Posted by Aimee Hale on February 16, 2002, updated February 14, 2008 and January 14, 2013.
Is it just me or does this month revolve around love and happiness and all that mushy stuff that is presented as a gimmick of dating, marriage, etc.? Coincidentally, February is Black History month. I’m not African American or any other minority but it seems that this aspect of the month often gets overlooked with all the candy, hearts, flowers and so on.
OK, now the title: you’re wondering, Singles’ Awareness Day? What’s with that? If you look at it from a perspective of a single person, Valentine’s Day often makes one depressed and have the outlook that their day is going to start out bad. Why can’t the gimmick of lovie dovey stuff go year round? The world would be a better place because of it. February should focus on allowing people to understand the culture and history in which their fellow friends and Americans come from. If we want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, that’s fine, but it shouldn’t be overbearing for a whole month!
What has it ever done to teach us about history? Nothing. In fact, I think the day should be renamed to Singles’ Awareness Day. Look very closely: the first letters spell SAD. That’s what Valentine’s Day does to one who doesn’t have a significant other. An example of this overrated holiday comes from my job. While I’m in school, I work in a photo lab where I get to see pictures of all kinds. The local grocery store had taken pictures of all the Valentine decorations they had done. If anything stuck in my mind it was the picture of the hearts above the packaged meat section. Nothing says love like raw beef. “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner” as the slogan goes. I think this is outrageous. Love is not beef; beef is dead cow.
Now think of Valentine’s Day. This isn’t any special beef; it’s the same old beef that’s been there for a few days, I’m sure. It just doesn’t mix. For my February 14th, I’m boycotting the day so I don’t get trapped in the nation’s gimmick of hearts and flowers. For those of you who celebrate it, have fun and please remember: love shouldn’t be just one day a year or a gimmick to sell things. It should be life-long.
Upate: Singles’ Awareness Day Revisited
It has been a while since the “Nothing says love like raw beef” days. I remained single and it’s no longer a joke in my life, but has just become part of my everday routine. So if you think your life is sad, try going on 7 years … yeah. And no, it’s not because I’m fat.
I am fully confident in myself and who I am. I have definitely come to know myself even better over the past few years. So this year Valentine’s day was typical, but generally I had no distain for it. I went to Wal-Mart for some stuff for work, as I was in a city far from my residence. My job lets me travel all over Texas, even to the familiar backwoods of East Texas. I walked in and wanted to puke pink and red; it was overly done for the holiday. I don’t normally have an aversion to these colors, but after yesterday … blah! Balloons, cupcakes, flowers, balloons containing flowers, bears and other crap that is well … a waste of time. Just get the girl flowers—the balloon thing you have to pop anyway.
So in all fairness. Singles’ Awareness Day just becomes a formality the longer you are single. Or you can have fun with it. Boycott it. Or go out with the girls. Go out alone. Do something different. Make it fun. Make it different. Besides, St. Valentine was about the love of people, of all relationships, whether it’s between lovers, friends, or family. Be bold.
Update #2: Eleven Years Later
Four years ago I updated the thought that is Singles’ Awareness Day. Yes, I am still single and wonder if it’s because I had this vague posting on the internet that did me in. OK, probably not. I find that as this day approaches each year, I have more than enough reminders I am single. Pretty much any given family member sometimes feels the need to guilt trip me as to why I am single. Perhaps, as they say, I like being alone? (Not really, but it’s reality.)
A couple years ago I had the privilege of having dinner with two sets of aunts and uncles on my mother’s side of the family, and it was actually around Valentine’s Day, now that I give it some thought. I traveled to Oklahoma to see my grandmother for one of the last times before she passed. I went to my uncle’s home and my mother’s sister’s husband sat down to visit with me. Now Uncle Al was a jolly man with a bulbous nose and a deep love for joking and family. Meanwhile, mom’s sister, Aunt Linda, sat slightly behind him, visiting with me as well at the kitchen table. He does the dreaded and unmentionable “So … how’s your love life?” Now I honestly didn’t let it get to me because I knew he cared and was a curious man, so my retort was kind and soft, but a little sarcastic. I responded with, “It’s not, but why don’t you pray about that Uncle Al. You will be one of the first people to know when it happens.”
If you are reading this and thinking “Oh she has news!” you’ll be sorely disappointed. But I will tell you what I have learned: I have learned the preciousness of deep friendships that have cared for me while I was amidst several family deaths, the rushing about between work, the airport, school and clinical sites. I have fond memories of my guy friends picking up the tab here and there, even though we both knew it was just friends. It was because they cared for and loved me, even in my singleness. I maybe a little less or more jaded depending on how well you know me. I believe there is true love, and I am blessed to see it in many couples and pray they cherish it. I also see the harsh and bitter side of what some relationships are, and how they have affected many families because no one was modeling for them what it meant to love. I am still single; I do not whine about the pink and red and giant bears because as I grow it’s just fun to have those things. Sometimes, nothing says love like a nice steak dinner at home with one’s significant other. I may not have anyone in particular in my life right now, but I do have myself. I get to love myself. And beef may just be what’s for dinner.