It's getting to be that time of year: florists are having sales on their dozen-rose bouquets. Stores are putting out those chalky candy hearts with cheesy sayings on them. There are decorations everywhere involving hearts and little cherubs with bows and arrows. No silly, I'm not talking about Valentine's Day. To think that all that commercialism and depressed/nervous/apathetic apprehension culminates with just a single day? Pish tosh. No, I'm talking about Singles Awareness Week. SAW, if you will.
Now, I don't have anything against those of you who actually have someone to spend a romantic evening with on the approaching holiday. (Of course I'm not bitter. Why would I ever be bitter?) In actuality, I've never spent a Valentine's Day with a significant other, so I can't justly comment positively or negatively on the virtue of using the day to declare your affection for someone special. It just seems somehow strange that there be one specific day set aside for this purpose...what about the other 364 days of the year? Aren't those just as acceptable for telling someone you love them, or buying them a present? I can't help but feel a little bad for the thousands of young men in America shaking in their boots as we speak, trying to come up with a Valentine's Day date that will be especially "magical" or "romantic."
It just seems to me that in America at least, Valentine's Day has become just as much about the sterotypical depressed single who becomes painfully aware that they lack a significant other at this time of year. But what about those of us who are (maybe blissfully) single? There's nothing wrong with waiting for the right person to come along; maybe you've decided that dating isn't the right thing to be doing at this point. It seems that this holiday advocates those who are in relationships and assumes that those of us who aren't must be feeling dejected and miserable (an article on depression.com listed 'related topics' to Valentine's Day depression including 'Disability Rights', 'Grief and Loss' and 'Suicide and Self-Injury'.)
So, if you're a single, the upcoming Singles Awareness Week could be a time to wallow in said depression, or it could be a chance to realise how many options there are besides going on a date. I think a group of people from my dorm are going to go ice skating or bowling - something like that. I'm not saying I don't think it would be great to spend Valentine's Day with someone I could look forward to spending the rest of my life with. I am saying there are a lot of other fun things going on out there for those of us who have decided it's not the right time to find a partner. For some of us, it still might be a little disheartening to know we don't have someone who wants to spend the day just with us. And for those, there is the slightest bit of comfort...at least chocolate is on sale.