1|  Hamilton-inspired Valentine’s!!!


2|  THIS!  Maris Kreizman wrote a fantastic piece that tears to pieces all the dumb platitudes people say to singles, which is aptly summarized in her title: “I Found Love Because I Got Lucky, Not Because I Changed Myself.”


1|  My favorite kind of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re getting ready for a date or settling in for an evening of treating yourself, there’s always time for some Internet goodies!  Waste away the day with these Valentine’s Day-related links.

There you go!  Enjoy the Internet, and enjoy whoever you’re spending Valentine’s Day with, even and especially if that person is yourself!

Valentine’s Week Posts
February 8: How to Plan a Galentine’s Day Party
February 9:  Top 6 Romantic Songs
February 10:  Top 6 Heartbreak Songs
February 11:  “Romance” in Senegal
February 12:  Top 8 Romantic Books
February 13:  A Romantic Ideal:  Harold and Jean Stark
February 14:  Happy Valentine’s Day!

A Romantic Ideal: Harold and Jean Stark

I tend to have an unhealthy view of romantic relationships, either by idolizing them and assuming marriage will solve all my problems or by demonizing them and assuming marriage is a playground of horror.  Thankfully, I have men and women in my life who model healthy relationships.  None more so than my grandparents, Harold and Jean Stark.

DSC00042I once asked them to describe the hardest thing about marriage.  “Oh, it’s not that hard,” Grandma said.

“What?  Come on.  What do you fight about?” I asked.

Grandpa drummed his fingers against the table.  “We don’t fight.”

Grandma covered his hand with hers, cutting off the repetitive noise.  “Stop that, Harold.  Well, I get mad with how fidgety he is.  But that’s pretty much it.”

I think there is a 100% chance that they have fought at some point in their marriage.  But after 61 years of living together, I find it extremely adorable that those times of animosity have faded into something inconsequential.  Continue reading

Top 8 Romantic Books

When life is not giving me what I want, I almost always turn to books to meet my emotional needs.  Romance is no exception.  I can almost stand being alone when I can live vicariously through the banter between Jane and Mr. Rochester.  Healthy?  Probably not.  But sometimes a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

1)  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I am aware that it’s problematic to love a relationship founded on lies.  But…what can you do?  I remember being shocked that Jane Eyre was written in 1847.  The dialogue between Jane and Mr. Rochester sparks with wit and sexual tension, and I was immediately hooked.  I also really love the character of Jane; her self-confidence and devotion to doing what’s right is incredibly admirable.  It doesn’t hurt that she’s plain but winds up catching the eye of a rich man either, hey-o!!

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

Continue reading

Top 6 Heartbreak Songs

If love is one of the best emotions a person can experience, then losing love must be one of the worst.  Thankfully, no one is alone in their bitter pity parties.  If this Valentine’s Day is a painful one for you, then once again the answer is music!  I suggest these six songs if you need to scream out your heartbreak.

1)  Not in That Way by Sam Smith
My favorite blogger Sashayed linked to this song before Sam Smith’s album was released, and I listened to it at least fifty times.  In one sitting.  As a perpetual piner, I adored the fact that someone was singing about loving someone who didn’t love them back.  It is my heartbreak jam, and I revel in feeling less alone in my rejection.

I’d never ask you cause deep down I’m certain I know what you’d say You’d say I’m sorry believe me I love you but not in that way

Continue reading

Top 6 Romantic Songs

Is romance even possible without music?  The right song can put you in the mood or else help you process and relive the romance after the fact.  As Valentine’s Day draws nearer, it is of extreme importance that your playlists are ready and romance-ified.  Here are six songs that perfectly capture what I love about love.  Click on the title of each song to listen to it!

1)  The Gambler by Fun.
This is my favorite romantic song of all time, because it’s the story of completed love.  It’s easy to believe in the first blush of attraction, but my heart really swoons at this story of a married couple with grown children looking back at their beginning and forward to their ending.  It’s absolutely beautiful.

You come home from work, and you kiss me on the eye
You curse the dogs, you say that I should never feed them what is ours
So we move out to the garden, look at everything we’ve grown
And the kids are coming home so I’ll set the table; you can make the fire

Continue reading

Plan a Galentine’s Day Party

Galentine’s Day is a holiday created by Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation.  She formed the girl-centric celebration on February 13th, a day for your best lady friends before spending Valentine’s Day with your boyfriend.  As someone who doesn’t have a boyfriend, I’m tweaking her holiday a little to make it a replacement for Valentine’s Day.  It can be extremely hard to sit alone, refreshing your Facebook feed to see new pictures of happy couples celebrating their love.  Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Galentine’s Day is a chance to party with your friends and remember that no matter the messages culture sends you:  you are not alone!  Continue reading