Penn Editorial 2.14.12
Valentine's Day. Be nice about it.
Published: Monday, February 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 13:02
So it's Valentine's Day, one of the most polarized and polarizing holidays on the calendar.
Arguments can be made. There are complaints with some basis. You can say that it's corny and commercial (though we would challenge you to name one holiday that has not become commercial somehow - Arbor Day? Presidents Day?). You can point out how many acres of rainforest had to have been sacrificed for this year's crop of cards. You can point out that it was co-opted from its pre-Christian origins, though we're not sure where you'd be going with that line of discussion. You can, if you want to make a really good point, argue that it should not take an arbitrary day on the calendar to do something nice for your significant other, send a random gift or be generally extra-considerate.
Just, please, stop complaining about it because you're single. This goes double if you will become Valentine's Day's most avid advocate the first year you aren't. No one is denying that being single can suck. But frankly, so can being in a relationship. And both states can be pretty fantastic.
We're not trying to undermine anyone's feelings. Feel free to feel exactly as unhappy as you want to feel. We're not arguing with that - we're arguing with every hypocrite who's going about under the black banner of Singles Awareness Day this year and will be euphoric with stuffed bears, roses and chocolate next year.
And anyway, what basis does anyone have to try to ruin a holiday for others because they feel excluded? How many people do you see trying to undermine Mother's or Father's Day because they aren't parents?
A single Valentine's Day can absolutely be depressing, just as much as a Valentine's Day spent in a relationship can be a hassle. Yes, you can feel sad and left out and bitter. Go right ahead. These are all reasonable responses to the scads of cloying imagery we've been bombarded with for the past two weeks.
Just don't ruin it for the people who are having fun. They have as much right to be happy as you do to be unhappy.