“I can’t, it’s Valentine’s Day.” There. Right there are 5 words that have twisted the insides of every single single person since Saint Valentine walked the Earth. We can’t help tightly gritting our teeth at our friends’ plans on Valentine’s Day – those in relationships, at least.
If you’re like me, and you are completely lacking in sex appeal (we’re talking “can’t-even-wink” levels of non-appeal), then you’re already bitter every other day when you see couples walking across campus holding hands, slipping kisses into a conversation or just generally acting disgustingly adorable. But for some reason, on Valentine’s Day these levels of hostility go through the roof, and at a surprisingly exponential pace. One minute, you’re simply cringing when you see a guy in business casual attire with a bouquet in his hands. The next minute, you’ve gone past cringing and are standing over a multi-faceted, yarn-covered map like a detective in Law and Order: SVU, intensely plotting out ways to discreetly sabotage as many relationships as you can.
Okay. So maybe your FOMO on relationships won’t take you that far, but Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t your favorite holiday. And why should it be? Does anyone even know what Saint Valentine did? He’s basically achieved Kardashian levels of fame for no reason, at least in regard to the ideas that we’re labelling him with. Sure, he’s recognized in the church for secretly marrying couples during a time of religious persecution, but somehow we see having one universalized day a year where couples are as overtly romantic as possible as derivative of his actions. Why? Why does this day have to be so ridiculous? And why does it have to polarize people?
Trick question: it doesn’t.
As one of the only single people in my group of friends, I know first hand that couples are annoying. But I also know that they too were single at one point, and in most cases deserve the happiness that their significant other can offer them. We in the Democratic Single People’s Republic of America, will also have a chance at such happiness one day. Whether you’ve waited one, two or 18 years, you can wait longer.
There are plenty of ways to take advantage of what you used to recognize as the loneliest day of the year, and turn the page on your annual routine of holing up in your room, with your only form of social interaction being tipping the delivery man from Domino’s for the large cheese pizza you ordered for yourself.
Firstly, denial is the first step to recovery. Acceptance is the second step. Once you can accept the fact that you wish you had someone to share Valentine’s Day with, you can move on to more important things, like actually enjoying yourself.
If you’re like me and you enjoy staying busy, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to be productive. Clean your room. Go grocery shopping. Get a head start on your Philosophy paper (this option is especially apt because Swem will primarily be filled with other single people, and hey, who says you need to be by yourself next Valentine’s Day, am I right?). Maybe even try cooking something for dinner other than microwavable mac n’ cheese. Whatever you need to get done, or even just want to get done, do it, because Lord knows when the next time you’ll be this free.
If you would rather be more relaxed on this day, then you have a couple options. Contrary to what I said above, making it a treat-yo-self day and isolating yourself from the rest of society can still be perfectly fine, as long as you’re not wallowing in self-pity while you do it. Get a mani-pedi. Draw a bath, if readily available. Take a walk around this strangely beautiful campus. Go to sleep before midnight for once. If you’d rather be with friends, then you can do all of these things with a plus-one, too (maybe not the bubble bath, though…). Or, since you’ve recognized that you’re okay with social interaction, you can actually go out for dinner with said friends.
Finally, and most importantly, no matter what kind of person you are or what your relationship status is, please make sure you take advantage of half-priced chocolate and candy the next day, because we deserve these types of luxuries on a college budget.
It’s time we stopped making a D-day out of V-day. Yeah, it’s pointless and the absolute worst, but so are most of the things that we have to put up with in this cruel, cruel world (i.e. crocs, decaffeinated coffee and The Lion King 1 ½). And just as we coexist with these other things, we can coexist with Valentine’s Day.
Sarah Salem is a Confusion Corner columnist who can be found at Walgreens the day after Valentine’s Day.