So with every Valentine’s Day comes an unfortunate backlash from cantankerous singles: I’m not dating anyone. Why should I have to endure a day dedicated to fake romance? It’s so commercial, designed by card companies, and if you have to be reminded to be nice to your partner on a special day then it can’t be a good relationship at all yadda yadda yadda…
Look. Nobody likes wine made from sour grapes.
Being single has its sucktacular momentsand I can understand how the day might make you feel a little blue – but I think part of being a good human involves learning to cheer for accomplishments that aren’t yours. My lifetime dream is to have a novel published, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate to the rafters when a friend of mine snags her first novel sale. I’m not always thrilled when one of my partners finds a new boyfriend, but I still find a way to be happy for them.
Sometimes, a celebration’s not for you, and yet you should be happy for other people even though there’s nothing for you in it.
And yes, the day is commercial. But it’s also an excuse for people to go out of their way to be kind to each other – which isn’t something we celebrate enough. In an ideal world, perhaps every couple would be spewing wild declarations of passion to each other daily – Gini and I do – but for those who aren’t quite as open with their affections, having a day that encourages them to say “Lordy, I love you” is a Good Thing. Not everybody’s going to be as enlightened as you.
Occasionally, someone bitter comes up with the idea of “Singles Day,” which is blackly defined as an opposite to Valentine’s Day. I say, fuck that. If you’re going to devise a Singles Day, let’s define one as part of the strengths of being single, the way you can pursue what you love without worry of alienating someone else, as a time to be passionate about other things, as a time to experience a different and in some ways stronger kind of life.
And if that happened, where for a day I was suffused in the reminders of all the little compromises I’ve made for love, I’d cheer the shit out of that too. Because if your life is bettered in some way, I’m for it.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.