Single For Valentine’s Day

My favorite holiday is this week! I am so excited that we only have two days until Valentine’s Day, but I am well aware that a lot of people are either dreading the day or just not looking forward to it. Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days of the year — despite being single for many of them. It’s great having a holiday that’s just meant to show how much you love the people in your life.

Here are an few fun ideas of things to do if you are single this Valentine’s Day:

1. Treat yourself to a massage. Couples massages are great, but you don’t need a date to have a relaxing day. If anything going alone just means you can take your time and enjoy the sauna and other amenities a spa has to offer before your treatment.

2. Binge watch a show and order delivery. This was one of my favorite things to do to relax when I was living on my own in New York. I loved watching Gossip Girl with a pizza from Joe’s and top it all off with a cupcake from Sprinkles. Now, there are a million different murder mysteries on Netflix, The Office and Parks and Rec both have great Valentine’s Day episodes, or there’s always The Hallmark Channel for hopeless romantics.

3. Splurge on expensive truffles. One of the best things I’ve gotten for Valentine’s Day was an enormous box of Godiva truffles. I used to think they were overpriced (And I mean, they totally are), but it’s worth it for a one-time thing.

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4. Go dessert hopping by yourself or with a friend. Check out Yelp for the highest-rated places and taste a few things from each of them. Bring a box to keep the leftovers for the next day!

5. Deliver Valentines to your friends and family. Valentine’s Day has always been a day to celebrate the ladies in my life. My mom and I have always gone all-out for this pink and red holiday, and several of my friends like celebrating it with me, too! I usually celebrate a few different days to get all of my Galentines in, but it’s also a lot of fun to see friends’ faces when you deliver something on February 14th.

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A few Valentines from last year!

So whether or not you have a date this Thursday, make it a day to just love yourself and splurge a little. It’s always so much fun to have things to look forward to in life, and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to just be excited about all of the love you have in your life. I hope you all have a fantastic day, and feel free to tell me what you’re going to be doing in the comments!

Behind The Scenes Vs. Highlight Reels

One of my last posts was all about comparison when it comes to body image, but today I want to talk about comparing your love life to others’. Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, and I absolutely loved seeing all the posts with pretty things, sweet words, and romantic gestures. I also always look forward to the single posts about treating yourself or having friends as Valentines. It has been my favorite holiday since exchanging little notes and mini candy bars in grade school, and I prepare for the holiday the same way many do for Christmas.

This year Valentine’s Day fell on a really bad day for me. I had a bunch of doctor’s appointments, including an evening one that went until 7:30, and I didn’t have much of an idea of when I would be finished beforehand. Since I knew I would be absolutely exhausted, I told Robert I wanted to keep things low key and that we’d just have to play things by ear the evening of and do something for Valentine’s the following weekend.

As the day went on, though, and I kept seeing how people were celebrating I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Ahhhh, no, I thought. Am I really starting to compare my day to what I am seeing on social media? I’ve always been pretty level-headed when it comes to taking everything I see with a grain of salt, but I guess my deep love for Valentine’s Day was beginning to get to me. It didn’t help that I had gotten bad news in the middle of the day (I have to protect the privacy of the person involved so will not be talking about it), so I was kind of cranky.

Poor Robert, I thought as I realized there wasn’t much of a chance he’d win the day.

I regretted my decision to not celebrate on Tuesday, and although I was genuinely happy for my friends who were going on super-fun dates that night, I wished that would be me too. I wished I would have canceled one of my appointments, and I wished I would’ve just chosen to have a normal day of celebrating, rather than feeling sick after my physical therapy appointment. I had become the girl we all giggle at — the one who says not to worry about doing anything, but doesn’t really mean it. Yes, I had meant it at the time, but who would have thought my mind would change so fast?! Oh, that’s right. Anyone who has been in this situation before would have known. Now I know what that “crazy” girl feels like and why people always advise guys to ignore whatever they say. There was a hilarious episode of The Kane Show on Valentine’s Day about guys who listened to their girlfriends about not wanting to celebrate this year, and then regretted it because the girls all of a sudden flipped a switch and wanted to do something. Apparently I was not the only one.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about this because my Valentine’s Day post got over 100 likes (Which is a decent amount for my social media accounts), and everyone knows I have a boyfriend and am not celebrating alone this year. From an outsiders perspective, I have it all going for me, and I was one of the people who had the “perfect Valentine’s Day.”

