On Valentine's Day

        What are you doing February 14?  If you happen to be single, that may be a question you dread. Valentine's Day is supposed to be a time for couples to be together (regardless of whether or not they both want that). The pressure is on to shop, spend money and give each other lots and lots of Romantic Stuff.

          If you have nothing special planned for February 14, I think that's fine. Why should anyone be unhappy about that? It may be my own narcissism, but I think I'm in good company when I am by myself.

          Spending time alone should not be a cause for weeping, swallowing half gallons of chocolate ice cream, or binging on rom-coms. My friend Sara, age 63, happy and productive, has a large circle of friends and family, yet she prefers living alone. On February 14th this year, she will be taking a long-awaited vacation, by herself. She's really looking forward to it.

          Yet it seems we aren't supposed to think the way I do, or make the choice Sara made.  If we're alone, eyebrows are raised. We’re expected to feel some kind of personal devastation if we’re not intimately connected with someone special.

          Don't buy it. If you happen to be alone this year on Valentine's Day, you're not required to feel bad about it. Celebrate yourself.