All the Single Ladies: A Valentine’s Day Letter

Dear Me in 1996,

Happy Valentine’s Day. Don’t roll your eyes. You’re not above Valentine’s Day. I know, I know, it’s so commercialized and such an obvious ploy by stores to make money on sentiment. You’ll totally torch your final in Feminist Messages in the Postmodern Media this semester.

Also, you’re getting a little annoying.

Plus, if you’re honest with your postmodern self, you’re feeling down this Valentine’s Day. You’re alone, you’re not dating anyone, and you’re thinking everyone else has it better. Perk up. Here’s my advice, and I’m MUCH smarter now and A LITTLE LESS annoying, so you should listen:

1. Start dating Marc as soon as possible. Stop thinking he has an angle because how else could he be that nice and untroubled and funny without being cynical?! There’s no angle. He’s just really that great.

2. Trust your instinct that you’ll want to end up with a man who can laugh with you. A lot. Marriage is hard and life is hard. You’re going to need to laugh. (Hint: The boy you dated last year who is into Sylvia Plath and dark poetry? He’s not a laugher.)

3. Eat that bag of Hershey’s Kisses. The whole bag. DO IT. You’ll never know the difference in 1996, and I’m afraid you will in 2016.

4. To that end, start wearing a lot of Spandex. You won’t be able to do that in 2016 either.

5. Relax. You can’t hurry things like falling in love and finding the person with whom you’ll build your life. When you finally figure out that Marc is just that person, you will be so, so glad you waited for a man like him (*though you will have to go through his clothes and help him never buy the color “oatmeal” again).

He’s the kind of guy who will carry heavy things for you with care, both your too-big luggage in the airport and your broken, scarred heart. He will want you to chase your dreams, even the crazy ones, and he won’t even act surprised when they come to be. He will be the kind of man who apologizes to his wife and kids when he screws up, and he will be ready to dance in your family photo just because he knows you want to. He will love you. Turns out, that’s enough for most days, and when it’s not, he will stay and walk through whatever valley faces you both.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Single Lady. Go ahead and make that stuffed bear into a voodoo pin cushion today, but hold on. Good things are coming and if you’re smart, you won’t let him go.

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