Tuesday, February 3, 2009

News flash: I don't hate Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, which means that it's time for me to pull out every ounce of patience I've got to tolerate the nonsense that happy singles are about to be subjected to. I'm not talking about the overwhelming commercialism of a day dedicated to romance and the inevitable focus on coupledom. I'm talking about the well-meaning but completely clueless people who will assume that because I'm single, Valentine's Day must make me suicidal. For example, Allison on womenbloom.com (a blog supposedly about inspiring and supporting women) believes that the world is made up of only three kinds of people:
Category 1 is for those for whom Valentine’s Day is a BIG full blown deal they celebrate with their romantic partner. Category 2 includes those who are in a relationship but frankly, can take it or leave it. The third category is for those who get irritated and depressed about Cupid’s Day because it inevitably makes them feel that they are SINGLE LOSERS (emphasis in original) because they don’t have a significant other. It’s a day on which the entire freaking country conspires to make you think you’re an oddball of the highest order because you’re on your own.

Ironically, Allison goes on to say that she knows (and admires) plenty of singles who throw Valentine's parties for themselves and their friends, celebrating the fact that there's plenty of love outside of coupledom. I'm not sure what world Allison thinks these people live on, since they certainly don't fall into one of her 'three kinds of people'.

I get that some singles hate Valentine's Day; heck, I know plenty of coupled people who think it's stupid too. I also know singles who choose to use February 14th to celebrate their singledom - that's the whole idea behind International Quirkyalone Day. And I know singles who are completely indifferent about Valentine's and treat it like any other day. My point is this: don't assume that just because someone is single, they must be miserable this time of year. Personally, I love Valentine's Day - I think it's awesome to have a day specifically devoted to the idea of telling people we love them. When I'm in a relationship, I love to make a big deal about it, being romantic and gushy. But whether I'm in a relationship or not, I look forward to the candy I know my mom is going to send (and the fact that I get a believable excuse for having lots of chocolate in the house), and I usually wish everyone I see a happy Valentine's Day. I think Quirkyalone's description of International Quirkyalone Day sums it up best: "IQD is a celebration of romance, freedom and individuality. It celebrates true romance (as opposed to the fake versions presented to us in reality dating shows), independence, creativity, friendship, and all kinds of love--including love for yourself."

1 comment:

Clever Elsie said...

Gah! What a horrible example of singlism in that article! How insulting to single people to assume that ALL singles are bitter, envious, and depressed on Valentine's Day!

I, for one, like to suggest that single people spread the love around through a volunteer activity or by lavishing some affection on family and friends.