February 13, 2013

GUNAPALA: Valentine’s Day Post-College

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I moved to Maryland at the end of December. Around that time I met a man (I only say man because he’s six years older than my barely legal ass) who I’ve gone on a few dates with. Let’s call him Vince. Vince is pretty cute. He’s a tall kickboxing instructor with a motorcycle. He owns his own house, he opens doors and he doesn’t wait for me to call or text him first. These things are all freaking awesome in my book.

But I’m not crazy about Vince. To be honest, I think the only reason I’m even going out with him is because I need to make friends and he has a lot of them. In fact, the only people I know in Maryland who don’t work with me are Vince’s friends. So, yeah, I’m using him to meet people. I know, I know — it’s wrong and I’m a jerk. Really, I am. And I really do know it. But c’mon — this can’t be much worse than the time I told a guy I was a stripper and continued the ruse for over month afterward. Actually, that guy still thinks I’m a stripper. But that’s a story for another time.

Anywhoodles, I admitted all of this to my close friend yesterday thinking that she would tell me to do the smart/right/reasonable/moral thing and stop seeing Vince. Nope. Her response was “at least you’ll have a date for Valentine’s Day.”

Ah yes, Valentine’s Day. While some people dread it, I actually like it. I’ve spent roughly half of my “adult” Valentine’s Days alone and half of with boyfriends. With the exception of one memorably miserable V-Day, I’ve had a good time every year, regardless of the company. And yet, when my friend said this, all I could think was: “Oh hell no.”

Maybe it’s just the lack of alcohol in my past-its-prime, post-21-year-old body, but I don’t feel the need to have a date on Valentine’s Day just for the sake of having a date. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been this mature my whole life. In fact, I haven’t been this mature for more than a few hours (although I don’t know how mature you’d call someone who is dating a guy for his friends). What I’m saying is that if I didn’t have plans this time last year and Vince asked me out, I would have jumped at the chance to go out with him. But now, I don’t want to waste the night going out with a guy I don’t care about. I don’t want to compromise on my movie choices or make room on the couch for someone who doesn’t mean anything to me.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have nearly as much free time as I did when I was in school. Last year I could waste four nights a week going out with randoms and I still had three nights to hang out with my friends or watch exorbitant amounts of TV. Now I only have two days off a week and I relish every second of them. But who knows? I’m either too old or too apathetic to waste time on things and people who aren’t important to me.

So, regardless of the reason, I’ll be sans date this V-Day and I’m more than okay with that. I have already reserved an hour of my time to call my mom and catch the latest L.A. gossip. The rest of my night will be devoted to my DVR, who will be patiently waiting with some Pretty Little Liars episodes to keep me company.

I hope you all make the right choice and decide to spend Valentine’s Day with people who really mean something to you (like Mona and those creeps on the A-team). Because that’s really the point, isn’t it?

Hazel Gunapala is a former Sun columnist who graduated in 2012. She can be reached at hgunapala@cornellsun.com. Guest Room appears periodically this semester.

Original Author: Hazel Gunapala

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