It's closing in on Valentine's Day. Such an anxious time for lots of women in particular. But also men who want their gifts to communicate something.
New love. Reconciliation. Rekindling. Even detachment.
I read a story about a woman named Ruta Fox who was single and started her own jewelry company, creating an AH ring — the A. standing for "available," and the H. standing for "happy."
I love what her creation stands for. That happiness isn't a relationship — but feeling satisfied inside, with yourself. Together or yes, single. And giving yourself a beautiful decadent gift — diamonds, no less — is just fine.
Surveys show that 55 percent of American women are single these days. And other research points to the fact that more and more women don't feel incomplete by going it on their own, picking career, travel, business and freedom over settling down. That's confidence. And also cultivating happiness in the moment, knowing that where you are is where you're meant to be.
Of course, we'd be remiss if we did not note that the hopeless romantic in many of us loves sappy movies, public proposals and yes, the grand gesture. We might not get a stadium proposal like Kanye gave Kim, but most of us remember the unexpected — when someone went out of their way to do something kind, loving and generous.
Once when I was in high school, my teen boyfriend bought me a long leather maxi coat for Christmas. It was the nicest gift I'd ever received really. And for a budding teen fashionista, I was 15, that coat was incredible, a shocking, over-the-top surprise. I can still remember the moment I tried it on, the real leather smell making me feel like a million dollars.
Since then, I've tried hard to do my own part to cultivate a similar surprise for the girls and guys in my life. My favorite is a secret Santa gift, knowing someone would love a certain item and quietly putting it in the mail.
Or knowing there is a need, and quietly getting involved.
A few weeks ago a friend from my hometown told me about a little boy who wanted a bike for Christmas. His brother had gotten a bike as a gift in the summer, but he had none. The siblings were very poor and Santa could not deliver this year. The boys were being raised by a grandmother who had little but love and a roof over their heads to offer.
And so I ordered a new bike. And collaborated with my friend who picked it up and delivered it.
Yes, I saw the pictures. And yes, I sure cried. He'll never know where it came from - my friend said "an angel" — but the satisfaction of the splurge meant everything. That's love. From my heart to a little stranger. I pray for him and his brother every day.
At Be Brilliant, we're offering a Valentine's sale right now. Is there someone in your life, in your world, who could use some cheer? Who might really be uplifted by receiving something beautiful in the mail?
If so, reach out to me (andrea@BeBrilliantBags.com). I'd love to help you with your surprise.
People never forget a grand gesture. Especially on a day devoted to love.
Not just romance. But love of self. And of one another.