The Go Solo Project: What I Did for Valentine’s Day

February 17, 2014


As you may recall back in November, I started up something called The Go Solo Project, in which I go solo to things. (Well, duh.)

But the project is not about going solo to just any old thing — it’s about going solo to things I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable going solo to.  Like, male strip shows. And fancy-pants pizza places where they serve salad in their cocktails.

Seeing as it’s been a while since I wrote a Go Solo post, I decided I should fire up the project again just in time for Valentine’s Day. Because what says “Happy Valentine’s Day” more than making yourself feel really awkward and uncomfortable in front of a crowd full of strangers?

I contemplated the idea of taking myself on a date to one of the swankier restaurants in town. But, the whole point of this project is to push myself out of my comfort zone.

Not to push myself off a bridge.

And I’m pretty sure that is what I’d do after having to sit in some fancy-pants restaurant surrounded by couples in love — especially couples in love with pitying looks on their faces because they can’t help staring at the weirdo girl eating a five-course meal for two by herself.

So I decided to do the next most obvious thing:

Go to a Valentine’s Day hockey game.

Because that totally exists.

In Michigan.

And, lest you think this was some ordinary hockey game that just so happened to be on Valentine’s Day, I assure you it was not.

I mean, I haven’t been to a whole bunch of ordinary hockey games in my day, but I’m pretty sure the ice is usually not bright pink with little red hearts all over it:


Oooo, pink!

Also, I’m pretty sure the players don’t usually wear pink and black jerseys and carry pink sticks:


Oooo, more pink!

And I’m almost certain the entire stadium isn’t usually decorated in red balloons and shiny hearts.


Oooo, shiny! And balloony!

But don’t you kind of wish it always was this way? I mean, come on.



Being on my own, I managed to score a pretty sweet single seat in the front row right behind the goalie net. Because, hey, if you’re going to be by yourself for Valentine’s Day, you might as well be within arm’s reach of a plexiglass divider that burly, bearded men regularly throw themselves on.

Hey, boys! I’m over here! Right behind you!

My first order of business after scoping out my seat was scoping out the concession stand, of course. They offered a number of tantalizing options, including something called a maple bacon pretzel, which sounds like pretty much everything I love in life.


Maple bacon WHAT NOW?

But I opted for the old standard: a brat and a beer. Because, as my mom always said, if you’re going to hang out with burly, bearded men, you should eat like one.


My mom never said that.

Only I said that.

Still, it sounds about right. Right?


Dinner of champions. And big, burly men. And me.

I was having a rather enjoyable time with my beer and my brat and the regular hurling of burly men on the plexiglass in front of me, and I wasn’t feeling the least bit awkward about being there by myself, and I was thinking, “Sally, you rock this going solo thing. You should probably just stop this project already because you have this whole thing in the bag, woman.”

And then the guy next to me leaned over and asked, “So, why are you all by yourself on Valentine’s Day?”

He wasn’t asking it in a flirty, hey-lady kind of way because his wife and his entire family was sitting next to him.

He was asking in a what-the-heck-lady kind of way.

I didn’t know what to say.

I mean, what DO you say to that?

I ended up just spluttering out something about having recently moved to the area.

Later, of course, I would think up a whole bunch of really awesome responses to his question.


“Well, those jerks at the door wouldn’t allow me to bring my cats into the stadium. Can you believe that? Now Binkykins and Dr. Thundertoes and Lucyloo have to celebrate the holiday without me in the car!”


“My boyfriend was supposed to join me, but, you know, parole boards. They can be a real bitch.”

Or, I could have simply told him the truth:

“My blog made me do it.”

Okay. Nevermind. That sounds crazy. Even to me.

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On February 17, 2014 at 9:45 pm mallory said:

    I went to a movie by myself. I was tempted to see a really depressing movie but ended up seeing American Hustle instead. And they gave you little Hershey kisses with your tickets, and it was adorable.

    …then I avoided the rooms of my roommates that have boyfriends because they CLEARLY had plans and went to bed early. Perfect.

    I wonder in Minnesota has Valentine’s Day hockey games? If so I think this might be my next Valentine’s Day…
    mallory recently posted..Winter Wonderland

  2. On February 17, 2014 at 10:25 pm ChinaMatt said:

    Not sure how I feel about seeing pink ice at a hockey game. I celebrated the evening with some Vietnamese Czech beer and my Kindle.
    ChinaMatt recently posted..Hiking Shoes Wearing Thin

    • On March 1, 2014 at 9:12 am Sally said:

      Personally, I think all hockey games should have colored ice based on some kind of theme. I know I would go to a lot more hockey games if they did!

