Valentine’s Day is a pretty shabby day for singles. No husband? Well, maybe you have a boyfriend. No boyfriend? Well, maybe you have a date. No date? Oh dear, better call the gal pals ASAP. Don’t worry, you can stave off the worst pangs of desperation with a quick trip down the “comfort foods” aisle.
Valentine’s Day is a bad day for singles because society says that you can’t be happy alone. In our world, there is nothing more craved, idolized or worshipped than the romantic relationship. We Americans have our addictions, but our favorite is love. Love in the sense of crazed obsession. Love in the sense of pathetic dependency. Love in the sense of absolute consumption.
You mean you haven’t found your other half yet? You poor thing, it’s a wonder you’re still able to walk. You mean you don’t have another person constantly attached at the hip? Never fear, I will become your new social planner! Someone needs to help this girl figure out what to do with her weekends. You mean you can still breathe without a man in your life? This must be an optical illusion… Help! Anyone! Please, she needs a resuscitator immediately!
I’m not trying to put a damper on your passion. Rev it up baby, I’m all about the heat. I’m just trying to redefine your idea of passion. Excuse me for thinking that passion constitutes something healthier than degenerating into half a life-force. Excuse me for thinking that you can enter or exit a relationship and still remain a functioning individual. Excuse me for thinking that you can be a satisfied single.
Apparently, very few people will excuse me, and certainly not society as a whole. The lack of tolerance for singles is seen in the ludicrous reactions we receive.
You? Single? How is that possible? You’d think some guy would have waltzed up by now, I mean, it’s not like you’re drastically unattractive or something. In fact, you’re pretty attractive. So, what’s going on here? Well, if looks aren’t your problem, you’re hiding something then. Ah, I know. You have a secret neurosis. No? You emit clinginess. No? You must be a control-freak. No? But you couldn’t possibly be normal! This is ridiculous. Normal people don’t stay single. Don’t worry honey, we’ll figure it out soon. I’ve made you an appointment with my psychiatrist, she’ll be able to identify your problem by Monday!
The truth is, you don’t have a problem. You aren’t weird. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t psychotic. You are single. And this state, despite the endless stigmas surrounding it, is perfectly normal. True, sometimes it is attributed to circumstance. Maybe you have yet to meet a man appealing enough to spark your interest. Maybe you have yet to meet a man whose BAC level is below .15 percent five nights of the week. Maybe you have yet to meet a man whose highest aspiration of the night isn’t getting a personal tour of your bed. But these are just speculations. Singlehood isn’t always circumstantial.
I know this seems inconceivable, but people can be single by choice. Yes, people can even want to be single. Maybe you like to spice your men up and don’t want to limit yourself to just one. Maybe you want the freedom to live spontaneously without the constraints of another person’s schedule. Maybe you have other things on your agenda besides drooling over the latest Y chromosome. Maybe you like being single. Did that come out wrong? Doesn’t that sound weird? Liking singlehood? It seems like it’s an oxymoron or something.
It seems like it’s an oxymoron because society continuously and methodically belittles singles. But if you think people are biased against singles, just wait till you see what the health experts do to us. Want to die earlier? Just be single. The health industry claims you will. Get your Coumadin ready now, I can feel the heart attack building already! Want to be depressed? Just be single. The pharmaceutical industry claims you’re more prone to it. Find a therapist now, while the good ones still have openings! Even the IRS hates us. This is a low blow, something as mundane as a tax agency has a personal vendetta against us. Want to pay lower taxes? Just go get yourself hitched; they’ll give you a pretty discount.
The flagrant prejudice against singles needs to stop. People need to stop assuming that singles have problems. That singles are unhappy. That singles are incomplete. That singles are alone and crying in their rooms on Valentine’s Day. Single people are normal people too. It’s time we start treating them like it.
Singles, despite their lack of romantic entanglements, are not a group of loveless individuals. They have the love of family. They have the love of friends. They have the love of life.
This Valentine’s Day, if you are single, throw out the box of tissues and break out the pink. Today is a holiday, so let’s get on the celebrating.