I can’t remember where I heard it or who said it, but I once came across the perfect summation of Valentine’s Day: It’s the day that you hate if you’re single because it makes you feel inadequate, and it’s the day that you hate if you’re with someone because it makes you feel inadequate.
Now I may get a bunch of haters for this one, but as much as I luuuuuv Mr. PR, I would prefer to be single on Valentine’s Day. Being single on Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to get drunk, eat whatever you want, and fall asleep on the couch while watching the Valentine’s Day themed rerun of Full House. When you’re single, you can relish and wallow in your pain and aloneness, sobbing into an already tear-stained pillow as you go down the list of things that make you desirable and amazing and yet for some unfair reason have gone unnoticed. Who doesn’t love being a Drama Queen? And a Drama Queen with three pints of Ben and Jerry’s in the fridge and one in your lap, no less?
When you’re with someone for Valentine’s, you feel the pressure to act, to be noticed, to be memorable. If you’ve only been dating a few months, do you make do with a card you bought at Kroger and call it a night, risking the chance that you’ll come off as unfeeling and unromantic? Or do you come on way too strong, renting out the swankiest restaurant and serenading your significant other with a song you wrote yourself, culminating in the frightened screams of your newfound love as he or she runs for the door?
Of course in the case of Mr. Pop Rocks and me, you run into even more trouble. When you’ve been with someone for eight years, Valentine’s Day brings as much excitement to the relationship as Arbor Day. Actually, it’s more like Tax Day because you feel like you must get something perfunctory accomplished. How’s this, Mr. PR…for this Valentine’s Day, I’ll put out the garbage if you do the kitty litter. Wow…romantic.
I think the ones who really win out on this Hallmarkified holiday are the ones who always win out on any holiday…young kids. Without the pressure of wooing some crush or finding someone to crush on, Valentines Day is like Halloween with pink and red instead of orange and black. And unlike Halloween, they don’t even have to get dressed up. Just show up for school and get candy from everyone you know. Dang kids…
Anyway, I suppose it would only be right if I took a moment on this painful Thursday to wish all of you and yours a very Happy V-Day. And if you must get me something, I accept checks. And gin. – Jennifer Mathieu