It’s almost Valentine’s Day. I have slowly but surely identified myself as the Sexy Celibate, much to the chagrin and constant teasing of my friends. Except I don’t really know what chagrin means.
And so, I am required to write about this holiday: the holiday in which most singles are pretty mad at the world. Here I am. Ready to write the Angry Blog Post.
Actually, because I love you all, I’m going to do more than write the Angry Blog Post. I am going to be the instigator and leader of the Angry Singles Protest.
Time magazine named “The Protester” the 2011 Person of the Year. (This was a fascinating article by the way. I highly recommend it.) There have been more protests this past year than in all of history. One street vendor protesting in Tunisia inspired a protest in Egypt (which was greatly fueled by Facebook) which sparked protests in Spain and Greece and England, and then helped inspire the Occupy movement here in the U.S.
And today, thanks to me, a new movement has started: The Singles Lib Movement. We, the single people, are ready to wage war against the Valentine’s Day Machine. I, your fearless leader, am ready and waiting for you to come in droves to my headquarters in Boulder.
I’ve already made signs. “Singles Pride!” “Singles are people too!” and “I’m so angry, I made a sign!”
We will build bonfires and burn cheesy valentines and wedding magazines. We will march around in front of Hallmark stores, chanting “Hell no, we won’t vow!” We will write a Singles Manifesto and yell it out to all of those couples trying to enter the store, holding hands and looking at us with dumbfounded expressions.*
(*Let me sheepishly add an important note here: we won’t be able to protest the Hallmark store on February 15th. That’s the day that all the chocolates go on sale, a day that I fondly refer to as Eat Ridiculous Amounts of Chocolate Day. It is my favorite day of the year. I wouldn’t want to ruin it by being thrown in jail.)
But on Valentine’s Day, we will PROTEST and we will PROTEST HARD!
Oh wait. I forgot one little thing. I follow the teachings of Jesus. Dang. I guess that means I’ll have to shut my headquarters and also probably my protesting, angry mouth.
I’m not saying that Jesus wouldn’t protest. In fact, he is the Great Protester. Of legalism. Of hatred. Of poverty. Of separation from God. Of bigotry, sexism, racism. But always, always, he protests with the underlying motivation of love.
As I mentioned in another post, married people and couples aren’t the enemy. They get lonely too. Probably a lot of people around you have people to spend Valentine’s day with, but are struggling with the holiday because it can be a mirror of their unhappiness if romance is lacking. We need to remember them. Even the couples that are very happy and are flaunting their flowers and cards and expressing lots of public displays of affection aren’t the enemy.
We are all family.
I have a little secret to tell. I kind of like Valentine’s Day. Back in college I decided to make it a day of love for whoever was in front of me, whether it be God or friends or a boyfriend or people who were lonely.
There was the first year when I went to my special “me and God” places all over my city, singing a song of remembrance at each place. I tried to leave marks of remembrance.at each place as well. I really, honest to God, carved a verse in the bottom of the altar at my college chapel. It’s still there, I’ve looked. Apparently God doesn’t mind the act of defacing public property on Valentine’s Day, because I haven’t been struck by lightening or anything.
There was the year that my friend and I bought a huge bouquet of flowers and left a few flowers on each of the doorsteps around our dorm.
There was the year when my best single girl friends made dinner for my best single guy friends. They surprised us with flowers. We went around and told each person what we loved about them. We also went swing dancing which was ridiculously fun.
There were the two years that some married friends invited me and my other single friend over and all their kids gave us valentines and chocolates and we watched war movies because they could potentially get our minds off of love. (Except we would inevitably follow them up with a chick flick because we liked those better.)
Then there was last year, when my friend and I bought some flowers and gave them out to homeless people and other lonely people standing on the streets or in shops and asked them about their lives. Some of them were close to tears. Almost all of them said “this was the only valentine I got today! Thank you.”
Granted, I wasn’t quite so excited about the two years that the most serious boyfriends of my life broke up with me the week before Valentine’s Day. That was pretty horrible. But one of those years was the same year that I handed out the lonely people flowers, and that made me feel a lot better.
Granted, just like most of you, Valentine’s Day does make me aware that I am single and can make me really sad.
So maybe it’s ok to have a pity party for a while. But let’s make a pact to not let it last the whole day. Maybe we should limit it to an hour or so. After that, I think it would be healthy to make Valentine’s Day a practice for how we should live every day: able to get our eyes off of ourselves for a moment and think about people who are lonelier than we are. To think about the people in our lives that do love us. Jesus asks us to love, and this is a really good day to do just that.
Plus, celebrating the people we love is a really backhanded way to stick it to the big bad companies that made up Valentine’s Day so that they could get boatloads of money. And we’ll spend lots of money doing it. That’ll show ’em!
By the end of the day, if you are still struggling with all of the reminders of how single you are, remember, you’re only a few hours away from Eat Ridiculous Amounts of Chocolates Day.