I hate Valentine’s Day. But if you’ve ever read my column, you’d know that was coming. It’s not the cynic in me that hates Valentine’s Day. I hate it because of all the damn men asking me out. I mean, how many times can a girl hear, “I know you’re probably busy, but if you’re free on Valentine’s Day ...” in the week leading up to Feb. 14? There are only so many bouquets that I can accept before it starts to look like I’m hiding a florist underneath my floorboards. Smh (that’s “shake my head” for those of you who aren’t acronym savvy).
Now let me start again in a more serious and believable manner. People get down on Valentine’s Day for being a Hallmark-commercialized holiday. So what? Mother’s Day is too. And if, like 98.36 percent of the population, you’re going to take your mother for granted 364 days of the year, you might as well suck it up and make her breakfast in bed the 365th day. It’s better than neglecting her all year long. In the same vein, if you’re going to be a mediocre significant other most of the year, you might as well make some dinner reservations and get your shit together for one night. It’s only fair.
Whether Cupid’s got you in a chokehold or hasn’t given your love life the time of day, I hope you aren’t dreading V-Day. What’s really so bad about it? The pressure to get a date? Fuck that. Trying to get a date for Valentine’s is like interviewing for a job — you have no idea what you’re supposed to say to a girl/guy, but you hope whatever you do say sounds impressive enough to get you a second interview a.k.a. date. So what’s bugging you about Feb. 14? The pressure to get your girl/guy a nice gift? Fuck that too. The unbearable pain of being alone? I’m emotionally celibate so I can’t advise you if that’s your problem. None of the above could make me hate on V-Day though. Only the bitter hate Valentine’s Day, and even the Gym Class Heroes are smart enough to know that holding grudges over love is ancient artifacts.
If pressed, I would have to say that the one thing I don’t like about Valentine’s Day is the movie selection that we are presented with every February. Shocking as it may be, the truth is that I love romantic comedies. I could watch movies like Notting Hill and Ten Things I Hate About You till the buffalo pooped. But watching a romantic comedy when you’re single on Valentine’s Day is disheartening. It will give you highly unrealistic expectations for your love life.
I know I’m not the first to bring the unrealistic nature of romantic comedies to your attention. It is an over-exhausted topic. But really, if you were Ashton Kutcher and your sex friend (Natalie Portman) told you not to bring her flowers, would you really think of bringing her a bouquet of carrots? No. You’re not that quirky and thoughtful Ashton, stop pretending. Sorry, I just saw No Strings Attached and that needed to be said.
Getting back to the topic at hand, I should mention that I will probably act like an asshole by going to see a movie like The Vow (and maybe even crying) this Tuesday. I can’t help but love all the coincidences and awful cliches that are the reason romantic comedies suck. I think it’s a glitch in my genetic coding. My DNA is probably unraveling out of its double helix thingy as we speak. It’s a detrimental flaw in my very existence. And if you like romantic comedies, you’re screwed too. Because you can’t dump rom-coms and live a happy life with a healthy outlook on dating and relationships now. No other movie genre would want you after a tryst with the devil, ahem, romantic comedies. So accept your fate, watch a romantic comedy, get a little depressed and sloppy and drunk dial your ex this Tuesday. No need to be ashamed — it happens to the best of us.
I read a Wes Janisen article that said “Being alone is a little like having a bruise on your chest — it doesn’t hurt all the time, only when pressure is applied.” No other day of the year applies more pressure to The Single Bruise than Valentine’s Day. So if you’re feeling any of of the symptoms of said bruise (inflammation, the urge to drink several bottles of wine alone, etc.) don’t forget what this day is really about — love. And while romantic love is what gets the most attention on V-Day thanks to a cherub sporting Huggies, it’s not the only kind of love out there (it is, however, the only kind of love I hate on).
For example, I really love my mom. She happens to be approximately 8,730.9 miles away at the moment, visiting my grandma Jimmy (her real name is Leelawathie but we like weird nicknames at my house) on a lovely island that has yet to fully embrace the phenomenon that we call indoor plumbing. My dad and I won’t let a few pesky oceans and continents stand in our way though. We are sending Mama G a cake with the words “Happy Valentine’s Day Jiggly Butt!” inscribed on it in frosty goodness (I wasn’t kidding about the weird nicknames).
Even if you’re single, rejoice in the fact that you still have family, Facebook friends, pets, bartenders, etc. that still love you (or at least your binge drinking tendency). Emotionally celibate or not, there’s something about receiving a “Happy Valentine’s Day XOXO Mom” text that makes you smile despite any of your usual misgivings about V-Day, isn’t there?
Hazel Gunapala is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She may be reached at email@example.com. Appropriately Cynical appears alternate Thursdays this semester.