February 14th is Valentine’s Day, the national holiday for relationships, or as one of my friends likes to call it: National Single Awareness Day.
At any given time, roughly 43% of the United States population is single (53% of which are female). Maybe this national holiday isn’t for them… but maybe it is.
I was thinking about some of my previous Valentine’s Days, and I realized that the level of enjoyment I felt during them had nothing to do with whether or not I was in a relationship.
The first one that I can remember I was 15 years old. I had never kissed a boy, but I was in love with one. He was two years older, captain of the football team and the basketball team. He wasn’t my boyfriend, but we laughed, we talked, and we exchanged flirty letters in the halls, folded a secret way and emblazoned with our “lucky” number 34, a combination of his lucky number 19, and my lucky number 15. It was sweet, it was young, and it was fun. I had no expectations for Valentine’s Day, but when I arrived to my locker on February 14th, punched in my code and swung open the door, a huge, fluffy teddy bear tumbled out, clutching a soft red heart stamped with the words “Be Mine”. I was immediately engulfed by a flock of equally excited teenage girls, peppered with questions that I blushingly deflected, and spent the entire school day floating around in a dreamy haze. He approached me towards the end of the day, two of his best friends in tow, and handed me a specially folded, Valentine’s Day love letter, which, I might add, I still have, nine years later.
V-Day Score: 7/10
(points off for lack of action and youth)
The next significant one that I can remember I was 19 years old. I had finally lost my virginity and was in the throes of my first “adult” relationship. He was a Jehovah’s Witness and had skated by Christmas and my birthday by way of his extensive religious beliefs. We were rounding the corner quickly towards Valentine’s Day and I was intellectually prepared for a lackluster holiday, but not emotionally prepared for him choosing to go AWOL on the actual day. On February 14th, I awoke and sent him a customary “good morning” text. When he hadn’t responded by midday, I gave him a call and left a message on his answering machine. Around 10 o’clock in the evening, one of my acquaintances called to let me know that while at dinner with her boyfriend for Valentine’s Day, she had been seated near my boyfriend and his date for the evening. He is no longer my boyfriend.
V-Day Score: 0/10
(points off for being a cheating scumbag)
The next one after that took place when I was 21 years old. I was single and not quite ready to mingle, but all of my friends had boyfriends. One of them was even kind enough to drop off a box of chocolates for me before her boyfriend scooped her up for a whirlwind Valentine’s Day romance. I was sitting on my bed, eating through more Russell Stover’s than my thighs could handle, and texting one of my best guy friends about how pathetic our lives were. It occurred to us both at the same time that we probably would have been hanging out anyways if it wasn’t February 14th, so we decided to f**k the holiday and go to the movies. We rushed to get to the only movie that we actually wanted to see, didn’t make it, so we came back to the dorm and watched How I Met Your Mother until it got tedious.
V-Day Score: 5/10
(points off because, for a holiday about love, there was NO love)
The last one was two years later. I had all single friends and I was carefree. I barely remembered it was Valentine’s Day. Two of my friends and I went to a college basketball game because one of my really good friends was on the team. We rolled our eyes at the sappy, love-inspired half-time show, and after the game, we all went back to my place to hang out. My friends joked with me about my relationship with said basketball player, especially after he showed up to hang out, but I brushed it off, ignoring the blush of pleasure the idea gave me, and we all had a thoroughly enjoyable evening as a group of friends. Less than two weeks later, he and I became more than friends, but that’s besides the point.
V-day Score: 8/10
(points off for lack of action and gifts)
So, as Valentine’s Day 2014 rolls around, I’m sitting here and thinking about my four most memorable February 14ths and what they entailed. Valentine’s Day isn’t really for relationships or love, let’s be honest. It’s really for the bells and whistles, the fireworks, and the deliciously chilling shivers that travel up your spine whenever the one you want touches you. It’s to sell sex. The best, hot sex comes from acting like it won’t happen, pretending it’s not going to happen, but both parties knowing full well that it will happen. And that’s what we get sold on.
The best Valentine’s Days are for the people who know who they want, what they want, and how they want it, and think there’s a chance that they might not get it. Of course, the point is that they do get it, but it’s the excitement leading up to the event that makes the holiday worthwhile. Outside of that, it’s just you spending time with someone that you care about that you know cares about you, but you could do that any old day of the week.
So, I propose that in order to be completely accurate, Valentine’s Day should be called National Foreplay Day, cause, let’s face it… that’s all it is.