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Why we love to hate Valentine’s Day

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December has Christmas, March has Saint Patrick’s Day and January has the highly anticipated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. What does February have? If you couldn’t already tell by the absurd amount of roses and candy hearts, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we are not ready. From the perspective of both a single lady and a taken lady, we both still find reasons to detest the 14th day of February.

Dinner date or dinner hate?

A classic Valentine’s Day tradition has always been date night. But for us single people, Valentine’s Day provides the best excuse to take yourself out for a nice dinner. I get dressed up and finally gain enough confidence to walk in and ask for a table for one. The host barely covers a scoff and delivers the dreaded line, “Sorry, there’s a wait.” Just as expected, the lowly lit sushi restaurant is filled with too-close couples leaving me, the hungry sushi lover, without a table.

I’m going to be completely honest with you. I haven’t ever gone out on a date for Valentine’s Day. Last year, I was in Ireland when Feb. 14 rolled around, and the general tone of our Skype date was melancholy. There could be no dinner date and no gift exchange. Now I’m back in United States, and there isn’t a screen separating my beau and me. But now, there are expectations. A fancy dinner? A dress? I really just want to spend time with my boyfriend, and thanks to Valentine’s Day pressure, it seems like we need to spend a bunch of money in a lowly lit sushi restaurant filled with other couples being … gross. Maybe I just want to order pizza for two.

Overrated aesthetics

Something that almost everyone can love about Valentine’s Day is the candy. I’ve been craving heart-shaped Reese’s for weeks now, and the sound of Ferrero Rocher chocolates is enough to make me swoon. I think I have it all planned out. Wait until the day after Valentine’s Day, and all of the leftover candy will finally be on clearance. All for me! Feb. 15 rolls around, I waltz into the drugstore, and my jaw drops. The candy is gone. No more. Nothing. But somehow, the wall of Cupid decorations are up while the seasonal candy is sold out, taken by all the greedy couples.

Back in December, I wandered into my local Michaels craft store to find a wall of pink, red and white decorations. But… it’s December! It’s not even Christmas! Who’s out here buying Valentine’s Day decorations before New Year’s has even happened? No one. So this is a PSA to all department stores. Calm down. If I, a person in a relationship, doesn’t like seeing these decorations, I can’t imagine how much a single person with a vendetta against all things romantic would feel seeing this up so early before the holiday.

To PDA or not to PDA

Regardless of the time of year, PDA seems to be just as controversial as the 2016 election. Some people don’t care (usually because they’re the ones doing it) while others shrivel up in a state of repulsion at the touch of a shoulder. I’m pretty impartial to the typical lovey-dovey couple kiss, but once Valentine’s Day rolls around, it’s taken to a whole other level. I mean, isn’t it just like any other day? Does the all-consuming intensity of this love-filled holiday really compel you to make out in the hallway? At this point, it just feels like a big slap in the face.

My boyfriend kisses me on the forehead in the hallway. I freeze. Is there anyone around who is going to think this is too much for school? The last thing we want to do is make other people feel uncomfortable, and the line of what people define as PDA is not specified. Is it holding hands? Is it full-on making out? No one truly knows. It’s all subjective, and you never know when people are going to be offended by your actions, and that makes me terribly paranoid, especially on the holiday that makes some single people sensitive to even hand holding.

Under pressure

It’s cuffing season! And conveniently, Valentine’s Day falls right into this time period. The entire holiday is about celebrating love, but what if you lack a significant other to love? Where’s my holiday? The upbeat spirit of this holiday can put even the most joyous of people in a funk. Even I, someone who’s content with being single, still feel the pressure to find a partner come February.

A trademark of this Hallmark holiday is the daunting task of gift giving. I found the gift that I knew my boyfriend would love literally two months ago for Christmas. How am I supposed to find another gift for Valentine’s Day and pay for it? I spent all of my money in December! Even though my boyfriend and I have already agreed to keep it low-key this year, there’s still this invisible pressure to get a great gift. It’s Feb. 10 and I have no ideas. Please help me.

Put a sock in it

OK look, I get it. Single people are annoying. But you must understand: our constant jokes about living the “single life” are often just a cover-up for the fact that yes, we’re ridiculously jealous of your loving relationship. So while Valentine’s Day seems like the perfect excuse to complain about everything wrong with your love life, the complaints of every single partnerless person can get a little excessive. Yes, I know we’re single. But no, I don’t need your constant reminder.

I know that it’s frustrating to see couples being all lovey-dovey on any day, let alone a holiday dedicated to romance, but know this: not every couple is disgusting, and we also want to be able to make eye contact without a huff of annoyance from someone nearby. You don’t want to feel bad about being single on Valentine’s Day? Well, I don’t want you to make me feel bad just for being in a relationship.

 

I know we’ve had a lot of fun here today, but let’s take a step back. Valentine’s Day isn’t all bad. There are multiple kinds of love, and Feb. 14 is a great time to celebrate all of it. Get your friend a special gift they’ve been wanting, treat yourself to a bubble bath and face mask, and, if you do have a significant other, let them know that you love having them in your life. After all, we can all agree that those Valentine’s Day memes are hilarious.

 

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Why we love to hate Valentine’s Day