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Happy Whatever Day

Posted: February 4, 2014 4:56 p.m.
Updated: February 5, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Singles Awareness Day (SAD) is coming up in about two weeks and for those of us who currently recognize this day … because we’re single … preparatory tactics are now underway. Yes, Feb. 14 is right around the corner. Don’t believe me? Visit any drug store and tell me if you aren’t bombarded with pink, glittery, sparkly, heart-shaped, Teddy-beared, floral explosions of commercially motivated depictions of love.

What does the single person need to do to ready her/himself for SAD? Get your sarcastic, snarky comments ready to go, first and foremost. Secondly, buy some Pepto-Bismol because you know you’re going to feel nauseous by the end of the day. Third and really the most important, plan to congregate with your other single friends in a public (alcohol-serving) establishment to rehash the reasons you’re thankful to be single on this day. Usually, these reasons involve a past significant other that wronged you in some unforgiveable way.

I’m sorry, I’m not just being that obnoxious single person protesting a (ridiculous) holiday, I refused to celebrate the 14th even when I was dating someone. In fact, we seasoned three Feb. 14’s together and I would not do anything on those days to acknowledge the existence of “Valentine’s Day.”

Why? Because I think it is completely stupid. If you’re in love with someone, why do you have one day out of the year to show it? Shouldn’t that be every day? Also, does celebrating Feb. 14 mean you get to act like a jerk to your girl/boyfriend the rest of the year? Well, it shouldn’t, but there are some people out there who think they can act a fool 364 days and then on this one day be sweet as a box of assorted chocolate candies and everything is just fine and dandy.

For me, when I was dating someone, the day we celebrated to recognize our couple-dom was called our anniversary. It was personal and it actually meant something. There’s no entire aisle and a half at Walmart dedicated to our anniversary, so I tend to think it’s more authentic.

I guess if you want to analyze this distaste I have for Valentine’s Day, it goes back to elementary school. It goes back to my Little Mermaid valentines and to shoeboxes covered with pink and purple construction paper cutouts. It goes back to the feeling of anxiety routinely inflicted onto kids in their single digit years -- the nervous thought of “will the little boy that I like give me a special card? Should I give him one? If I give him one, what if he laughs at me and tells everyone?”

Then, there was always the possibility of getting a special card from someone you didn’t like back … someone who was “not cool.” Even this anarchist, as a young girl, was guilty of tearing up a Valentine’s card from a boy I didn’t like (in front of him) because my friends teased me. He never made the mistake of giving me another card after that episode.

The truth is, I did like him … and I always regretted that action. The two of us could be married and spending the 14th together sipping champagne and eating filet mignon on a yacht in the Mediterranean if I hadn’t done that, though even in this fantasy we would still be refusing to acknowledge that the day is anything more than a day. Thanks a lot, 8-year-old peer pressure for destroying my dreams of romance!

All jokes, bitterness, cynicism and sarcasm aside, I do see the value in Valentine’s Day and I do use it as an opportunity to tell my loved ones that I love them. Even if it is annoying, it’s a good reminder that there’s always reason and opportunity to say ‘I love you’ to the people in your life who deserve to hear it. So whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day, SAD or just chew Pepcid tablets or your fingernails until the second month of the year is past, I hope you have a happy … whatever day.

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