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The problem with our generation and social media is that we are comparing our own “behind the scenes” moments — hardships included — to other people’s highlight reels.

We have these expectations of life that are completely unrealistic because we are so used to seeing perfection in the online world around us. Life is not perfect, nor is love. They are both beautiful, but a big part of that is learning to love one another through the imperfections and rough patches.

Now, just to be clear, Robert did take me out to dinner and did give me a very sweet Valentine’s Day present. One thing I do really love about him is that he treats me so well every day of the year, so I do think he’s hard to beat for a special occasion. This post isn’t at all bashing the evening we had together, rather I am trying to make a point that you absolutely cannot compare your own very real life to the lives you see crafted online.

Today’s lesson: I said it in my last post, and I’ll say it again. “Comparison is the thief of joy” (–Theodore Roosevelt). The more you can live in the present and focus on yourself, the more you will learn to feel content with what you have, rather than longing for things you do not have.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s my favorite day of the year! This Valentine’s Day has gotten off to a bit of a rough start. I had a hard time sleeping last night, and this morning when Macy came over to wake me up it took a lot longer than normal for me to wake up and get out of bed. When you have POTS you really have to take your time getting up and out of bed, especially when you haven’t had a lot of sodium, as your vision blacks out and there’s always a chance of fainting.

Anyway, I had my normal breakfast and then hurried off to physical therapy, which was quite a bit more difficult than normal. I feel so exhausted and my shoulders and arms hurt more than usual again.

Enough complaining, though! The best parts of today so far have been getting treated to a molten lava hot chocolate, getting home and having the best lunch (an enormous salad), homemade chocolate strawberries, and watching my favorite Valentine’s Day episode of The Office  (Season 2 where Phyllis gets a million things from Bob Vance, lmao!) before going over to watch my neighbors’ kids. I also got some really sweet Valentine’s Day cards in the mail and was lucky enough for my ipsy box to come today… Hooray!

The thing I really love most about Valentine’s Day is seeing how happy all of my friends and family are. I love love, and although every couple has their ups and downs it’s great to see people spending time with those who really do mean the world to them. Even when I’m single it brings me great joy to see others happy. This year I do have a romantic Valentine, though, as well as a few dates with my girl friends this week. I am not one to make a huge deal about my own birthday by having a “birthday week” or “birthday month,” however I totally milk Valentine’s Day for all it’s worth and am planning on celebrating several times this week.

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One of the happiest days.

Today wasn’t the best day ever since I had a lot going on (For once I’m not going to write every single thing on my blog — but y’all aren’t missing anything interesting, I promise!), but I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of this week.

Love you all so much, and HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Valentine’s Day With A Player

As I’ve mentioned before Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. I’ve been prepping for the big day for weeks now. I made a million cards and heavily assisted in keeping the USPS in business this year. Sadly I gave Robert his present early — a New England Patriots jacket — as I felt like he needed as much gear for the Super Bowl as possible, but I’m still going to give out a few presents and cards on Tuesday. My boyfriend is always my official Valentine, but I usually have a dozen others (I bully my friends into saying they’ll be my Valentine); and my mom is always my #1!

Since I’ve been slacking a little on posting lately I decided to do a kind of different pre-Valentine’s Day post. I chatted some with one of my good friends, Will, as he has a great head on his shoulders when it comes to love and dating, but is also kind of hilarious. As much as he talks the talk about being a player, he is actually one of the sweetest guys I know, and I kind of can’t wait for him to eventually get a girlfriend, as I know he’ll treat her really well (Yes, ladies, he is currently single!). Read more to get the scoop on what basketball superstar “Will The Thrill” is up to tomorrow.

