Posted at 12:48 PM Feb 05, 2010By Andrea Grimes
If you're single this February 14, you had better look out. Because to read most love advice surrounding this most holy of romantic days, single people are in grave, grave situations. Dire straits. Mortal danger. Single people must be helped to "survive" Valentine's Day.
And oh, woe is the singleton! Think of how painful normal days must be: every morning, I only just barely manage to roust myself out of bed, eat a meager meal of porridge and weak tea and plod through my grossly unsatisfying, highly depressing single life. I don't know how I manage it--sheer will to survive against all odds, I guess--but somehow, someway, I crawl back into bed at night, weeping softly to myself and live to fight another lonely day on the brink of suicide because of my single status.
But Valentine's Day! My god, the fact that us single folk don't jump off the closest available roof on, say, a sunny June 20th is shocking enough. How do we manage to wake up on February 14 and not reach for the closest unregistered handgun? How does the sheer weight of the trauma of the single life not bear down with such force that it renders us totally unable to function?
(I think you might see where I'm going with this, yes?)
Singlehood, on Valentine's Day or any other day, isn't a condition to be "survived" any more than marriage or life-partnership. They're all states of relationship being that are almost always in flux. And so, I might understand a Valentine's Day "survival" guide for, say, the recently dumped--lord knows if you were looking forward to being loved up on any day, and then that opportunity was taken away from you, you might feel a bit down in the dumps. And the ridiculous marketing clusterfuck that is Valentine's Day makes it all that much worse.
But even otherwise thoughtful blogs seem to have gotten on the "survival" bandwagon--especially with articles aimed toward that most pathetic of creatures, the single woman. Per The Frisky's "Valentine's Day Survival Guide For Single Chicks:"
Now let's say, hypothetically, for the sake of this discussion, that you are an awesome single chick who begrudgingly acknowledges that V-Day is not going away. How do you live through it? The first thing you do is rejoice in the fact that you don't have to try to figure out what new Apple gadget to get your boyfriend since you are morally opposed to buying him something called an iPad. Even better, you feel relieved knowing that you don't have to pretend to be excited when he gets you a box of Whitman's chocolates from Walgreens and forgets a card. See ... isn't this great? And do you know what is even greater? The fact that you are a strong, independent, happy woman who feels totally content and at peace with being single.Something tells me a "strong, independent happy woman who feels totally content and at peace with being single" isn't reading articles on how to survive Valentine's Day. Because she doesn't care about or need it. People who need to make a big deal out of V-Day "survival" or hating on the holiday aren't strong and empowered, they're whiny and insecure. If the mere concept of Valentine's Day makes you angry, upset or jealous, your issues probably don't just show up 1 day a year, anyway.
(And really, if it makes you incredibly happy to think about the fact that you don't have to buy someone a present, you are maybe kind of a jerk. Presents are fun, friend. Besides, if the guy you would, theoretically, be dating on V-Day expects a pricey gift like an iPad, you probably need to DTMFA.)
How will I survive Valentine's Day? By working, looking at funny cat videos, hanging out with my friends, watching television, maybe going to a movie or doing grad school homework: exactly what I do every other day of the year.