If you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day

by singlemomseeking on February 8, 2008

jane-ganahl.jpgThen plan a date with yourself. After work, I plan to hit a yoga class. On my way home, I’ll pick up the fixings for ice cream sundaes to share with my kid.

Recently, I asked Jane Ganahl — the “Single Minded” San Francisco Chronicle columnist and author of Naked on the Page: the Misadventures of My Unmarred Midlife — how she has spent her Valentine’s Days as a single mom:

“When my daughter was little and I’d face a Valentine’s Day with no romantic prospects, I’d take us both out to a nice dinner and tell her we could be each other’s Valentine.

It was well worth it in the message it gave her – that women don’t need a suitor to be happy – and in the reminder it gave ME: that the little paper heart she gave me contained more love than the sum of all my suitors combined.”


So, how are YOU spending Valentine’s Day?

Will you be at the local martini bar for the 21-and-older crowd?… Or, are your plans more G-rated?

Jane Ganahl has just sent me two copies of Naked on the Page: the Misadventures of My Unmarred Midlife. Leave a comment about how you’re going to spend Valentine’s Day, and two of you will win.

Photo of Jane Ganahl

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Judy March 14, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Hmmmm although only with a short amount of time and on that empty stomach I downed my 1st old-fashioned and ordered the second. As I started looking for the ideal spot to leave the valentine, while trying ti plan the timing of asking for the tab and picking up my daughter in time I panicked. With my jacket on I looked him dead center and said, “One morning you will wake up and I will be lying next to you and you will be smiling.” (OK it’s only been about 2 years since my last sexual encounter so cut me a little slack besides the fact that he is 20 years my junior so I am looking at some stiff 20’s competition) He replied with a rather baratone, ‘maybe” I then handed him the paperbag and said “Till you figure that out, here is a valentine for you.” I handed him the bag, rotated the bar stool and left, head held high, without paying the tab. I wonder what he thought when he pulled out the altered sealed jar of artichoke hearts but with my ‘designer’ label..to my fave bartender..artichoke (then a heart shape) complete with glitter glue.

After hearing nothing I returned to the bar a weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon…dressed differently with a manuscript and pen in hand giving me something to do other than stare embarrassingly and try to make up cute yet not trite conversation. After a very slow glass and a half of wine with minimal conversation I decided to leave. I gave the head jerk, glass push away and verbal “I’m done.” the response was. “You’re good” and he left to the back room without placing a tab in front of me. So I left again, without paying.

Free cocktails..I can flirt…


Bad Home Cook February 12, 2008 at 3:13 pm

Boy do I want a copy of that book! That’s why I’m even admitting to this story. My BF will be playing the flamenco guitar at the Playboy Mansion for its pre-Valentine’s day party Wednesday, hired for a huge sum of money (why he’s doing it, he says), but under the lustful eye of the Bunny events coordinator, who’s been obsessed with him for three years now, ever since they dated briefly. Great. Great. Great. Brings into stark relief the fact that I’m a 43-year-old single mommy of two and NOT a blond, busty, 28-year-old model.
So if I’m still speaking to him on VD, and provided I’m not passed out under my table, three bottles of Two-Buck Chuck under my lumpen body, then, well, I’ll let him come up with something worthy for me. I’ll have the kids in any case.
Ah, yes, my nits. I will be making them heart-shaped pancakes as well on the day itself, and will give them little paper valentines to mark the occasion. They’re who I really love, after all.
That’s my story. All true. Stay tuned.


Kelly February 12, 2008 at 11:34 am

It’s really just going to be another day for us. I’ll be working, then I’ll go home and have 20 minutes to get food into my daughter’s stomach before I have to take her to gymnastics practice. Then she’ll come home and we’ll hang out and watch TV together (YAY for Lost being back!). Works for me!

We already exchanged gifts over the weekend, knowing Thursday would be a busy day for us. She gave me a card she made in Girl Scouts (inside it she wrote “Thanks for always being there”, which I loved), and I gave her a bracelet, some candy and a Betty and Veronica comic book (I think she liked that last thing the best!). My parents gave me a cookie cake. Like I need the extra calories, but yum.

Who needs a date? I’ve got plenty of love in my life as it is!


Leslie February 12, 2008 at 8:15 am

I’m having lunch with my girlfriends and home in the evening, nothing too wild, just my usual Thursday date with Sawyer from LOST. The little one’s excited about his party and the 3-D bug Valentine’s he picked out so I’ll get to hear all about it 🙂


Amanda February 10, 2008 at 9:23 pm

First let me say that I have recently found your site and love, love, love it. It is so nice to be able to relate to someone else. Now I see many are sharing similar experiences.

