Thursday, February 11, 2010

Being single on Valentine's Day is like...

Hump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Being single on Valentine's Day is like being Jewish at Christmas... white during Black History Month... French on St. Patrick's Day... Canadian on the Fourth of July... an atheist on Good Friday. You get the drift.

While others either celebrate or drop to their knees in reverent prayer, you're on the outs. It's like being broke and going window shopping. You can take a look, but you can't touch.

Unless Cupid strikes me in the heart with his little arrow between now and Sunday, I will be spending the day sobbing into my pillow and trying to figure out a way to kill myself with my toothbrush. (I'm scared of knives.) I wonder how long it would take to brush myself to death? Probably a long time, and I don't think I'm that patient.

Or maybe I could take too much strong cough syrup and sleep through the day.

Yeah, for we singles, Valentine's Day can be a bad time if you let it get to you. I'm one of those people who faithfully sends cards to friends and family for special events such as birthdays and holidays. I love buying greeting cards. So when I see scads of people browsing the card aisles for that special note for their sweetie, I feel a tinge of sadness and regret that this is one holiday that doesn't include me and my card-buying ways -- at least for this year.

Oh sure, I could send a Valentine's Day card to my mother, but that's kind of creepy. Maybe I could send one to my nieces and nephews, but that would only get me thrown in jail if I happened to mistakenly send a risqué card that I picked up in a rush. I can just imagine my sister calling after I inadvertently sent an inappropriate card to my four-year-old nephew. "Uhm, was there a reason why your card said, 'I can't wait to get your sexy body alone tonight?' I'm calling the cops!"

Well, then maybe I could find love in jail! Oh, I don't know. I've heard stories about what happens in jail. I'd rather be crying into a pillow. Actually, that doesn't sound much different than what happens during "dates" in jail anyway.

I suppose I could do what all those self-help gurus advise. I could set up a nice dinner for myself. A glass of wine. A nice steak. Some candles. A dozen roses. I could even buy a card for myself. "Little Billy Bunny wants you to have a very happy Valentine's Day." Oh, that's where my nephew's card went. Mixed up the envelopes.

I've spoken to other singles who have a hard time getting through Valentine's Day. They bemoan the fact that they're not dating anyone on a day when having a date is a must. I say we all get together and pray for a three-day snowstorm . . . enough to ruin the holiday for everyone. We're lonely and we're bitter. Don't make us angrier than we are.

Why don't we just make Valentine's Day illegal? After all, lovers get every day of the year to spend time together and go on dates. Why should they throw it in singles' faces on Feb. 14? Is there a Singles Day, when people send cards to their single friends and congratulate them on being able to leave their dirty clothes all over the house without anyone nagging them to pick them up?

"On this Singles Day, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you have no one in your life who cares enough." Yeah, thanks.

Now, it's really not so bad being single. There's no one around to nag. You've grown accustomed to sleeping alone with only a full-size body pillow to keep you company. (Note to self: Body pillow's therapy session is rescheduled to next week.) And if you drop dead while watching television, there's no one running around all upset . . . well, at least not right away. That'll happen about a week later after you don't show up at work and someone finally notices and cares enough to call the police.

In all seriousness, I don't really care if I'm single. I've never been a "relationship" person. Other people just get on my nerves sometimes. The thought of spending the rest of my life with someone whose habits drive me crazy is not appealing. Face it, we all know people who bicker so much that you wonder why they even stay together. Others don't bicker. In fact, they don't speak at all!

Valentine's Day is truly a day for lovers, and we singles will just have to accept that. Besides, wishing ill will on others is no way to improve the world. I love being single, actually. There's no one to feel obligated to.

There's no one whose habits I need to pretend to even tolerate. And there are no expensive gifts to buy. I can do what I want without being beholden to anyone.

Sure, being part of a couple would be nice sometimes. There's companionship. There's the love. There's knowing there's someone to share life's ups and downs with. There are the more intimate benefits, too. (Cover your eyes, kids!)

The secret to all of this is to be happy wherever you're at. There are miserable singles. There are happy singles. There are couples who complete each other and who make each other happy. There are couples who create nothing but chaos and misery together. Wherever you're at in life, learn something from it. Well, maybe if you're in a chaotic and miserable couple, you may want to do something about that.

If you're single and find Valentine's Day particularly difficult, just hunker down and handle it. The world's not going to end. Go to bed early. Read a book. Go to a movie with another single friend. Heck, go to two movies in one night! Why not?

After all, just ask yourself this: If a single person cries into their pillow on Valentine's Day, does anybody hear?

1 comment:

Janice said...

Awesome column Brian...maybe we should think about renaming the holiday Singles Awareness Day? lol