Valentine’s Day 2012

The only time I ever had a date on Valentine’s day, I was 17 years old. My boyfriend and I had broken up only a few weeks before and I was fairly devastated. But in true let’s pretend like I don’t really care fashion, I was talked into a first date on Vday with Charles. Charles was a sweetheart. He was a year younger, smoked cigarettes and played in a god awful metal band. He had long brown hair that shone in the stage lights as he head banged along to the music. When BFF Katie suggested a double date with her guy that she slept with sometimes, I said why not? Over slices at Burke Street Pizza, we had awkward mildly forced but not entirely unpleasant conversation. Afterwards we ran into folks at the hippest of high school spots, Borders. Here we saw the recent ex-boyfriend with his date. I spent the rest of the night staring creepily and longingly in their direction. Although Charles was a genuinely awesome dude, things obviously did not work out. And this for 8 years was my only Valentine’s Day experience that involved a member of the opposite sex.

This Valentine’s day, someone is actually planning something for me. And he won’t tell me what it is. I’m trying not to get too excited since my fella isn’t exactly the king of romance, but the idea that he’s actually putting thought into it is pretty awesome.

This year, I won’t dress in black. This year I won’t feel wistful. This year I’m probably going to get laid (if I play my cards right). This year I’m going to spend the evening with someone who loves me. I’m a little bit ridiculously excited.

Empowerment, Dinner and Dancing!

These were the primary components of my fantastic Valentine’s Day.

Empowerment:

What better way to spend your day of celebrating love by supporting others in need? One of my roommates is a caseworker at a domestic violence shelter. She took several of us with her to Capitol Day in downtown Austin, a march to the Capitol building to encourage Texas legislature not to cut funding to family violence and sexual assault services. The event was put on by Texas Council on Family Violence and Texas Association Against Sexual Assault and Mary Kay. It was incredibly educational.

  • In Texas 1 in 5 women¬† and 1 in 20 men are sexually assaulted.
  • In 2009 Texas saw 111 women killed by their intimate partner.

One rape occurs per hour here. Chances are someone you know has been affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. Support them any way you can.

Two brave women spoke about their experiences being raped to the marchers and the press. Their courage to share their stories was beyond incredible and beyond admirable. Their strength was so overwhelming that I am without words in trying to describe it. To read the tales of women who have been killed by their partners visit www.tcfv.org as well as for more information.

In the spirit of learning I spent the next couple hours after the rally at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Thanks to the guy who let me in for free! It’s a great museum but the main feeling I had when I left was- I need to watch more westerns!

Dinner:

Following my annual tradition of asking a close single female friend (previous Valentine superstar dates: Bonita Anita, Generous Jo,… my mom) to be Valentine, I asked one of my lovely roommates (same as above) to a nice dinner on the exciting date of February 14th.¬† To my surprise and total delight she treated me to dinner and margaritas at Iron Cactus which I would definitely recommend to anyone. Yes to the margaritas! Yes to the meatloaf! Yes to rooftop seating! So go there with ya sugar mama and have her buy you a very yummy meal.

Dancing:

Per Monday night tradition in Austin I followed my dinner date with some dancing at The Hole in the Wall. Despite being located on Guadalupe, The Hole feels like a different world from the campus chaos. There’s not a prominent college scene here, only a mix of ages, a mix of styles ranging from cowboy country to skinny jean hipster, usually a decent selection of music and well priced beers. Some Monday regulars include The Carper Family, sometimes Jenny and the Corn Ponies, and at midnight everyone’s two-steppin’ to Leo Rondeau. If you have any interest in beautiful vocals and well written country music then check it out. It’s certainly worth the $3 cover charge.

To my new love, Austin, TX: thanks for a wonderful Valentine’s! To anyone reading this: I hope someone somewhere reminded you that they think you’re special.