Happy Valentine’s Day!
I bet you just groaned as you read over that sentence. This is the day we all dread. It reminds us that we don’t have a steady significant other to take out to restaurants or receive a giant stuffed animal with a giant heart. It is when you have to find the “right” gift for the person you’re with based on how long you’ve been dating and your feelings towards each other. It is when other couples become especially obnoxious. It is when you really don’t want to be one of those obnoxious couples, so you avoid all types of PDA. It is where we eat a lot of chocolate or drink a lot of alcohol and watch sad, sappy movies. For a holiday that is supposed to be all about love, it seems to bring more anxiety and stress than anything.
There are many ways in which you can face Valentine’s Day.
First approach: Give it no meaning to you. Pretend it is like any other day that just seems to have a bit more pink and red in the world. Declare yourself a person who believes that Valentine’s Day is just a greeting card holiday where the only love there is, is from the corporations that make bucket loads of money today.
Second approach: Accept your sadness. Watch an incredibly sappy, depressing movie. Eat chocolate and ice cream. Cry if you need too. A way to make this approach better is to find a friend who wants to join you and wallow together.
Third approach: Go out with your friends. Eat fancy dinners and watch funny movies. Go out to a party and dance the night away. Enjoy yourself. Be happy that you have got friends who want to spend copious amounts of time with you, no matter what state you’re in.
Fourth approach: If you are dating someone and are not really “in love” with that person, keep it chill. Go on a date and do Valentine’s Day without the pressure. Be happy that you have someone who wants to spend time with just you.
Fifth approach: If you are dating someone and are completely in love, keep it chill. Shower each other with love and affection, but don’t make your sad friends even sadder. You only want to spend time with your love, so find a corner of the world and feel the love.
For whatever approach you decide to take or decide not to take, realize that there is love surrounding you, not just one person. You have friends that love you enough to watch you sob through The Notebook or give you the room for the night. You have family that will send you random texts and Facebook posts to show you that you are not alone and are so proud of you no matter your relationship status. You will always have chocolate to make you feel better.
Know that this is only one day. You will make it through.
Ah, Valentine’s Day, that unholy mass of chocolate and Bieber-themed greeting cards, king of consumerist greeting card holidays. The only day of the year when the CEOs of Hallmark and Necco can live like kings! Today, the holy day of the romantic-industrial complex, is expressly designed to make you feel bad about yourself, regardless of your relationship status. If you are a Single Person™ (an insider industry term), then you will feel bad because you have no one to buy anything for. If you are in a
Relationship™ (more industry jargon), then you will feel bad because what you bought for your partner isn’t expensive enough/isn’t romantic enough/is The Bell Jar and oh god, why did you think that would be an appropriate gift? Either way, Valentine’s Day is most likely bound to leave you with a strong case of the capitalist blues. Here are some tips to help you beat the madness:
Single People™: revel in your freedom! You have no one to buy anything for! You get to take the cash you’ve spent countless hours slinging pancakes at Burton breakfast to earn and keep it all for yourself! Alone, you can roll around in a big pile of dollar bills and loose change and laugh at those suckers who are out buying a dozen roses. In the immortal words of Donna Meagle, I urge you to Treat. Yo. Self. Get fancy. Get a big bottle of champagne all to yourself. Eat an entire bag of chili cheese Fritos. Take a candlelight bubble bath with your big bottle of champagne (not something I would recommend in the dorms). It’s your night to celebrate yourself, so get wild!
Relationship™ partners: you get to celebrate too! You’re on the other side of the river, in the greener pastures. You’re what the industry would call a “success”. Take advantage of the fact that you have something warmer and slightly squishier than a pile of cash to roll around on. Show your walking, talking pile of cash how much you care about them! Since you are not a Single Person and don’t have dollars on dollars to throw around, I advise gestures that are simple and heartfelt. Bake them a pie!
Write them a poem! Paint a tastefully nude portrait of them, Titanic-style! While it’s nice to be showered in expensive gifts and jewelry, it’s nicer to feel like someone loves you enough to put a ton of time into making something for you.
This all boils down to one key survival tip: don’t let yourself feel bad on Valentine’s Day! The big VD is a holiday designed to make everyone, single and taken, feel inadequate or alone. This is the day we are told to ramp our romantic expectations to movie-level highs, and it’s never a good feeling when reality doesn’t get there.
Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day is so ingrained in our culture at this point that it’s going to happen whether you want it to or not. You can run from the torrent of candy hearts pouring out of the Necco factory all you want, but eventually their chalky goodness will catch up to you. Since you can’t secede from Valentine country, make it a day to love yourself and the people around you. Opt out of the red heart madness, pop some bottles, and celebrate “I Am Capable and Worthy of Loving Myself and Others” Day.
At the end of your evening, whether you are gettin’ down by yourself or with a special friend, put on a playlist that consists only of Ginuwine’s “Pony” and rejoice! You’ve survived another Valentine’s Day! Ginuwine and I are very proud of you.