February 13th, 2009 I packed my bag, purchased an airplane ticket and walked out on my Italian lover. In spite of the temptation to do so, I never looked back.
I arrived in Montreal on Valentine’s Day. How appropriate I thought, to come home to a city that I love, and on Valentine’s Day. It was my gift to myself. Rather than see irony in the situation – as a cynic might, I only saw how right and fitting it was. That’s the optimist in me.
More importantly, I fell into the arms of girlfriends who, with very little notice, came to my rescue. We were Sex and the City “North” I was Carrie Bradshaw – returning from a disastrous Paris experience minus Mr. Big. There was, however, one small glitch.
I had planned to stay in Europe for while and travel, so when I returned not only was I heartbroken, I was essentially homeless. Luckily for me, that was no impediment to my resourceful friends.
Zara was waiting at the airport, car warmed and ready to “come pick” me as she likes to say in her charming Syrian accent.
Nadia made a few quick phone calls and found a furnished place for me at a very reasonable rate. And it wasn’t just any apartment: it was in the heart of the city with a view that took my breath away and my mind off of my troubles. Inside were a lovely orchid plant – and a bowl of bright red apples to comfort me. Nadia had even made sure the internet and the satellite TV were activated.
Annie wasn’t far behind with a bag full of groceries and some toiletries. It was like I had never left. Perhaps, I thought, I had dreamed the whole thing, awakened from a nightmare and found myself in safe and familiar surroundings. Whew! That was a close one.
We celebrated Valentine’s Day– just us girls – a few days later at a cozy little restaurant on McGill. Tucked away in the corner, we ordered tapas and ‘tinis and we toasted ourselves and celebrated our first Un-Valentine’s Day.
We had such a good time that it’s a tradition we plan to continue. This year we plan to spend our UnValentine’s Day on February 27th by creating a pot luck dinner complete with candles, champagne and of course chocolate. No need to worry about reservations.
Break-ups are never easy, and the ones that occur on Valentine’s Day have to be the worst. However, that experience became the inspiration for a book – the premise for which you can read on this blog.
It’s also the basis for this blog which has come to be one of the most satisfying aspects of my life because it touches so many people.
Last year I felt I was in the middle of a long dark tunnel with only a match for illumination. I didn’t know it at the time that one year later I would come out the other side happier, with a new purpose – needing to wear sun glasses.
Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Primeop76