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Single In The Suburbs:
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Will The Thrill:
Well I’m taking out a lucky lady after work, then quickly dropping her off so I can take out another girl I’m talking to.

SITS:
How many girls will you take out?

WTT:
I will take out two on Tuesday. I took out one on Friday and two on Saturday. I might take out a few the following weekend as well; it depends on what I feel like doing at the time.

SITS:

How do you keep your dates from finding out about each other? I would hate to see you stuck in a John Tucker Must Die scenario.

WTT:
Ideally you’d want the women to live at least some distance away from each other so they won’t find you with another girl at a nearby restaurant when they’re out with friends. If anyone wants to employ this dating strategy, I’d highly recommend getting a car with great gas mileage.

SITS:
How do you keep their names straight?

WTT:
Fortunately for me, I’m pretty good at remembering names. I guess being an attractive female helps in that regard as well… And if you’re not good with names, you’ll learn quick.

SITS:
Are you bringing your dates anything special for Valentine’s Day?

WTT:
I’ll bring a box of chocolates to my last date on Tuesday, since that’s the girl I’m most interested in. It’s basically like a professional sports team and the ladies are fighting for roster spots. The girls who don’t go out with me on Valentine’s Day are on the bench, the ones that do are the starters, and my favorite girl (who earns the prestigious title of “Baby Girl”) is the star player.

SITS:
Aren’t you afraid the other girls will think you’re a cheapskate if you don’t bring them anything for Valentine’s Day?

WTT:

Well, some of them are going to be first dates, so that would be weird. If I’ve been talking to a girl for a while I guess I’ll bring them some chocolate too. I am a nice person.

SITS:
Any tips for those who don’t have a Valentine yet?

WTT:
Keep grinding. Go to the gym, watch some funny movies, and hang out with other friends without dates. I had plenty of Valentine’s Days where I didn’t have one, it’s not that bad.

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Will is known for his killer charm, stunning good looks, and wicked sense of humor.

Disclaimer for those of you who know Will:
This is for humor purposes only and Will the Thrill does not really endorse playing women like that, as he loves them all too much.

Friday Favorite: The Bouqs Co.

I figured since Valentine’s Day is coming up that I’d share a few of my favorite products with y’all this week. This Friday I want to feature something that is essentially sending a box full of joy — The Bouqs Company!

There is nothing that makes my day more than a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I’ve used a lot of different flower delivery companies in my eight years of adulthood, and I have to say nobody holds a candle to The Bouq’s Co. Their flowers are so incredibly fresh, and they offer a very generous amount in every bouquet.

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This was the bouquet that started it all. My friend Kalika sent me these flowers after a bad breakup and I’ve been obsessed with the company ever since!

I got the big bundle of red and white roses to take to the airport to welcome Robert home to the United States with. When I opened the box it felt like I was hit with a wall of floral perfume. It really is more than a gift — it’s a whole experience!

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Along with red, white, and blue balloons and a sparkly sign, this just really pushed the welcome home over the top to a beautifully fun level. A week and a half later and the flowers were still sitting in the kitchen for everyone to enjoy!

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So if you’re stumped at where to start for Valentine’s Day or to just say “I love you” to a loved one just because, flowers are a great place to start. Never forget to write a sweet little note inside too! Cards are my favorite part of a gift because they are like getting a tiny piece of someone’s heart.


BONUS: I noticed that Groupon has a deal right now for 50% off — you can get $40 of flowers for just $20! Most likely you’ll get a more expensive bouquet, but $20 off is nothing to sneeze at… That’s like, 2 burritos from Chipotle and some change. #win

Robert’s Homecoming

I am finally getting around to writing about Robert’s homecoming!

