This year I think I’ve finally wrapped my head around what it means to be single on Valentine’s Day – really nothing much at all!
I have one of those big At-a-Glance calendars hanging next to my desk and, throughout the day, I’ll look up to see the appointments I’ve written in, birthdays I want to remember and upcoming holidays. And predictably, waiting for me every February is what can be the most awkward “holiday” of the year, especially when you’re single: Valentine’s Day.
Although I usually define single as being unmarried, for the purpose of this particular article, I’m defining “single” as not having a specific someone out there who is obligated to buy, give or do something to prove the depth and breadth of their romantic love, for you and you alone, on the 14th of February.
Single on Valentine’s Day or not, no one escapes unscathed. If, at the moment, you don’t have someone in your life to fulfill the Valentine’s obligation with overpriced flowers, jewelry, candy, etc., there’s a vast reservoir of matchmakers and romance coaches standing by, like paramedics at a train wreck, waiting to bandage up your Valentine’s wounds and cure your singular status — for a price, of course. You see, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a jackpot for chocolate makers; it’s the biggest payday of the year for people who make their living “fixing” singles.
Since starting Singular in September of 2008, this makes the fifth year in a row that I’ve struggled to come up with a singular solution for dealing with Valentine’s Day, one that provides an alternative choice for single people. But no matter what, addressing the issue of being single on Valentine’s Day was like trying to prune an overgrown cactus, stark naked, with toenail clippers.
Ah, but finally, this year I had a Valentine’s Day epiphany, all thanks to my wall calendar. It happened when I was planning some SingularCity events. Wanting to avoid any conflicting holidays, I flipped forward to March and saw it: Passover. Yes, Passover.
I’m not Jewish so Passover is just a date printed on the calendar. But I know not to plan a SingularCity event on that date because most of my Jewish friends will be attending a Passover dinner that night.
Am I sad and depressed because I’m not having Passover seder too? Am I going to pretend like I’m Jewish so I won’t miss out on the party? Am I going to sign up for conversion classes so I’ll never have to spend another Passover alone? Will I go on an anti-Passover rampage? Of course not!
Sure, I’ll have some friends who will have the day off so they can observe the holiday. I’ll hear conversations about it, who had the best dinner, where they went, etc., but I’m certainly not going to feel sad, jealous, left out or otherwise negative because Passover doesn’t apply to me. Nor will I feel sad, jealous, left out or otherwise negative because Valentine’s Day — at least as it’s observed by our couples-centric world — doesn’t apply to me either.
Hey, maybe someday I’ll be coupled up and have a chance to put my partner through the angst of being judged by what he buys me on Valentine’s Day, but until then I’ll just step back and let my coupled friends do what they do without sadness, without jealousy and, come to think of it, a sense of relief!
I won’t be desperately searching for a Valentine’s date, I won’t feel I have to stay home and cry into my Pralines and Cream because I’m not having a “real” Valentine’s Day, come to think of it, I may even go out and have some fun with my singular friends. But no matter what, from here on out, I’ve decided to “pass over” all the drama about Valentine’s Day.
Copyright © Kim Calvert / 2013 Singular Communications, LLC.