Year after year, as I grow a little older– lose a little more hair, notice old scabs turn to scars, get a change in academic scenery, watch political figures come and go, remember the times when winter wasn’t 50° warmer– there’s always one thing that has never failed to strike the same agitation into my inner being: Valentine’s Day. Single Awareness Day is the day when couples take stride in nicer clothes, cradling stuffed animals and long-stemmed roses, and people finally decide to put their phones away during candlelit dinners with their S.O. only to update their Instagram with pictures of their hand-holding and newly acquired jewelry in private. For single people, like myself, today is the day when we watch couples make a spectacle of a holiday that inherently praises individuals for doing/giving something special as a physical token that their relationship has meaning, announcing to everyone that there is proof that their love is present.
Don’t let this perceived bitterness cloud your judgment here. This is not envy speaking. I don’t hate Valentine’s Day because I’m single. I hate Valentine’s Day because of its infrastructure. The holiday is day built to show someone dear to you that you love them. To have you buy expensive chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears so that someone you care about is aware of how much you mean to them. It tells people that sharing meals that are a little pricier and that have a better atmosphere than what you’re used to is the way to say “I love you.” So I am not jealous of this day that celebrates the connection shared by two people. I am upset that this is the only day. I am infuriated that this holiday monopolizes off of people who have someone they can put a “__friend” label to and how its concepts are restricted to synthetic romantic gestures. I hate Valentine’s Day because it’s the day people allow their measurements of love to fall short. You shouldn’t be anticipating Valentine’s Day to be the time you and your S.O. can indulge in thoughtful messages and sugar-coated surprises. You should feel love and show love every day. Yet somehow, it seems like society– especially young, unmarried couples– put so much emphasis on this day.
But you know what I’m jealous of? I’m jealous that two people can be in the same space, conversing freely without fear of being denounced, not having to sway in the dance of “are we friends or are we more?” to the beat of late-night DTRs and questionable intentions. I am jealous that these couples can partake in the festivities of chocolates and expensive cuisines without being called “sad,” “lonely,” or “crazy cat lady in the making.” I’m not jealous of your relationship, and I’m not jealous of your gifts. Let’s make that very clear.
“So, Connie, what does your ideal Valentine’s Day look like then?”
Gee, happy you asked. I hope that the Valentine’s Day that I share with someone is just like every day. Not exceptional. Not superfluous in compliments, flowers, or bling. All I’d ask for is a moment of time to say thank you to my person for sticking with me. At the very most, we could spend time baking a $3 box of brownies and playing video games. I honestly can’t imagine doing or asking for anything more on Valentine’s Day. And that’s what I think every day in a relationship should look like, including Valentine’s Day. There’s no need for dress-ups or red and pink plushies.
So to all of my single brothers and sisters: let us unite and rejoice as February 15th approaches. The season of lacy hearts and wilting roses is soon to pass, and an abundance of discount candy and tear-stained returns are to come.
I had to write about today and make myself look like the Grinch of Valentine’s Day because I thought it was a good follow-up to my previous post, but I also realize I’ve written something similar in the past before. It was just easy to complete and get some content in with this topic, but I’m going to try and write about something different next time, I promise! 🙂