I’ve always known that whenever I get engaged I am going to wait a few days before announcing it to everyone so that I can just sit and enjoy the moment with my close loved ones. I love social media, but I think there’s something special about keeping some moments private. This is kind of how I felt about Robert’s first week back. I waited to announce that he was home because I really wanted to be able to thoroughly enjoy the moment without the million texts that I knew would come — which I also loved when the time was right!

Robert came home on a rainy Saturday evening, and I had jitters the entire day I was waiting to pick him up. I woke up in a little bit of a daze, but decided I just had to do everything I needed to get ready. The day before I had picked up a giant bouquet of balloons, made a welcome home sign, and talked to my best friend about when we would need to go to the airport. The week prior I had received a beautiful bouquet of red and white roses from The Bouqs Co so that I would be ready for his return as soon as he informed me he’d be home. You see, the Army is all about the element of surprise, so I didn’t know exactly when Robert would be back until the day before his flight.

Going to the airport was a kind of strange experience. I had waited for this moment for months. Since the day Robert left to be exact. Every day he was gone I thought about how incredible the moment would be when he got back. I thought about his return for 10 long months… Now that it was finally here it didn’t feel real!

Waiting in the airport was a strange form of torture. On one hand it was incredible the moment Robert set foot on US soil. As soon as he texted me I felt a heavy weight leave my shoulders, as I knew he was finally safe. On the other hand, though, Robert’s plane being fifteen minutes later than I had expected felt like such a tease. It was funny because I knew I was being ridiculous feeling antsy. After all, what is ten minutes in comparison to ten months of waiting?

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I did the math. It’s .00023% of the deployment. That is essentially nothing.

Seeing Robert for the first time is indescribable. Partly because yes, I was excited, but the other part of me felt really confused. He’s not supposed to be here, said a part of my brain. This isn’t real, said another. Robert isn’t going to be staying was the loudest part of my brain. Instead of being able to be ecstatic about having someone I loved so much back in my arms I felt kind of shaken by it. Yes, my brain knew Robert had told me he’d be around for a very long time now, but my heart didn’t believe it. I was so used to him being gone that it couldn’t register that he was actually here to stay. Our entire relationship has known this deployment. Even when I started dating Robert six months before he went overseas I knew he was going to be eventually leaving.

Since we’ve had just over two weeks together now I am starting to feel like things are normal. It definitely took a bit of time, and I’m still trying to adjust to the realization that I can see Robert whenever I want to, but my heart is finally starting to catch up with everything that’s going on.

Robert is here to stay. We can finally go out and continue to date each other in a really normal setting. He’ll still be in the Army, but the only time he’ll really be away from me is one weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. I am so beyond excited to start a new chapter together. I will definitely keep you posted on our new adventures together as a normal twentysomething couple. Goodbye deployment, and good riddance 6,500 miles!

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My Secret Admirer

I have a kind of fun throwback this week. I’ve been cleaning out my room and happened to find a bunch of letters I received in college. Some were from pen pals, others from my ex, and even more from my mom and roommates. This was one that I had completely forgotten about receiving my first Valentine’s Day at school. I had a secret admirer who didn’t reveal himself until years later, even though I kind of had a hunch back when I received it.

The letter was so beautiful that I got his permission to publish it! Enjoy the only letter I have gotten from a Secret Admirer before (But you only really need one, right?):


 

Dear Krista,

“Life is divided into three terms — that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us know from the past to profit by the present, and from the present to live better in the future.” — William Wordsworth

This quote has always been of inspiration and of compassionate intelligence to me, so I hope sharing it with you will be of some great meaning and benefit you in the same ways, and in those which it has not. Normally, Valentine’s Day is not a day which I find overly exciting, however, I find myself giddy with excitement like a young child before Christmas morning! Hopefully this letter reaches you as the first and most enjoyable of the day, but I most certainly hope you enjoy the rest of this special day’s treats. Ideally I would have hoped to personally deliver this letter to you; however, that would defeat the purpose of being a secret admirer! Either way, this should wake you with a smile.

