For Valentine’s Day this year, we asked the Shapermint team to share the best love stories they knew as a cool way to spread love around the office. The following is the winner and had us all swooning all week. Just a word of advice, though: you’re in for a rollercoaster ride. Brace yourself!
As much as I’ve spent the last 35 years of my life pointing an accusatory finger at it, today is Valentine’s Day. And instead of thinking of my own loved one back at home and what cheesy way to celebrate this year, all I can think of is of my friend Chelsea.
Part I - Girl Meets Boy
Eleven years ago -give or take- Chelsea met a boy, who we’ll call… I don’t know, Zack. He was hooked at first sight. Chelsea had a meet-cute as well, but with his best friend. And yet, as it generally goes in great love stories, Chelsea and Zack magically happened. Against all odds, they ended up together.
I found out because, during a late-night birthday party in late February, I asked Chelsea if she could introduce me to the hottie that had just walked through the door. She said sure and introduced him as her boyfriend.
I’m lucky we go way back.
Part II - Girl Gets Married to Boy
Zack and Chelsea surfed through all the ups and downs of life as a couple beautifully. They didn’t fight that much. They lived an exemplary love that followed the traditional eras and cycles of our time. One good day, they decided to move in together. They got a dog. They attended double dates and social events galore. They shared their fries. They got married. They started planning for their first child. They were one of those couples that let you tag along without feeling like a third wheel. They were realists; human. They never gave unsolicited advice. Even the most cynic of cynics couldn’t help but wish them the best.
Until, one good day, six months after saying “I do”, that good for nothing scumbag Zack dumped my friend for a newer version of her with longer legs.
Part III - Boy Needs to Be High Fived. In the Face. With a Chair
Of course there’s a lot more to this story and, if we really want to be mature about it, we can say that they both had their fair share of the blame. But ain’t nobody got time for that. I sincerely and honestly hope Zack reads this and bursts up in flames of shame. I’m not one to hate on anyone, but let’s just say I would be OK with fast food joints getting his order wrong from now to eternity, or his server always bringing him regular soda instead of the diet variety. Or that he gets attacked by birds during his next walk in the park. You know, the usual.
Part IV - The Aftermath
Chelsea was devastated at first, of course. But, after some (short) time, something amazing happened. Instead of staying in crying at rom-coms on Netflix, Chelsea started to go out for walks. She started to meet up with friends. She had fun, got back her laugh. She went back to old hobbies that were hidden in her single-girl closet. She started to enjoy the feeling of having a whole order of fries just to herself. Instead of waking up early to go to her in-laws for lunch on Sundays, she became once again acquainted with the magic of sleeping in.
She got her life back. She started being herself without apologizing to anyone. She started feeling happy again. And what did we, her friends, do? Instead of celebrating her progress, we started to worry. “Is Chelsea out of her mind?” we asked. “Has she lost her head? Is she trying to put a stiff upper lip while suffering in silence? Poor Chelsea.”
Part V - Girl Doesn’t Need Your Pity
What idiots. It’s a real shame that, sometimes, women need to face mandatory singlehood to learn that true happiness and true love can never depend on someone else. Love and happiness need to grow from within and shine their light on who you have by your side. It’s so easy to forget this when someone makes you happy. But in the wise words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell can you love somebody else - can I get an A-men?”
It’s happened to me. I’m sure it’s happened to a lot of other people as well.
But here’s the thing - it didn’t happen to Chelsea. Chelsea ended up being a lot smarter than all of us. She wasn’t losing her mind. Simply put, she always enjoyed her fair share of self-love and wasn’t willing to love herself any less after what happened. And I, her friend, her “Oooh-social-conventions-suck-long-live-freedom” friend, instead of seeing what was happening right in front of me, obviously jumped to the conclusion that Chelsea was lying. I actually felt sorry for her.
Part VI - The Apology
*I* am sorry, Chelsea.
We live in a society that says we need to be extremely humble, and that the worst thing that can happen to us is being alone. And we’re bombarded with this message so much, for so long, that even I sometimes believe it. But Chelsea, my friend, reminds me that this isn’t true. And that, with Valentine’s Day painting the world pink right now, it would be more than OK to celebrate our most important relationship: the one we have with ourselves.
Today, we think we’ll do just that: celebrate Valentine’s Day while watching something on Netflix, munching down on an entire order of fries and thinking about all the things we truly love about ourselves. Those of us in relationships hope our significant others want to do the same: celebrate their own self-love, right by our sides, sharing our fries. And those of us who don’t - that’s OK. It’s never the end of the world. More fries for us!
Happy Valentine’s Day!