A single valentine

Valentine’s Day: the day for red roses, pink hearts, and romantic, candle-lit dinners. But, for those who woke up this morning and put on sunglasses to shield their eyes from the bright pink and red, this article is for them: those poor single people whose plight, on a day like this, is only confusion and more loneliness.

On the dreaded 14th, mushy, lovey-dovey couples and decorations are almost everywhere, and it’s enough to make most singles want to hurl. There’s a couple holding hands around every corner, each a stark reminder of the fact that the only thing most Valentine’s singles have to hold are their textbooks. And speaking of textbooks, what’s a single to do at night on Valentine’s Day besides cuddle up with 100 or so pages of reading?

But hold on just a second. Why should singles be forced to spend the night alone and studying, while those in relationships are out having a good time? Must they be reduced to doing homework just to escape the ever-hovering feeling of loneliness?

Of course not. In fact, some would argue that being single is actually better. For singles, there’s no need to put up with anyone else’s mood swings or carry their emotional baggage. There’s no chance of having to sit through anyone’s boring football games, pretending to look interested. Nor is there need to lie awake wondering how to get the perfect gift for an anniversary. If a person is single, they don’t have to care about that jealous boyfriend watching their every move — or put up with that clingy girlfriend who is already pulling out wedding catalogs, preparing for when they pop the question.

Being single is so much simpler.

In fact, being single is even better on Valentine’s Day, because there are no worries about dinner reservations or gifts or romantic gestures. No need to think a month in advance about what to do or to shell out huge amounts of cash to make a reservation at a swanky restaurant. Valentine’s Day is much less stressful without the need to impress anybody.

And if Valentine’s Day is all about love, why is it necessary to express that love to only a significant other? The best way for a single person to keep up with all the pink is to just give up and join in. No, that doesn’t mean they should run towards the next person they see; rather, it means they should pick up their cell phone and call a whole bunch of their single friends for a crazy night out. There’s no need to be single and lonely. Friends are the perfect people to express love to, and they’re willing to give as well as receive. And they’re less likely to leave you for that hot blonde cheerleader (or football player).

For someone who’s single, a fun dinner with friends is the perfect antidote to tacky Valentine’s Day traditions. The group can get dressed up, reserve a table at a great restaurant, and have a dinner that’s romantic in its own right. For a night in, friends might try to meet up at someone’s apartment and cook a meal. If things begin to burn, remember, there’s always Vocelli.

If it seems like everyone else is receiving a gift, single Valentines should keep in mind that they can always get something for themselves. There’s no better excuse to splurge than Valentine’s Day: giant bouquets, cute earrings, and little black dresses are all acceptable gifts for the self.

For those who still like receiving surprise gifts, arrange a gift exchange with some close friends — each can buy some sexy lingerie to liven up the day. This way, no one in the group will end up like the poor girlfriend who got an electric toothbrush from her beau, or the boyfriend who got another CD holder for his car. Friends always know what to get for a gift, and the chance of ending up with something unwanted is slim.

For any singles still thinking about spending Valentine’s Day with a textbook, remember that the holiday isn’t even a real celebration of love — it’s just a bogus holiday invented by Hallmark to sell greeting cards. Being alone on this one day does not mean loneliness till the end of time.
So, once the realization hits that Valentine’s Day isn’t actually real, spend the day mocking it. Grab that same bunch of single friends and rent a stack of cheesy romance movies (for a list, see page 6). Bring out the buttered popcorn and settle into the couch for one hilarious night (throwing popcorn at the screen is recommended).

Happy being anti-Valentine’s? Go for a walk and make fun of all the couples you see; it’s amazing how many truly goofy ones you’ll find. Learn to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. It might be mean, but it will definitely be satisfying.

But if at the end all else fails and you’re still stuck in your room alone at night, just sleep through it. Rest assured that tomorrow when the sun rises, the day won’t be so pink.