  3. On February 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm Offonalittleadventure said:

    aaaa I love this.

    what says romance more than a brutal ice hockey game. least there were men.

  4. On February 18, 2014 at 12:12 am Karisa said:

    This is just amazing! I love the idea of the ‘go solo’ challenges. (I should probably force myself to do something similar).

    PS: You totally should have said the cat excuse! haha
    Karisa recently posted..Be a Girl Who Travels

  5. On February 18, 2014 at 1:27 am Tom @ Waegook Tom said:

    I did nothing at all on Valentine’s Day. I finished training for my new job. Then I went home (after eating dumplings) because I had to teach at 10am the next morning. There.

    And also I wish big, burly, bearded men would throw themselves at me. Swoon…

  6. On February 18, 2014 at 1:37 am James said:

    I can’t believe you didn’t take my Couples Massage for One idea!
    James recently posted..Zombies, Cheese and Bacon Pillows – Can You Ever Go Home Again?

  7. On February 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm Priya said:

    I’m not into sports or really Valentine’s Day. But on Valentine’s Day, I didn’t know it was VDay until I stepped out into the world with people on the train with huge stuffed bears and balloons and boxes of candy. A random lady gave me a rose, and I witness a couple fore-playing on the train ride home right in front of me. They were pretending like they didn’t know each other and “introduced” themselves with really bad French accents. I almost threw up.
    Priya recently posted..Priya’s Travel Announcement: I’m Moving To Australia

  8. On February 18, 2014 at 4:52 pm Judi Garber said:

    I’m not single, but I packed up our truck and took my husband and 3 kiddos and spent Valentine’s weekend winter camping at Allegany State Park.

    It would have been more peaceful if I had gone myself. 🙂

  9. On February 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm Isabelle said:

    Did nothing special. Honestly, I didn’t even realize that it was Valentine’s on Friday until the next day!

  10. On February 18, 2014 at 8:44 pm kathi g said:

    you might have to change your name to Brave Girl! I bought myself a box of chocolates and flowers, ‘cuz, hey, why not. But I didn’t feel super good about it. You may be the wing beneath my wings!

  11. On February 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm Taylor said:

    I enjoyed that you were able to follow up on your initiative that you made in your blog; many people would have simply forgotten it or ignored their promise in order to stay inside the comfort zone. It can be seen in your writing that you handled the situation with humor and amusement when putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation. This plays to the strengths of your writing style and personality and lets readers know that it was all in good fun.

  12. On February 20, 2014 at 12:08 am Meredith Taylor said:

    This blog post is inspirational for all the single ladies out there. Your upbeat personality and humor brightens up the story and asks the reader to continue on. A laugh here and there can really make for a satisfying read.

    • On March 1, 2014 at 9:04 am Sally said:

      Thanks, but I hope it’s inspirational for lots of people — not just single ladies. I think even people in couples could stand to go out and do stuff by themselves now and again. Although, honestly, I should probably not be giving out relationship advice as it’s been a while since I was in one of those! 🙂

  13. On February 21, 2014 at 2:57 am choi kum fook said:

    I spent the Valentine’s day in Kuala Lumpur as yearly ex-classmates gathering in Chinese New Year. We were so graceful to an ex-classmate to turn up to whom have been immigrated to Toronto,Canada, quite near to your home town of Baffolo, about thirty years ago! It is so nice visit two BFF between two countries in one spot
    ! Miss Sally, hoped you enjoyed very much with boy friend during Valentine Day!!

  14. On February 24, 2014 at 7:37 pm Laura said:

    That sounds like a blast! I can’t believe the ice is pink. I really like the idea of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but I was a little horrified at the idea of you going to a fancy restaurant alone on Valentine’s Day too. Glad you chose hockey!

  15. On February 24, 2014 at 11:55 pm Carmel said:

    I got drunk on wine with my husband and cousin. I had my reasons.
    Carmel recently posted..WHAT TO DO IN VANG VIENG (IF YOU’RE OVER 30)

  16. On March 3, 2014 at 8:46 am Judi Garber said:

    Winter camping-we cheat and stay in a cabin with heat. 🙂

  17. On March 8, 2014 at 4:14 am Ceri said:

    Haha, good for you, Sal. 😀 It was actually my first Valentine’s Day as a single woman in 9 years and I just got home from work, made some lovely dinner, had a drink, played around on the internet, and then went to bed. It was awesome. 😀
    Ceri recently posted..9 Ways You Can Afford to Travel


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