For a single and unattached woman like me, February 14 was just another day in the calendar. I went about my usual routine, woke up at 6 am, start working on my projects from 10am to 3pm and go to the gym at 5pm. I went to the gym a little bit early as I know that there will be a lot of traffic on the road. True enough, the atmosphere in the city was very alive, I saw lots of flowers, teddy bears and chocolates lugged at the back of the motorcycles, or even hand-carried by men. When I arrived at the gym, I was surprised to see it almost empty. There were only about 8 persons inside it, and only 5 of us joined the cardio toning class. I could hear the movie being shown freely for the lovers dating at the courtyard, but I just ignored it.
After my workout, I decided to have my dinner at the mall since there’s nobody in our house as the people I’m living with attended a relative’s wake. The mall was abuzz with people, it was like Christmas again! I went straight ahead to my favorite Japanese restaurant since I suddenly craved for a Miso Butter Ramen. As I was walking towards the restaurant, I could see that the adjacent restos are all packed with people, but I was confident that I’d find an empty table at my destination. But alas, to my surprise, my favorite Japanese restaurant that was always almost empty every time I get my ramen fix, was almost full! So I was standing at the entrance, with my mouth open in awe, and suddenly found myself at a dilemma. “Should I go in, or should I just order food to go? But I don’t want to go home to an empty house and eat alone, and besides, I’m hungry.” I hesitated for a while, then I heard my tummy grumble, and my hunger pangs won over my indecisiveness. Mustering all my courage walked inside the resto with confidence and asked the waitress where she could accommodate me. She asked, “Are you with someone Mam?” I said, “No, it’s just me”, and she directed me to a seat at the center of the restaurant. I sat down, gave my order, and while I was waiting for it to arrive, I got my phone and nonchalantly checked my social media accounts while stealthily observing the diners. One table was made up of 3-4 matured women, who kept on asking the waitress for their orders, saying that they are waiting for so long and they are hungry. A couple in their twenties entered the restaurant looking tired from walking, asking for a table, and flopping immediately onto the seat located at the back of the restaurant. It was the first time in 4 years that I have been frequenting the place to see the other half of the restaurant being used for guests. I can hear the waitresses and frantic voices, shouting orders to the kitchen and giving instructions to each other. It was a crazy, busy time and couples, families kept coming in until the restaurant was fully occupied, and I was the only person dining alone.
My order came, not longer than 15 minutes, and I savored my favorite comfort food, eating alone and enjoying my solitude around the hustle-bustle of the restaurant, grateful that it didn’t take them long to prepare my meal. I thought to myself “If I were with someone, a friend or perhaps a boyfriend, it would probably take time to have our order, leaving us frustrated and hungry which for sure will destroy the mood of the day.” After paying for my order, I stood up and walked out of the restaurant feeling proud of myself for being brave to dine alone on Valentine’s day. It felt so liberating to be able to go against the norm on Valentine’s day, where single and unattached women are perceived to be depressed and lonely, staying home, wallowing in self-pity. As I was walking outside the mall, I promised to myself to do the same routine on Valentine’s Day. Go to the gym, have a killer workout, dine alone, and since it’s love day, I will love my simply awesome and joyful single life.