Last Saturday, I was fortunate to join other local artists for an art gala in my local community. It had been many years since I’d exhibited at or had been involved in the organization of such an event. Congratulations to the members of the Osprey Cove Women’s Club, my fellow committee members and the supportive community that helped to raise funds for Camden House (GA), The Alzheimer’s Project and Humane Society of Camden Co. I will share more on this in my next post, however, as this week brings us Valentine’s Day, perhaps one of the more challenging times of the year for those who’ve lost a spouse or significant other, I will reflect on that.
Not too long ago, I established a blog inspired by a book I was writing that chronicled the history of National Dog Week and its founder Captain Will Judy. After ten years, and the publication of Dog’s Best Friend, I called it a decade and although I no longer maintain that blog site, that book project was life-changing and still resonates with me. So today, instead of creating a new post for Widow’s Voice, I share an excerpt from a post I wrote in 2011 after attending the Pre-West Minster Fashion Show on Valentine’s Day Weekend in New York City. Below, I present a light-hearted take on this holiday and hope you will enjoy. For the full post please go to https://nationaldogweekbook.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/happily-paired-or-quirkyalone-the-shared-love-of-pets-can-breed-a-culture-of-pawsitivity/
Today, on the cusp of another Valentine’s Day, there is something being celebrated called Quirkyalone Day. Started in 2004 by writer, Sasha Cagen, Quirkyalone Day promotes the healthy state of being alone rather than dating for the sake of being a couple. Sasha even wrote a book about it titled, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics, Harper San Francisco 2001.
I mention this because although I’ve been married a respectable fifteen years this September, I did not marry until my late 30s, so this gives me a little cred when speaking of this subject. While single, I did not let it stop me from traveling to Italy alone (unlike Ms. Gilbert in eat, pray love– I got ‘er done in one country). Although these days a writing project does take me to those more mystical places, and although I may no longer be “alone” I am still quirky.
Valentine’s Day is not my favorite time of year because it is basically a “false” holiday these days…but it is great for the economy so I won’t bash it too much…and kids like it, too. There, my husband is off the hook. I thought about all this while at the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show in New York City on Friday Night, an incredible event put on by pet fashion expert, Ada Nieves. I will note here that I will hear (or have heard it) from friends and family on how is it possible I can partake in any event that puts clothes on a dog. As a reporter of sorts, my job is to present what happens in the “dog” world, and even in Will Judy’s time, back in the 1920s, this was a fashionable way to raise funds for shelter dogs (really, it’s in the book).
Pets are a great way to provide companionship in our lives when we are in an independent state, help forge memories, and even take the occasional edge off normally harmonious long-term relationships… [End of excerpt].
Wishing everyone a thoughtful Valentine’s and/or Quirky Alone Day. The two need not be mutually exclusive. Take care of yourself whether happily paired or finding yourself on your own and remember to give your pets some extra love and care and keep the faith and your heart eternally open.