It's Singles-Bashing Day today

2005-02-14 09:33

I have a friend who seizes just about any opportunity to celebrate.

She and her husband celebrate their birthdays every six months, and she even shares a glass of wine with her car every time it clocks a thousand kilometres on the odometer.

She has lots of fun. But the best part of her predilection for a good party is that it sucks everyone else in as well.

Her desire for a good jol is expansive and inclusive, and anyone willing can get swept along in her current of goodwill (although to date, no friends I know have bought into her odometer revelry).

Valentine's Day is, however, lacking in any such inclusivity.

While any interpretation can be made of the way in which a fictional saint's legacy is to be remembered, especially when he has his origins in a religion that would have us remember death of Jesus Christ the Saviour by having a giant bunny rabbit hand out chocolate eggs, the general vibe is that it's a day for lovers.

Family - gotta love 'em

That said, I heard on the radio the other day that the greatest percentage of Valentine's Day cards received are given by family members.

I vouch for that. My first Valentine's card was given to me by my grandmother.

She must have trekked across town early in the morning to leave it in my postbox, or perhaps there was some elaborate ruse in collaboration with my mother.

Nonetheless, it took the form of the knock knock jokes with which at the time I was so enamoured, and the punch line was "olive you very much". It was anonymous, but I recognised her handwriting from birthday cards.

I suspect that this statistic applies specifically to children; as with any celebration, a lot more fuss is made of them on Valentine's Day than the adults around them.

But again, the exclusivity of Valentine's Day can break the fragile little egos of our pre-pubescent progeny.

Aside from being picked last for sports, there is no greater testimony to unpopularity of any one child than having no anonymous roses delivered to her at school on Valentine's.

And the funny thing is that this desperate need to be recognised as loved on this day is not something that we outgrow with puberty.

Instead, we continue to demand more and more elaborate declarations of our partners' passion as we age. While chocolates and flowers are the order of the day, some women even see Valentine's Day as yet another opportunity to demand diamonds.

'Steak and Blowjob Day'

There's even a counter-movement among men, who don't hold much truck with this hearts and flowers nonsense, to have 14 March declared Steak and Blowjob Day (do an internet search!), so that they can get their own back.

That said, I don't think there's anything wrong in celebrating love.

I do so every day. I just feel that to package it up in a red box and top it off with a half-funny card of saccharine sentiment on one specific day of the year detracts from the longevity of the emotion.

And I also feel that any celebration that specifically excludes a portion of the population - in this case, the singletons - is the kind of discrimination that should be frowned upon.

So, tonight, instead of sitting in some overfilled restaurant among other couples determinedly caught up in the throes of romance, we're going with a group of (far more fun) single friends to watch another friend's band play a gig that is doubtless going to be rather poorly attended.

After which, my boyfriend and I will probably come home and celebrate our love the best way we know how to.

  • Serena says five beers please, and hold the chocolates.

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