Friday, February 11, 2011

In defense of Valentine's Day... Hatred.

I have been hearing as of late - this year more than in previous years - that single women who hate Valentine's Day are a cliché. And as one such single woman, it is a thought that has been bandying about in my head more than a little throughout the last two weeks as we lead up to this holiest of holy Hallmark days hallowing happy coupledom. Woo, alliteration. (See? Single people have time to figure out how to do clever things with grammar.)

I have several thoughts on this notion of the "cliché" of single women who hate Valentine's Day.
  • To begin - if we're being technical here, the whole notion of the day is a cliche, so REALLY, my disinterest in participating in it fits into the tradition. While you couples are busy celebrating whilst reminding us all that Hallmark created the holiday anyway and you should show your love all the time, just think of me and my kind as the Grinch to your Whos. The story just doesn't work without it!
  • Secondly - listen. No woman who is single on Valentine's Day isn't acutely aware of how well she's fitting the stereotype; pointing it out is, ahem, unhelpful. To put it mildly.
  • Thirdly, it is my staunch belief that EVERYONE who levies this accusation is a) clearly IN a happy relationship but more importantly b) has absolutely no recollection of the time when they too were not poised to receive roses or candy hearts or adorable missives [from someone to whom they weren't related] or had to watch couples in their happy couple-dom complain about how us single people are ruining it for them. Dear couples: say it with me. Self-fulfilling prophecy. Love, Siobhan.

It's probably time to stop and point out that this is light natured riffing on the holiday, rather than serious, pent-up vitriol. Just thought I should get that out of the way before we go any further. Also no, I have never had some traumatic Valentine's Day related moment - my one and only Valentine's related breakup was my doing, and to this day I think the story is hilarious (also, possibly proof that I may be missing a part of my soul). If by chance you're reading this, HSB2, and remember that that happened - sorry, my b.

But seriously, as someone who has never managed to have a boyfriend when this holiday actually falls, I know from whence I speak on "Single's Appreciation Day"/"Chinese New Year (give or take some days)"/"...that holiday in February"/"Overindulge in Chocolate Day."

There are things I enjoy about the holiday - the proliferation of good chocolate in all the stores & the always AT LEAST 50% discount on said chocolate the day after Valentine's day, cute red dresses and shoes cropping up in stores, and the excuse to go out with your girlfriends and drink excessively while "celebrating" your single life.

And I really don't hate the idea of Valentine's Day, so we're clear. I am no enemy of love, and though I agree with those who say that if you love someone you should express it all the time, I like the idea of a day that reminds you just how much you SHOULD say that.

But listen. This is my open call to all people in happy couples. Once upon a time, you were me. You did not have a boyfriend. You did NOT have happy fun couply Valentine's Day plans. You understood the point when you were told to lighten up, it's just a holiday. And you had to buy your own chocolate/flowers/candy.

So we get it - we, the single people. We're a cliche. Some day, we may rotate and play for the happy person team, but for now, we will be at the bar with our other single friends and we will buy our chocolate on sale the next day and continue to complain about Valentine's Day. Judge accordingly.