Feb 14, 2014, 06:27AM

Be Your Own Valentine

How to eat the “Be Mine” conversation heart all on your own.

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Relax, this isn’t an article about how you should go out and buy a Cupid-themed vibrator to take care of your own satisfaction today, though you should go for it if you’re into that. I’ll share a story that’s become a mini-life lesson albeit a complete celebration of selfishness.

When I was asylum-worthy freaked out from moving recently, I developed this small, simple survival strategy that I think could benefit all of us; over-commercialized “love” holiday and beyond. About a week before the move, I started making myself a housewarming basket. I don't know where I got the idea other than I had this really pretty basket that was used for the last decade and a half for unmatched socks. I threw the socks all out and thought, oh I could make a gift for someone with this basket. At same time, I was telling kids to pack “moving suitcases” which consisted of two-three days worth of clothes and favorite things so they wouldn’t have to hunt through boxes looking for key items until we got settled.

The thing that kept me motivated throughout the move from the frozen-pipe, haunted Victorian was the thought of gorgeous new Jacuzzi bathtub. I realized instead of a moving suitcase, I wanted an “I Survived Moving” gift basket. If I could manage to get the belongings of six people moved from Monster House to the country in the middle of a frigid winter, I would have a lovely basket filled with new towels, bath soaking goodies, good chocolate, single barrel whiskey, comfy slippers and lovely new candles waiting for me.

It was the kind of gift the best friend/lover/partner/spouse of your dreams would make you or you’d enjoy making them. Only sometimes in life, you need to be that person for yourself. My husband supported the effort; we took a break from packing one day to head to the outlets for bath supplies and chocolate and we added a memory-foam bath mat during a trip to the home improvement store.

I put the basket in the center of the tub on a quick visit to the house the night before the movers came, so it (and my daughter’s bird feeders and nesting boxes) made it to our new home before we did. All day as we packed and unpacked the moving truck, I thought about that basket and its matching bath, waiting for me. My oldest daughter pointed out that no one would’ve made me a gift basket that was as perfect as the one I’d made myself, and she was right. When you do something for yourself, you know what you like best.

Anyway, I'm still unpacking the last of the banana boxes but wanted to share this life lesson I learned from moving: why can’t we all just do for ourselves the kinds of things we wish other people would do for us? No one knows what we want more than we do. I’m still enjoying the most amazing gift basket I've ever given... and received.


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