So you're spending Valentine's Day alone and feeling sad about it. What do you do? Curl up on the couch and cry? Stare forlornly into the window of a restaurant packed with couples who are sharing the same long spaghetti noodle like the dogs in Lady and the Tramp? Well, knock it off, sister. You're a grown-ass woman — W-O-M-Y-N — and it's time that you figured out that Valentine's Day only matters when you make it matter. SO STOP MAKING IT MATTER.
There was a time when I used to get really sad about being alone on Valentine's Day. That time was high school, when I was too young and dumb to know better. To my younger self's credit, Valentine's Day is a holiday that's pretty challenging to avoid when you're in school. Fellow students with significant others flaunt it. They get their lockers decorated with balloons and flowers. They give gifts and grotesquely french kiss each other at lunch, all while you're trying to enjoy your pizza in peace-a. Because I spent my high school years as a super lame theater kid who INTENTIONALLY DRESSED LIKE A NEWSIE, I — surprise surprise — never had a boyfriend to do all that stuff with so, instead, I would watch these exchanges at school then go home to sob, watch Degrassi, pretend that Jake Epstein was my boyfriend and eat Pringles. It was a very happy time.
And then I grew up a little bit. I got a job in the restaurant industry and saw what absolute hell Valentine's Day is from the perspective of waitstaff. I watched a lot of couples wait too long for tables and get served subpar food because the kitchen was struggling to handle the volume of costumers who annually flock in on February 14th. Suddenly, the transactional side of Valentine's Day became more clear. The day was less about love and more about that one night in February when I might be able to earn an entire month's rent in tips — not romantic, sure, but can you think of a sexier gift than that?
Now, because I no longer go to high school (unless I'm doing a Never Been Kissed-style investigative report...which I'm not ;-| ) and no longer work in restaurants, Valentine's Day has become almost completely avoidable. Sure, people I know post about it on social media, but who cares? People post about a lot of things I'd rather ignore on social media so it's not like today is all that different from any other day. And luckily, most of my friends — whether they're in a couple or not — are equally indifferent, so it's TGIFriday business as usual.
But maybe your friends are different than mine and they do make you feel bad about being alone on Valentine's Day. Well, I hate to break it to you, but you have some shitty friends. That or it's projection on your part, in which case this probably goes deeper than Valentine's Day and chances are you'll be sad on February 15th, 16th and maybe even when you finally get a significant other because, guess what, they won't solve all your problems either.
To be clear, mine is not an anti-Valentine's Day argument. As we already pointed out, going out of your way to hate the holiday is just as big of a stupid marketing trap as overly indulging in it. If you want to celebrate February 14th with all of the hearts, candy and Cupid stuff that your beautiful swan arms can carry, go for it! If you want to go out with your significant other to a crowded restaurant with a prix fixe menu, do that, too! That can be super fucking fun. Make your buds cards. Listen to this Outkast song on repeat. Do whatever it is that makes you happy as long as it's ACTUALLY making you happy and forget the rest.