Love, Checkout Girl style

Are you crazy in love or just plain crazy? Even though my track record with amore is, shall we say, less than stellar, I respect you, either way.

The truth is, I’ve never been a Valentine’s Day person.

From my history of bad relationships to my years as a florist, the holiday was more something to be dreaded than celebrated. And I snidely looked down on anyone who was enough of a rube to buy into all the nonsense.

Cards? Gag.

Candy? Barf.

Jewelry? Too funny.

Candle lit dinners for two? As if.

Flowers? Don’t get me started.

But this year I’ve made a few resolutions, and even though it’s February, they are still intact:

  1. Stop calling people “rube.”
  2. Be happier.

Now I know that while you’ll appreciate number one, especially if you are a rube, number two seems kind of vague. It’s that way intentionally. I don’t want to define my happiness.

After all, in January it meant things like: eating better; getting out of the house more; terrifying myself by performing standup for the first time; and spending time, every day, playing the ukulele. In February, it could mean: cooking at home more, finally cleaning my floors, knitting a scarf, finishing the first chapter of the book my editor is waiting on, and cutting myself some goddamn slack. By December, this could mean: learning the trapeze; writing a play; taking my dog for regular walks; and having a holiday season during which I don’t cry–not even once.

Happiness is elusive and ever-changing, but part of happiness, for me, is allowing other people to be happy too.

Having seen and done, maybe not it all, but a whole lot of it, my eyes have always tended to glaze over while the heart sick are waxing poetic about their beloveds. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I know how this story ends.

But, so what if you’re over the moon about a guy we both know cheated on you, twice,1 and you want to cook him the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner? Who cares if you’re in love with a girl who has told you, repeatedly, that she is not interested, and you want to buy her a(nother) dozen roses? What’s the big deal if you are agonizing over what to get the husband who, on every other day of the year, you refer to as “the asshole”?

And what if–just what if–it’s true love?

Even though I’m single, I recognize at this point in my life that true love is real, and more importantly, that it is different for every one of us. Maybe the story doesn’t always have to end the same way. Maybe your love is different. Maybe it’s exactly the same and you don’t need a big, fat reality check about it.

Tennyson said “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all”. I’ve surprised myself by growing into someone who agrees. I’d rather be an idiot for love than a genius who never had the opportunity to experience those feelings: the euphoria, the heart palpitations, the genital warmth. Everyone should get a little piece of that.

So, go! Love foolishly, love intelligently, but most importantly, be happy.

I’ll be here, on the sidelines, to cheer you on, pick you up when you fall, then cheer you on again. Hardly judging you, at all.

Happy Valentine’s Day, rubes.

— ∮∮∮ —


  1. We know this because both times you caught him red handed (handed? you wish) you called me in the middle of the night swearing revenge. 


Photo by: D Sharon Pruitt

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The Checkout Girl

The Checkout Girl is Jennifer Lemons. She’s a storyteller, comedian, and musician. If you don’t see her sitting behind her laptop, check the streets of Richmond for a dark-haired girl with a big smile running very, very slowly.

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