February 12, 2009

Happy Early Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is about love, but my best Valentine's Days haven't celebrated the romantic variety. Instead, my best ones have all revolved around celebrating friendships. I've been on bad dates with boyfriends to sports bars for Valentine's that we all wish hadn't happened and even some okay dates at decent restaurants, but the best ones are about friends!

Sociologically speaking, there has been a lot written about how the most important relationships in our lives are shifting from family and partners to friends. Why? They're the family you choose and people you spend a huge chunk of your life with. We're getting married later, having babies later and sometimes we aren't doing those things at all. So what forms are key intimacies today? Friendship! Friends are great. Really, really, great. That's why the TV show of that title was such a hit. Sure, it was clever, but it tapped into the intimacy that defined so many people's extended youths. Friends help us through relationships, listen to us bitch about our parents and never expect us to perform fellatio on them (Well, depending on WHAT KIND of friends you have, that is). So, on Valentine's Day, a group of 8 friends and I are going out together. Some of us have partners we can't be with for logistical reasons and some of us are single, but we're all happy to go out together and celebrate the genuine love we have for each other.

I've never had a boyfriend I loved more than my best friends, and that's not an insult to the men I've dated. What I'm saying is that platonic love is under-appreciated. It's important and incredibly fulfilling and I'm glad I feel it for so many fabulous people in my life. I'm the type of person who loves having friends. I love caring about people and hearing about their lives, and so I have lots of friends and I'm so grateful every day that I do. And, while they aren't mutually exclusive, if you absolutely made me choose, I'd rather have friends than boyfriends. I'd rather have a strong network of people working together to help each other than just ONE partner.

So, happy early Valentine's Day to all of my great friends who read and write for the broadspot! I love you. I mean it, I actually really do.

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