Well this year for Valentine’s Day my two beautiful daughters and I are going out on the town with another single mom and her daughter. We are headed to dinner and a show. We are all very excited! I will definitely be surrounded by lots of love!


Susan February 10, 2008 at 4:06 pm

I’ll have the kids with me on Valentine’s Day, but I’ll be working as usual — and probably scrambling to get everything done that evening, as usual. I was thinking I’ll either take us out to eat, or make something they like for dinner (i.e., you can guess nothing too nutritional!) Mostly, it will be fun to just snuggle and read some of their VDay books.

On Friday and/or Saturday,I hope I’ll get to cash in the VDay rain check from the new beau who had to go to New Orleans on business for the week!


Judy February 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I get dinged twice in Feb as my birthday is the 13th. I remember BC when I loved feb because I got gifts two days in a row. This year I am spending my birthday running from a staff meeting to an evening science fair which I am sure my daughter is not yet prepared for. Then on Thursday, after a gym workout, my girl and I will have dinner out MAYBE. It depends upon her homework situation and my mood. However, I have covered my bases by making a valentine for a secret crush I have. I have time to visit his bar on Monday, have a quick drink and leave the valentine unsigned. It somewhat satisfies that romantic-care giving soul thinking how much more love I am giving by this age-old act of secret valentine giving. You can see I have been at this for many years (I think 12) to be able to talk myself into this belief!!! Oh and for my birthday, I will be celebrating it the weekend earlier because my teenager will be out of town with a youth group. Yes, some of this single parenting stress shifts as kids grow. So I am also out of town, in an inexpensive hotel where I don’t have to look at any chores, don’t have to cook and never have to clean. I am eating chocolate, sleeping late and feel no stress from anywhere!!


kb February 9, 2008 at 3:26 pm

I never made much of this day, even when having a significant other. I preferred to celebrate our love doing special things on the average Wednesday or Saturday morn, etc.

Being solo the last few V days hasn’t bothered me at all. I’ll make a nice dinner to share with my girls and then we’ll spend the eve doing something quiet at home.


Angie February 9, 2008 at 1:28 pm

I will make my annual red heart pancakes for breakfast, and after work is the first of a four week rock climbing course. Maybe there will be some single hotties in my class….


Hanie February 9, 2008 at 3:45 am

Rachel, Lyn has decided to have her V Day with her BF and she had the cheek to ask me about MY V Day! Not that there are any shortages of offers coming in through the sms-es but Im not quite sure how to go about on that V Day. Dinner, some wine , a bit of dancing maybe? Or maybe I should let go a bit and let the primal urges take its course? hmm….


bee February 9, 2008 at 1:42 am

I am more curious what single/divorced moms of teens do on Valentine’s Day. Sure, it’s easy to be pals with your kid when they are in elementary school and actually want to be with you, but what about after that? When they turn into completely different creatures? With zits? What then? Little kids make great stories such as Jane’s above. Teens are a bit more rough around the edges.

Using my child as a buffer against a Hallmark couples event by nature isn’t a solution that works for me. That sounds harsh, and I don’t mean it that way. I just mean it that way in terms of me. If I made my kid spend a “romantic” day with me, it would just feel weird.

I have a teenage son. His father will be spending Vday with his newly crowned fiancée. How lovely. Me? I will be spending it doing whatever I do on a typical Thursday, and so will my son. I think it would take a miracle for him to actually want to go out with his mother on Vday, so I’m just not going to make him do it.

I’m not saying it’s wrong for me to spend time with my son, but Valentine’s Day was never a special day for me, even when I am with someone special. And it feels even more awkward to try and make it special with my kid. We spend bonding time together, but it’s not on a holiday schedule. 🙂

But maybe I’ll make him sit down and share a bowl of popcorn for Survivor that day, or something similar. 🙂


Lauren February 8, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Well, I guess I technically won’t become a single mom until the end of March, but I’m spending Valentine’s Day evening with my mom at a childbirth class 🙂


Andrea February 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm

Hey Rachel,
I also do not have a date for Valentine’s Day. Mr. Tim Horton didn’t call. I am pretty lucky, however, as I get to spend Valentine’s Day with the two most gorgeous boys I have ever known. I am thinking a fun, chocolate-themed dinner: chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate milk, a little box of candy for each of them. And reminding myself that it is just a day, and there is certainly no lack of love in my life.


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