I find you to be the most intoxicating girl I have ever met, you are beautiful in ways I never thought possible, and unique in every way I thought impossible, and I get drunk on your unique personality and genuinely beautiful smile. This makes you a very special girl, and not one to be taken lightly. As I hope to show you through this letter, I do not take you lightly, I do not take you for granted, and I do believe you are everything that every man should be looking for in a lady. You are a strong, independent woman, of that I am sure, and I would never want to stand in the way of your hopes and dreams, especially because they are a prominent piece of your personality. I think you are the most beautiful girl I have ever known, you are sweet, caring and kind, and sometimes I think you might be too much of some of these for your own good. Your sarcasm is hilarious, it makes me laugh uncontrollably and it is one of the reasons I cannot get enough of you, it it such an unconventional trait for you to have, or so I think, and I find that it throws me for a twist every time it shines through. My favorite thing of all, though, is undoubtedly, oh wait, I cannot tell you such a thing, because it would give me away and this is most certainly a “secret admirer’s” letter. I hope by now you are blushing and in deep thought of who this mysterious person could be that is writing you such an adoring, shall we call it, a love letter? Hmmm? Why not, it is Valentine’s Day and I do love who you are, as well as care for you no matter what, you will always be someone I cherish, because you are an incredible person. If every girl were more like you, this world would be a better place, and that is something I respect you for most sincerely.

If this were another letter, I would begin to share with you some of the most treasured times I have shared with you, but I am afraid that if I would do so now it would certainly reveal my mysterious identity and this “secret admirer” letter would be ruined. I cannot see myself doing that for obvious reasons, one being what an amazing job I have done thus far, and the second most important being the effort I have put into said “amazing job” (unsure of why I put quotations around that, ait sort of makes me seem like I am mocking my effort and that in reality this letter is in no way amazing, haha). With all that being said, and with using my first and last “haha, or lol, or any other common poor writing technique/slang terminology,” I would like you to know that I am smiling most endearingly at the thought of all the great times I have spent with you, and I hope that in your heart you too are smiling, if not because of the times we have shared together, than because you should read the rest of the letter knowing that you have made me a better and happier man.

Lastly Krista, I know that you are knowledgeable in the field of writing, so please do not critique me too harshly, please and thank you!

With pleasure and love,
Your Secret Admirer

PS — within the line beginning “Lastly” there is a clue as to who I am, if you figure it out and you believe me to be the writer of this letter and you present said clue to me from that line, I will have no choice but to tell you the God’s honest truth as to whether or not I wrote it, but just to be clear, you must know the correct clue that I have given you, and you must be sure of it. Therefore, you should not present the accusation of me being the “secret admirer” as a question, more so as a statement and the correct clue as your reasoning.

“I told her, how he pin’d and ah!

The low, the deep, the pleading tone,

With which I sang another’s Love,

Interpreted my own.

She listen’d with a flitting Blush,

With downcast Eyes and modest Grace;

And she forgave me that I gaz’d

Too fondly on her face!”

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February 14

I had the best Valentine’s weekend I could ever imagine.

Not only did I get to go on a great date, but I also went to several Galentine’s Day parties — I will save those stories for another day, though, as I still have a couple more to attend this month.

I’ve been seeing a Captain in the Army for a few months now, and I only have good things to say about this gentleman. He has treated me the way I want to be treated in my next relationship and helped me realize that what I want in a guy isn’t at all unrealistic.

This weekend was his last in Virginia, as he’s going overseas for a mission, but we went on a really fun date to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

He surprised me and took me to a crazy fancy French restaurant called L’auberge Chez Francois. I’ve never been somewhere that nice, especially with a date, so it was a super-fun experience. We arrived to the restaurant a few minutes early and were seated promptly. Many of the waiters were actually French and had the same kind of attitude you would find at a restaurant in Paris. I giggled when the host pulled out my chair and said, “Pleased to take a seat,” and blushed when I ordered my appetizer in a very confused and jumbled French.

