Down-and-Out Valentine“The doer alone learneth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

I never liked being single. Sure, I always tried to thrive during my alone time and often referred to this period as: The Year of Nina. Obviously, there was more than just one year of Nina. It was usually the year or two between my longer term relationships. Or the year I came out of the closet. That was some Year of Nina!

But not all of the years were fabulous. I recall one particular Valentine’s Day during my late twenties in between Partner #1 and Partner #2 when I wasn’t quite thriving. I was self-employed and basically broke. I had left a stable career, started a business (a product called The Paper Salad – what was I thinking??), depleted my savings and was now working as many demeaning service jobs at night just to afford my rent, car payment and health insurance. And I was alone.

No one to lean on. No one to love me. It definitely felt like a low point in life. I was living in Connecticut… far away from my family in Ohio. I don’t think any of them realized how challenging my circumstances were at the time. Until the box arrived from my oldest sister…

It was a box full of Victoria’s Secret underwear in a selection of red, white and heart prints… which is funny because I tend to be a black and beige kind of gal. Technically, the care package likely arrived shortly after Valentine’s and so I can almost guarantee she had found them on the sale rack and paid cash for them.

But that’s not the point of this lonely heart story. A few months earlier when I was home during the holidays she noticed I needed new underwear. I told you I was broke. I really was! And I was single so nobody was seeing my undies anyway. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

But I have two sisters and sisters tend to prance around in their underwear when they’re all under one roof. I remember another visit when I was the skinniest in my life (this would be an example of a good Year of Nina!) and my middle sister made me take off my jeans right in the middle of her living room to see if she could fit into them. She’s the competitive one. Point being, it’s not so weird for either one of them to take note of my intimate apparel.

My oldest sister did and this was her way of sending me a little box of love and support during a financially challenging period of life. I was alone, but I really wasn’t. Love and money come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes it arrives unexpected and is red, white and heart shaped. Happy Valentine’s!

Feel free to tell me your best V-day money story below! It doesn’t have to have anything to do with sisters and underwear!