Valentine’s Day raises singles’ awareness of their singleness

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, and singles everywhere will wallow in their loneliness.

by Paige Vigil

Everyone loves a reason to celebrate, and holidays give us a perfect one. The festive decorations, food and friendly get-togethers are reason enough to crave a holiday. Yet with certain occasions, are we just celebrating because we want a reason to celebrate, or because there is truly something to be celebrated? The holiday I have in mind is just around the curve of a heart: ValentineâÄôs Day. Some deem ValentineâÄôs Day a âÄúHallmark holidayâÄù because of its commercialization. Of course, the authority to appoint the origin of ValentineâÄôs Day is important when determining whether the loversâÄô holiday is worth our time and money. The story of ValentineâÄôs Day centers on St. Valentine. According to The History Channel, there are many different tales, all including the romantic saint. All the stories include St. Valentine acting in loveâÄôs name, and even though none of the fables are consistent, the rest was history. As a child, trading valentines with my peers in homeroom class was always an exciting event for the holiday. As high school snuck up, the anonymous cards were invigorating. Now, as an adult, the pressure to actually have a date seems to be the most important aspect of the holiday. As a woman, the weight of the holiday can be extremely heavy. Even though I am dateless this year, I still painted my nails pink, strategically placing white hearts on my middle fingers. Undeniably, the pressure for men must be a little heavier, as they are expected to make the day grandiose with chocolate and diamonds. Anyone in my position come February is undeniably cynical about ValentineâÄôs Day. To watch the smiling couples prance around campus hand-in-hand painfully twists a knife in my candy-shaped heart. The looming fate of singlehood seems to be the dungeon that I never thought IâÄôd be trapped in at 22. Seven years ago, I would have certainly expected to have already met my Prince Charming by now, or at least had the chance to Google him. What am I to celebrate on ValentineâÄôs Day? Am I meant to stand by watchfully in a fishbowl of singles as happy, paired counterparts celebrate their love? The pessimistic side of ValentineâÄôs Day is obviously the easiest perspective to take for a person of single status, because holding your own hand or cuddling a pillow is never as much fun. Looking on the brighter side, I know I will have a valentine someday. If my current situation were different, I would hope Mr. Right and I would be celebrating our fairytale lives together everyday, not needing a holiday for a romantic dinner with an excuse to spend money on each other, since every night would be a dream. Cheesy? Yes. Practical? Maybe. Why does love need a specific day for celebration? Is an anniversary not enough? I honestly have always believed that love is an ongoing celebration. The bright side for me this Feb. 14 is not only feeling comfortable enough in my own skin to send myself a bouquet of roses, but also that I am saving money. LetâÄôs face it: The holiday is not cheap if youâÄôre looking beyond the box of chocolates. While ValentineâÄôs Day is labeled a womanâÄôs holiday, that is just to keep men from expecting a surprise as well. Typically, fine-dining restaurant reservations for ValentineâÄôs are made as far as a month in advance. A study done by USA Today last year found that the average couple spends $102.50 each on the so-called âÄúspecial day.âÄù Since my perspective on ValentineâÄôs Day is a bit contemptuous this year, I thought a second opinion from someone in the exact opposite shoes would be helpful. I interviewed Derek McCallum and Jenna Manzetti, lovebirds for the past 15 months. McCallum is a former University of Minnesota student, recently drafted to the Twins. Manzetti is a current student majoring in sports management âÄî a match made in heaven … or accounting class. When asked about ValentineâÄôs Day, McCallum said, âÄú[Jenna] doesnâÄôt like it. She thinks itâÄôs a Hallmark holiday, but I think itâÄôs an OK deal. I wouldnâÄôt mind celebrating.âÄù Manzetti quickly replied, âÄúI think heâÄôs right. I donâÄôt like chocolate, I donâÄôt like flowers and I donâÄôt wear jewelry, so I think itâÄôs kinda pointless.âÄù Even though Manzetti may find ValentineâÄôs Day futile, McCallum has a few surprise tricks up his sleeve for his other half come Sunday. The only opinion lacking is that of a single male. In order to get a grasp on ValentineâÄôs Day from every perspective, I interviewed Karl Schuchard, another University student. Sadly, SchuchardâÄôs ValentineâÄôs Day track record hasnâÄôt been that great, as his valentine of choice rejected him last year. Even though Schuchard was unaware of the actual date for ValentineâÄôs Day, I was able to clue him in. SchuchardâÄôs ideas about the big day were a tad conflicting. Schuchard believes that it is a âÄúcute holidayâÄù when in a relationship, but also that couples should celebrate their love daily as opposed to annually. Generally, I believe most people agree with SchuchardâÄôs sentiment. Clearly, I am not alone in my belief that ValentineâÄôs Day is a waste of calendar space. While I have previously found the day to be a waste, I understand its appeal. The anticipation of a real holiday in the name of love is electrifying, as it gives everyone the chance to be wined and dined. Though this weekend will not be the most eventful for me, I will do my best not to turn the color of lime-green Jello. Rather, IâÄôll be content with my current situation with the other singles in my category. Who knows what surprises next year will bring. Paige Vigil welcomes comments at [email protected]