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My date and I thought the entire ambiance of the restaurant was fun. He’s a pretty simple guy, so neither of us were used to such a crazy menu. We felt really out of place, laughing quietly at a table in the center of the dining room while the rest of the guests were solemn and incredibly proper. I’ve never been so happy (and entertained) to feel out of place.

In true Parisian style we ordered everything all at once and were brought several extra surprises along the way. The course started with a “shot” of lentil soup, and was followed by French bread and salad. We then received an orange sorbet to “cleanse the palate,” which reminded me of the scene in The Princess Diaries where Mia gets brain freeze from eating the cold dish.

I don’t know why I enjoy trying to pull pranks over on my dates, but I do. So I told him that you are supposed to eat the entire orange ball of sorbet at once. He quickly regretted his decision to listen to me, and I giggled some at his expense as he realized I had tricked him — once again.

The rest of the meal went smoothly, as we chatted, people-watched, and ate lots of amazing food. The warm chocolate souffle was definitely the star of the show, followed very closely by the beef Wellington.

This was easily the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had and one of the greatest dates I’ve ever been on. I highly recommend L’auberge if you are looking to splurge on dinner in the DC area — just make sure to order dessert while you’re there!

A Very Happy Valentine’s Day

I had the absolute best Valentine’s weekend I could ever dream of.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s always been my favorite holiday whether or not I am in a relationship. I’m excited to share a few stories from the weekend in the next few days, as I had a pretty packed schedule. I kicked off the holiday by writing over 45 letters and going shopping to get presents for some of my closest friends.

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Friday I had a great Valentine’s lunch with my forever Valentine, my mom, at Seasons 52. We enjoyed some of the best Filet Mignon I’ve ever had — you could literally cut it with a butter knife — and mahimahi tacos.

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I always get a lot of crap from my dates for ordering my steak “medium well.”

Saturday afternoon I got a package in the mail, which turned out to be a Valentine from a guy I’ve been seeing for a few months. He sent me chocolate-covered strawberries, which was the one thing I felt I would miss this Valentine’s Day.

It was actually kind of adorable because I told him ahead of time that we shouldn’t get each other presents or anything, and he said that he wouldn’t give me anything “On Valentine’s Day.” Little did I know this meant he was planning on sending me a gift the day before. He told me later that he ended up calling Shari’s Berries to switch his order from Valentine’s Day to February 13th in order to keep his promise. This just made the gesture even cuter.

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Later that day I went to a Galentine’s Day wine tasting. I’m not supposed to drink with POTS, but I tried tiny sips of each wine and actually found a few that I enjoyed. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to have a glass here and there again! Apparently February 13 is the official “Galentine’s Day,” so it was really nice spending it with a lot of other twentysomething girls.

My date picked me up from my party at 9 to go on a crazy fancy double date with one of our friends. He took me to L’auberge Chez Francois, which was easily the nicest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I have so many stories from that experience that I’ll be posting about later this week!

The next day, February 14, was excellent, as it was a little more chill than the previous days. My Valentine this year will be serving overseas soon, so we decided to have a day of dining, N64, and just visiting with one another.

I honestly couldn’t have imagined a better weekend. It was so filled with love and friends, which is what Valentine’s Day is all about. I’m excited for the Galentine’s parties to continue throughout the month (I still have a few to go to!) and hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. ❤

Will You Be My Valentine?

Valentine’s Day has always been my favorite holiday. Even when I didn’t have a significant other to spend it with I absolutely loved it.

Valentine’s Day is awesome because it’s a day to celebrate all the amazing people in your life. Giving presents on February 14 is so much more exciting than Christmas because people don’t really expect it.

This is the first Valentine’s Day in 5 years that I am single, so I don’t have one person to go crazy with spoiling. So I would like to extend the invitation to anyone who doesn’t have a Valentine yet to be mine! ❤

I’ve already written cards for some great girls in my life, but I would be so thrilled to send a letter to anyone who doesn’t have a special someone this year.

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If you’d like to be my Valentine feel free to comment on this post or message me on Facebook.