NEWSFLASH: It’s okay to be single on @*#!ing Valentine’s Day

Melissa Treolo

“Today is a day invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.”

This is one of the first lines in the film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and it’s a strangely logical statement made about one of the most beloved and most hated of all holidays, Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a possible Feb. 14 scenario: It’s a romantic, candle-lit dinner for two. Flowers have been bought, gifts have been exchanged and all is right with the world. You are one-half of a couple and, what’s more, you are one-half of a couple on Valentine’s Day. Therefore you are special. You are validated. You can now breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve managed to avoid the disgrace of being a relationship-less freak on national “celebrate your relationship” day.

Here’s another scenario: It’s a significantly less romantic dinner between you and your date for the evening: The television. Perhaps you’ve cooked for the two of you a full-course meal. Perhaps you’ve just taken the time to throw a pathetic, but rather appropriate, TV dinner in the microwave. Either way, one thing is clear to you as you alternate between reruns of Will & Grace and sickeningly romantic black-and-whites on Turner Classic Movies: You are as pathetic as the TV dinner sitting in front of you. The greeting card companies have won and you have no defense against them.

Well, to hell with greeting cards.

I’m about to say something that may get me burned at the stake. It’s a statement that couples the town over may laugh at and say, “look at that single newspaper reporter girl trying to make herself feel better about being alone on Valentine’s Day.” But, in the face of all derision, I proudly say it anyway.

It’s OK to be single on Valentine’s Day.

There you have it and, before you keel over in shock, let the idea settle for a bit. Imagine for a moment that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about celebrating a relationship with a significant other. Imagine that it could also be about appreciating any relationship in your life, whether it’s with a friend, a parent or your pet fish. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be thought of as a defeatist holiday, designed only to make singletons feel bad about themselves if they don’t happen to be with someone. This is the day to feel grateful for love in whatever form it comes to you (and if you think this includes your “date,” the television, you’ve missed my point entirely).

A final tip: If said love happens to come to your door in the form of a few friends and a bottle of vodka, just go with it. The TV will still be there when you sober up.