getting used to freedom.

I refuse to be defined by a man. I will not let the social norm that a woman should be unhappy alone affect me. Instead I’ll take the ‘male stance.’ I’ll be proud that I can play the field and flirt, I’ll revel at my ‘girls-nights-out’ and how much fun I have being single, I’ll brag about my independence, and boast that I’m not tied down. I do not need a man to make me happy. No, I’m perfectly fine watching my movie, drinking my wine, and eating my chocolates, without having to share.

Happy Valentine's Day
-Courtney M. Myers


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