GUEST BLOGGER: MANUELA BARCELOS
Manuela is the ESL/Academic Skills Specialist in the OAS. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family, leisurely dinners with friends, and keeping up with all the NBC Chicago episodes.
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – as sweet as the chocolate you buy for yourself
Some years ago I went to dinner with a female friend on Valentine’s Day. When we walked in the door, the hostess was seating patrons – mostly couples- and handing them a rose. We were seated but didn’t get a rose. Once the dinner rush was over, the hostess made her way around the restaurant to double-check that everyone – everyone but us apparently – had received a rose. Of course we were surrounded by couples on this occasion, as expected, and while we laughed off being shunned by the hostess, we also questioned why we didn’t get one. It’s possible we could’ve been a same-sex couple and even if we weren’t, were we not rose worthy because we weren’t a couple? Either way, it was discriminatory so we left with a bad taste in our mouths (though the food was reeeeeally good) and made a pact to never return – no matter how good the filet mignon was!
It’s seems that the Valentine’s pressure to be part of a plus-one has mounted over the years. Santa has barely hung up his suit before engagement commercials take over the airwaves and stores stock up on Valentine’s décor and gifts. I recently read that the traffic on dating sites triples in the weeks leading to Valentine’s Day. Oh, I can hear the soothing sounds of John Legend singing, “Love me quickly, quickly…like the world’s about to end, baby, quickly.”
What’s with all the pressure?
Aristophanes, the Greek playwright, told a mythical story in which he described how humans once looked. Humans used to have 2 heads, 4 legs, and 4 arms. In essence, 2 conjoined bodies. When humans became negligent and failed to worship the gods, we were punished by Zeus who cut us in half. We have since been left with a void and wander about aimlessly searching for our other half.
Ok, so that mythical story might explain where the pressure comes from in our quest for a “better half.”
If you find yourself succumbing to the pressure, here are some tips to help alleviate it.
- Laughter is the best medicine: Watch a comedy flick or your favorite stand up comedian. Laughter reduces stress and helps with immunity. And it’s heart healthy – how appropriate for Valentine’s Day!
- Treat yourself: Get that sparkly thing you’ve had your eye on or that new gaming console you’ve been meaning to buy.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: Just because people are paired-off, it doesn’t mean they are happy. It’s important to work on being happy with yourself first. Just like mama says, better alone than in bad company.
- Get the feel good flavor of chocolate: Chocolate releases endorphins to the brain and makes you feel good!
- Buy yourself that rose: Don’t wait in vain for the hostess to come around.
In other words, you can make it the day of the year that you set aside to take extra special care of yourself.
“Be good to yourself ‘cause nobody else has the power to make you happy.” ~ George Michael
Happy Valentine’s Day!