Valentine’s Day Vs. The Single’s Lib Movement

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 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.

19 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Vs. The Single’s Lib Movement

  1. I’ll have to run over to the chapel and see if I can find the verse you carved! Funny how excited I am to do that! lol. Thanks for the great reminders and Val-day suggestions. I was especially touched by the one where it was a “God and me” day. Love it and I love you, Kate! 🙂

    • It’s seriously there. It’s really light because I just used a pen and pressed really hard. So not like what you would see in a movie, but it’s there! How are you guys? I miss you! I really want to bring a friend of mine down there to see my doctor so it would be so fun to see you when I do that!

  2. You’re the best Kate. Lil story. Guy friends of mine in college had their own calendar of holidays, unique to them that they celebrated every year. Among them was a “Bite My Valentine” party. They would decorate the house with cracked black hearts, have black candy instead of heart candy. But there was something I never understood about ” Bite My Valentine, a closely held secret. I didn’t know. I mentioned to the guys How bummed I was about never being asked to “Bite My Valentine”. They explained the little known secret. They each ask the girl they would never Ever date to “Bite My Valentine”, in keeping with their spoof on the holiday. So, in fact none of them could honestly take me. They all said so. A strange twist of fate, an actual honor to not be asked! So. I’m hoping life is like “Bite My Valentine” and that somehow its an honor to be single, by some strange twist of fate.

  3. “I’m so angry I made a sign!” Ha!! Love it. The protest thing does seem appealing… If only I had that second household income to help pay for a ticket to Boulder.

    I make this fake holiday bearable by sending Valentines cards to my nieces and nephews. They love them, and are still at that age where the holiday is innocent and sweet. and then my dad usually sends me a gift… And I cry. Both happy and sad tears. Ha!

    • Oh! I love that. I know what you mean….on a day like this when you feel lonely, one person doing something kind for you means so much. That’s why it’s so sweet to think of being that person for someone else. I’m inspired! Thank you Ruth.

  4. Lol! Love it.

    I once had a Singles Valentine Dinner in which I invited over all my single (mostly male) friends. Maybe I should do that again. It’s a good reminder to focus on someone else and show love to someone rather than focussing on your own aloneness.

  5. This is great!

    I am definitely going to be thinking of different ways I can have fun being single on our “love” day 🙂

    And I have to say, I think it is worth it just for the Eat Ridiculous Amounts of Chocolate Day following it 😀 I mean you get LOADS for CHEAP, and usually cute little poems to go with ’em!

    All that to say, love your writing!

  6. I love Valentines Day! Even though I’m single and have been single for most of my life, Valentines Day has always been my favorite holiday. So, I figured if I can tell you a few reasons why, perhaps some of the valentines haters might get a different perspective. So, in no particular order: I like it because it’s pretty. You get to see things in red velvet and lace and pink with roses. It’s just pretty. I like that! I also love that Valentines Day is all about love. It doesn’t have to be love between a guy and gal, it’s just love. Love for life, love for your pet, love in friendships,…it’s the only holiday that really make sense to me. I mean, celebrating a dead president is something I can’t really get into. Easter bunnies and eggs, ….really? Even Christmas – I love what it stands for, of course, but Jesus was born in springtime and santa/reindeer (& especially all the holiday stress) have nothing to do with Him, so the whole holiday is a little wacky. Thanksgiving is a wonderful concept (and I do take that day to give thanks), but talk about a lonely day for singles – yowsa! Spending most Thanksgivings alone is something I’ve really had to work to be okay with. Halloween, celebrating demons…um, no thanks. But Valentines Day…Love is celebrated. Pretty little hearts and lace and satin and velvet adorn the store isles and public places. So pretty! And then there’s the chocolate. Don’t even get me started on that. A holiday where it’s not only acceptable, but encouraged, to eat pounds and pounds of chocolate. Not just any chocolate, but special limited edition, designer chocolates, all molded into flowers or hearts or other pretty things! How wonderful is that? Every year I browse through every store (walmart, target, walgreens, etc), pretending I’m the main judge in a Valentines contest and I pick out the very most beautiful heart-shaped chocolate box. Should it be this velvet one? That one with ruffles and a flower? This gorgeous one with woven silk ribbons? What about that lacy one? It might take me days (and several visits to compare) to decide on my most favorite one. Then, after I’ve chosen the very best (and 2nd & 3rd runner ups), I pray that one like that will be left over when they get marked down after the day, and I buy that one (or a runner up) at 50% or even 75% off and I eat the whole thing. I have beautiful heart shaped boxes saved from every year for decades. I get them out near Valentines day and display them somewhere in my home as seasonal decoration. They are so pretty! All lined up like that, it makes me feel special, and rich. Who but a rich person would have so much red velvet, silk, satin, and lace in their house? And I haven’t even pointed out yet that in the days following Valentines day, you can stock up on a whole year’s worth of chocolate for 75% off. What a bargain! (it keeps well in the freezer, but I usually lose control and finish my year’s supply in about a week). Anyway, the point of all this is, Valentines Day is not the problem. Valentines Day is glorous! The problem is that we are programmed to be so fixated on the poor-little-me of being single, that we miss out on the best day of the year. I mean, seriously – a whole holiday that’s just about the miracle of love (all kinds) and eating vast amounts of chocolate? And everthing is all pink and lacy and velvet and silk? C’mon, get over yourself and open your eyes. We have a holiday centered around love and chocolate! Gosh, what’s not to like about that?

