Not to brag, but in the fifth grade, I had six Valentines. In high school, I always had at least one. From freshman to junior year of college, I shared Feb. 14 with the same guy. I’ve always had someone to be mine in mid-February. But this time around, I’ve been rendered Valentine-less.
Cupid’s holiday has a dark and stormy side, and it looks nothing like a Hallmark card. I am about to experience the dreaded day for single people, going stag for the first time since those awkward, braces-clad and bronzer-less years of middle school.
I’m beginning to understand that a holiday about love can ignite a whole lot of hate.
Now that the relationship goggles have been torn from my face, I’ve been left with a slew of concerns about everything for which Valentine’s Day stands. The following list of questions is in no way exhaustive:
1. Why should people who are in a relationship have a day dedicated to rubbing it in every single person’s face?
2. Will a restaurant turn you away if you want the Valentine’s Day menu special for two just for yourself?
3. If we continue to follow the “You must have a Valentine for everyone in your class” rule, then shouldn’t half of the country be in the principal’s office for being incredibly rude?
4. Does it count if your dad sends you flowers?
5. Why does the film industry feel like it’s acceptable to release “Fifty Shades of Grey” on a day when the theaters will be full of single girls with unusually low self-esteem?
The last question stems from a personal place. My roommate and I have already planned our night around seeing Dakota Johnson’s Ana Steele wooed by Jamie Dornan’s Christian Grey. I am ashamed.
Yet this solo Valentine’s Day makes me part of an exclusive group that scoffs at love stories, glowers at people holding hands on the sidewalk and rolls eyes at rosy CVS displays. As a person who likes to complain when given the appropriate fuel and forum, I’m thrilled to be a newly initiated member. I guess.
This year, I must accept that Valentine’s Day is both lovely and horrifying, exhilarating and draining. Basically, I’m just asking everyone to feel bad for me a little bit more than all of your other Valentine-less friends. No, no, that’s not what I meant to say.
What I meant was: On this Valentine’s Day, let’s cheer for all of those left unattached. We are the people who will one day tell hilarious stories about chocolate cake and leaving “Fifty Shades of Grey” weeping. Let the emotional kickboxing class commence.
This article appeared in the February 9, 2015 issue of the Hatchet.