[I write this post with love as I was once a V-Day hater myself.]
Perhaps no holiday triggers quite as much backlash as Valentine's Day. Log on to any form of social media, and you're bound to see people moaning and complaining about how this candy-covered holiday should be outlawed. I'm here to tell you today, I'm sick of it. Yes, Hallmark holidays are silly and commercial and designed to stimulate the economy, but let's face it, people, we sometimes overlook the obvious and neglect the important. We forget to say "thank you" or "I love you" and we don't take time to slow down to drink a beer or savor a meal with the people we care about in our lives. I say, any event that causes us to pause for a second and recognize the good that surrounds us is not all bad.
Now, listen. You are a grown-ass adult. You can choose to participate or not participate in pretty much all of life's activities (except if you're my friend and it's my birthday, then you are absolutely obligated to participate, them da rules). If you don't want to go out and buy pink paper notes and out-of-season flowers and cardboard hearts filled with
Married and happily coupled folks, let's start with you. When couples complain about Valentine's Day, a single person hears:
"God damn it, I found someone I love who loves me back. I get to wake-up next to that motherf*cker every day and realize how fortunate I am that I locked down a person who puts up with my crap and doesn't run out of the room screaming. Man, IT SUCKS. Why would I want to celebrate a day that recognizes the rarity of love? Instead, I'd prefer to tell you how stupid the day is despite the fact that you've been searching for what I've got for the greater part of two decades. Screw you and February 14."
So, yeah. If you are part of a couple, maybe you want to think about just rolling over with your stinky morning breath, laying a wet one on your lover and saying, "I love your shit. Damn, we're lucky." Or MAYBE, you can find one of your single friends and tell *them* how adored and loved they are, because, trust me, as a single person, you don't hear that enough. Otherwise, I'd say it's best to keep ye olde mouth shut.
Moving on to the single folk. Onesies, I have a hard truth for you: Self-pity does not look good anyone. Seriously. When you mope and pout about the injustice of life and your sad condition, people don't feel sorry for you. They want to poke you in the eye with a pen or seal your mouth in duct tape. And despite the fact that you think you are the only person in the history of the world to be deprived of love, there are actually more single adults in America at any given time then there are hitched folks. Furthermore, even if you WERE in a relationship, it doesn't necessarily mean it's all love and happiness. Exhibit A:
|Do you want to be Rihanna just to be in a relationship? (If you answered "yes" to this question, maybe look into therapy.)|
Might I suggest you focus on the myriad of other ways there is love in your life on February 14? Self-love, platonic love, pet love, parental love: really...if you don't have at least one of these, then you are a serial-killer. Invite a friend over for dinner, pamper yourself with a massage, cuddle with a pet, call your mother, or just get out your damn vibrator (probably should not have listed those last two in that order), but stop complaining about how much you hate Valentine's Day. It's one day, not a genocide in sub-Saharan Africa. Perspective, everyone, perspective.
I encourage you, readers, to think back to Valentine's Day as a child. Were you irritated by the pressure to be romantic or find a mate or purchase the perfect item? No. No, you weren't. You just wanted your little homemade-paper-bag-mailbox to be filled with white envelopes and know that people liked you. Even the cards that the snotty-nosed kid who always left his lunchbox in the cafeteria forgot to sign were fun. Little tiny pieces of evidence that you were appreciated, you were accepted or, maybe, you were even loved.
Remember that everyone still wants to feel that way and maybe your February 14 will suck less this year.
And if not, shut up about it already.
CARAMEL-CHOCOLATE OATMEAL BARS
I featured this recipe on my blog in its early days and recently realized I forgot an ingredient (the egg). They are so decadent, they are also worth repeating. If you're feeling unloved, make these for some body. I guarantee they'll get you recognized.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 14 oz. package of Kraft Caramels (I guess another brand could work, but I've never tried one), unwrapped
1/3 cup cream or milk
1 12 oz. package of chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, salt, baking soda and brown sugar with a wooden spoon. Using a knife, cut in butter and using wooden spoon combine. Mixture should be a little clumpy/crumbly. You do not want to it be smooth or you will lose the texture.
2. Grease with butter a 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread 1/2 of the oatmeal mixture in the bottom of greased pan. Don't worry if there are a few gaps, mixture will spread out.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (until just golden). Meanwhile, heat unwrapped caramels with milk/cream in a small pot over low heat on the stove. Stir constantly. DON'T leave caramel alone or it will burn.
4. After crust is golden, remove from oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips in a layer on crust. Drizzle caramel over layer of chocolate chips. Finally, dab remaining 1/2 of oatmeal mixture over the caramel.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for another 20-25 minutes until top crust is golden as well.
6. Cool for 1 hour at room temperature. Store in refrigerator (you may want to take them out about an hour before serving to soften a little).