    PS. This all goes on the assumption that you’ve already become emotionally free enough to break down and buy your own gorgeous box of chocolate, not hold out for someone else to give you one. If not, then get over that emotional self-sabotage right away! If God is your current boyfriend and your hands do His work, then buying one for yourself makes total sense. You are His beloved and He would want you to have it. Every gift we have is from God anyway, right? Go buy the most gorgeous valentine box you can find and know it is from your REAL true love! The only One who loves you perfectly and completely.

    Anyway, I hope this has helped some of you to look at Valentines Day from a different perspective. I’m 52 years old and only once in my life have I ever gotten a Valentine box from someone else – and that one was a 6″ cardboard Snoopy box (leave it to a guy and that’s what you get) – but I celebrate with gusto every year. I have my true love (the Lord), and I have love for my friends, my family, and for my life, and I never miss out on a spectacular heart-shaped box of yummy chocolates. I really do look forward to this holiday all year. 🙂

  7. …Oh, but Katie, I do want to add that I think your ways of redeeming the day (like handing out cards and flowers to the homeless) are inspired and fantastic! I think I’ll go buy some kids valentines cards and do that myself, this year. Sounds wonderful! Yay for redeeming Valentines day! 😀

  8. I’m so excited to find that I’m not the only single girl who loves Valentine’s Day! I call myself the Valentine’s fairy and make a point of crashing all my other single girlfriends’ pity parties on February 14th. It started in college when I got sick of everyone wearing black and putting down the cuddly couples. I bought two dozen roses, printed out the lyrics to Third Day’s “just to be with you” song, tied a set of lyrics to each rose with a red ribbon, and wrote something like “Don’t forget that Someone is thinking of you today” on each one. Then I left them anonymously in my classmates’ college mailboxes. lol That evolved into single girls Valentine parties where we did cheesy socks or panty exchanges, ate brie and chocolate, and watched chick flicks. Now, I give goody bags to the single girls in my life each year. Anyway, I was pretty sure I was the only freak who felt this way about Valentine’s Day. So thankful I’m not! 😀

  9. HI- What church do you sing at in aboulder? I would like to attend. I lived in Boulder for 21 years, then moved to S. Colorado for my work, and ow I AM NOW HAPPILY BACK! NO PLACE LIKE BOULDER- AND BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

    • I worship at origins community. ( I’ve been there since it started and absolutely love it. I am helping lead worship tomorrow…come! It’s at 630 pm and we meet at the first united methodist church on 15th and pine I believe. It should be on the website! Come come!

  10. I am married and my husband and I choose not to buy things for Valentine’s b/c it is a commercial holiday to make people feel obligated to spend money they do not have on things they do not need. I do send texts to my family letting them know that I am thinking of them. I also refuse to participate b/c I was single for a significant period of life and I will protest it for those that continue to be single.

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