Well, that magical day is upon us. The celebration of Saint Valentine who has since become a corporate whore, reduced to greeting cards and overpriced chocolates. I mean, part of me thinks that if most people knew that Saint Valentine was slaughtered, people might veer away from the celebration of this holiday, but I guess Valentine’s Day is hardly the first figure whose holiday was bastardized by consumerism.
Still, if I sound bitter, I’m not. Well, I am, but not for the reasons that you may think I am.
As this holiday nears, single people are encouraged to find the nearest person, grab them and never let go… well, not until at least a week after Valentine’s Day. Yes, there’s a break-up window for major holidays and special occasions, moving on. People are constantly told that they need to have somebody for Valentine’s Day but honestly, who wants somebody just because somebody else tells them they need someone? It just seems slightly flawed to me, but what do I know? I’m usually alone on Valentine’s Day. I’m probably just jealous of all the happy couples, right?
That’s the other thing about Valentine’s Day. Of most of the people who are in happy and committed couples, there’s this superiority complex that must come standard when you purchase a dozen roses at the supermarket. Whenever the topic of valentine’s Day comes up and I express my distaste, or even disinterest seems like a more appropriate term, I’m met with a myriad of excuses.
“You’re just jealous that you don’t have someone to spend it with!”
“Awww, it’s different when you have someone…”
“… maybe next year?”
But the central point remains the same. I don’t have a Valentine and honestly, truly, and sincerely? I don’t want one. My life is… pretty okay, as it is. I don’t wanna find someone just because “the hunt” is on as Valentine’s Day approaches. Do you realize how often people hear you when you say that? “I’m fine being alone on Valentine’s Day” is like a dog whistle: completely imperceptible to the human ear.
Honestly though, I’m used to not being heard. I’m the youngest of four, where the family rule was “whoever’s loudest is right.” I’m even more used to not being understood. Then again, that just keeps things interesting, now doesn’t it? I don’t mean any of these things in a self-pitying, or even worse, self-congratulatory way. It’s just the way it is.
Hell, I don’t even hate the holiday that much. I can’t bring myself to care about it too much, but hate it? Not really. But I play the part of the cynic cuz it’s easier for others to understand someone hating Valentine’s Day than being indifferent to it. No, I don’t really hate Valentine’s Day; I just hate what it turns other people into.
Suddenly, I’m no longer strong or confident in their eyes. No, when that second week of February hits, I become an object of pity: the romantic equivalent of Old Yeller just waiting for some lovesick idiot to mercy kill me with a couple of shots to the back of the head. Mind you, that’s not what I feel like, but those who have been single on Valentine’s Day know the look in couple’s eyes. They look at you, thanking God or Cupid or whomever that they aren’t as tragic as you, the single guy/girl on Valentine’s Day.
Truth be told, I don’t hate Valentine’s Day because I’m alone. I hate it because other people hate that I’m alone: as if my single-ness is a communicable disease that they’ll catch by spending too much time with me. No, I’m fine with not having a date for Valentine’s Day or most days for that matter. I guess there’s just no room for a self-assured single guy in a couple’s world.