I just got home from my first official date with myself in Chicago. I’m a helluva date!
All day, I spoiled myself.
I only did things I wanted to do.
I went to Starbucks and got my favorite Greek yogurt with honey, and a White Chocolate Mocha with Raspberry. Then I drove 20 miles north to my favorite bookstore, and bought two bad ass books for $5.
Then I went to my parents’ place for dinner, and they each gave me a Valentine card. It was hilarious, neither of the cards fit!
“They’re too big for the envelope,” my step-mom Diane said, laughing at the misshapen cards. And I quoted that in the headline because honestly, I feel that way about this V-Day. It was simply too much fun for one day, too great to describe in words alone. So I’m going to add some pictures!
They had the cutest cookies:
And we ate a normal dinner, and had a light conversation and it was perfect. I’m so blessed that my parents are NOT on my case about getting married, or even finding a relationship. They don’t pressure me to have any kids. They just accept me as I am, and want me to be happy. Both of them married later in life, and they want me to ENJOY being single and wait until I meet someone who is really right for me. They both have a strong Catholic faith, that’s a big part of it too. They believe that what is meant to happen, will happen.
I truly believe I’m exactly where I need to be, right now. And that makes it so much easier. When you know your life is on track toward something good, all you have to do is relax and let it happen.
After dinner, I dashed off to get a manicure at a local salon a few miles down the road. I got a 7:30 p.m. appointment, and the nail technician was bubbly and fantastic. I picked out a bright red for the holiday, and we bonded over being single on V-Day and trash talking about the Kardashians, the family everyone loves to loathe! We both believe that Kim and Kanye’s baby will be the next Anti-Christ.
Then my bestie Veronica called me, and I told her I wanted to take myself out in Chicago. Being the awesome planner that she is, she said she’d text me a few ideas of places to go! I wanted to get out of J-town and hit up a coffee shop, NOT a bar! I went home and mapquested two of them, changed into something Chicago worthy, and took off!
I started out with The Worm Hole, a place I’d heard about that has an ’80s nostalgia theme.
Miraculously, there WAS parking, and it was late enough the meters were expired. I walked a few blocks and enjoyed the peace of being ALONE–at night– on purpose, in Chicago. I talked to someone on the street while walking, and we had a friendly chat until I got there.
I knew this was my kinda place immediately. The Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man greeted me from a shelf directly inside the cafe. I walked around like a total dork, marveling and taking pictures. There were cute valentine cards taped on the wall for the baristas, from customers.
And a hilarious sign mocking Justin Bieber on the door. I’m SO going back to this place.
I got some chamomile tea and sat down on a couch next to a dude sitting on his laptop. I took out some books, but decided for once NOT to read them. I complimented his leather backpack, and we talked easily. He had just moved to Chicago from Houston a month ago, and he loves it!
Then I went to my next destination- a cafe which turned out to be closed. But there was a bar nearby, so I just ventured in to Revolution Brewing instead. I had almost given up bars for Lent– thank God I didn’t! It was the perfect way to end my date.
After a quick walk-around, I asked the hostess if I could sit alone at a table by the window. She agreed and I ordered just a glass of water and a dessert: Chai Panna Cotta with blood orange sherbet, honey-wit oranges, and almond tuille.
Last Valentine’s Day, I had bought myself a gorgeous scarlet journal and begun it that day. This year, I began a new journal that I already had bought– one that inspired me. It has quill plumes on the cover, with words like “Discovery,” “Inspiration,” and “Motivation” on it. I wrote a quick first entry, in red pen. I wrote myself an inscription inside it:
I luxuriously stretched my legs out to the chair across from me, and savored my dessert. The server brought me TWO spoons, but I happily pushed the extraneous one to the side.
I quickly blogged via my iPhone, before midnight. I decided then and there that I would blog every day for 40 days, and THAT would be my Lenten promise for 2013. Previously, I was going to STOP blogging– but I just can’t! This blog is my valentine, it makes me happy. I wrote a little in my journal, but just the name of the dessert and description of it. Then I decided to again, NOT be absorbed by my phone or books, and just look around and enjoy myself. A small group left a prime spot: a barrel table by a FIREPLACE. I moved my stuff over and asked the hostess if it was okay- and it was. I set up my stuff for a picture, and a woman nearby got my attention and asked why I was taking pictures.
I told her that I was on a date with myself for V-Day, and she smiled. Her name is Jessica.
“Does that mean you don’t want to sit with us?” I thanked her and re-located! There were about six of them all together, and they were all friendly, stylish, and we got along great. They were a mix of social workers, a teacher, and a free-lance reporter with lots of great ideas on how to get back into the business! I probably chatted with them about an hour.
I hopped on 90/94 East to head home, and rocked out to The Breakfast Club Soundtrack and Billy Idol all the way home.
Yeah, I can honestly say this is the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.
I made it about ME, not looking for attention for moping around. I was open to talking to people, not pre-occupied with looking like I wasn’t alone. And by doing that, I DID meet people and had a blast.
I’m going to date myself more often! And blog it. With pictures!
Unrelenting Valentine love.