this day comes and goes every year. and every year i write some brave little toaster that could blog about how I am unaffected by the Hallmark-endorsed charade of love that is February 14. Every year I boldly declare how I may be alone but I am not lonely, that I would rather dress in black and drink red wine and man-bash and go out dancing with my other single girlfriends, that I’m happy I’m not involved in the forced romantic sentiments and consumerist facade.

Every year by trying to convince you, reader, I am really trying to convince me that I am good enough, I am smart enough, and gosh darnit one day someone is going to like me long enough to date me long enough to hit at least one major holiday.

this year is different. I am, of course, trying to fall in love with every guy I meet. I am, of course, binging everyday on conversation hearts candy (currently feeling a little shaky from all the sugar content…) and also trying to binge on chocolate as much as possible, since I’ve decided to give it up for Lent (but thank my Christian God I’m not Catholic, so I can drop out of Lent anytime I want). I think part of it is the traveling that has made me just not care that I’m single. There are so many bigger things going on than a happy hour or a night out. And I think its the economy, stupid, and the fact that I can’t find a job, and that last week 2,000 people stood in line for HOURS at a Kohls here in the Bay Area, everyone from high school drop outs to former CEOs, trying to get a job at Kohls. Freaking KOHLS.

Its the fact that I really truly would rather get silly with my girlfriends then have to worry about looking beautiful and buying a card that says something, but not too much…or should I get a gift? And where do we go for dinner? And what does this mean, I mean, are we dating? Do we have a title? Do your friends know we’re dating? Do your parents know we’re dating? Do you want to meet my parents? Do you ever think about marrying me, because I have already decided that my first child’s middle name is going to be Danger.

And lets be honest, I’m complicated enough on my own. No need to throw someone else into that madness. And having a boyfriend right now would reeeeeally cut into my craigslisting, Wii time, and eating my feelings.

So I drove down to Santa Barbara this last weekend, armed with red and white streamers, conversation hearts, heart-shaped brownies, and a killer Ipod mix. I had imagined my triumphant post-world-travel return to Santa Barbara with me being tan, thin, obviously cultured, dressed in some wild ethnic prints and saying things like “oh this bag? i worked as an apprentice to this blind indigenous lady in Panama, we created this together over a hot pot of yerba” and “this one time, when I was drowning while white water rafting in Costa Rica, I was rescued by the owner of Pinkberry.” (this story is actually somewhat true.) Alas, being neither thin or tan and wearing clothes purchased for me by my mom from Target in the year 2005, I decided to instead bring a positive outlook on my future in general and life in particular. And lots and lots of Rachel-sized hugs.

And beside the phone-breakage that made it impossible for anyone to get a hold of me after Saturday afternoon or so, I had a blast. We went out in our pajamas and danced our booties off on Friday, and you know that any night that includes dancing in the cages, and the deejay playing every Britney song we want, and ends in ordering twenty five dollars worth of food for three people at Taco Bell is a good night.

For actual Singles Awareness Day, I champagne brunched with some of my old work peeps, and then the girls and I went out to dinner on Saturday, brought champagne and cards, and decided to be the cool single girls and get crazy playing drinking games. And it only took ten or fifteen minutes of Kings Cup to realize that we’d brought a Pinnacle deck of cards, which only has 9-Ace in it. Whatever, we changed the rules, and made up some of our own, which included pretending Mallory had turrets all night, and making me Macarena Master, which meant that at any point in time and at any location, I could start the Macarena and everyone had to join in. You can imagine the fuss this created on State Street. Best. Rule. EVER.

Amazing weekend. I bottled up all the happiness, and I put it in my pocket, and I take it out and hold it in my hand when I need a smile.