Sweethearts and Sweetarts

Jaime Coyne

It seems like every girl has an opinion about Valentine’s Day. Generally, that opinion is strong, putting girls in two camps of extremes: the lovers and the haters. I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about. The lovers manage to wear more red and pink on the big day than some of us would even imagine possible. They speak excitedly about it for weeks beforehand. They romanticize every aspect of the day. If they have someone to share Valentine’s Day with, they have an elaborate plan, probably involving baked goods.

The haters, on the other hand, often wear black on Valentine’s Day to make a point. It’s probably the most popular day of the year to be goth. They also talk about Valentine’s Day for weeks beforehand, if for no other reason than to sigh loudly whenever a friend from the other party brings it up. They plan events for the day that are pointedly unromantic in protest. They feel validated in being grumpy all day when the time comes.

Around this time of year, when Valentine’s Day conversations are often sparked, I tend to feel like the mediator in the midst of a heated fight. I might wear a red or pink shirt on Valentine’s Day. I used to exchange cards with my friends in school. But that’s about it. I guess I would compare my views on Valentine’s Day to slow-dancing at high school dances. It was always a little depressing to watch other people dancing when I didn’t have anyone to dance with myself, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have liked to dance.

Maybe my apathy toward Valentine’s Day stems from this – I’ve never had a partner for that particular song. Past experience might be an important part of people’s feelings towards the day so that, without any memories, good or bad, I’ve got nothing to go on. It might as well be Arbor Day.

Don’t get me wrong, it would be great not to be a wallflower. When I see girls getting flowers or candy, or hear about romantic exploits their dates planned out, I want that too. It gets lonely sitting on the sidelines and watching the fun. But, so far, Valentine’s Day has seemed as unreal as a cliché romantic moment from a chick flick. I suppose if I thought Heath Ledger was going to sing to me from the football stadium bleachers, I would be pretty enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day, too.

But shouldn’t we show people how much we love them every day? It’s great to have a day devoted to love, but it shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all on the subject. You aren’t supposed to only revere Christ on Christmas, or only be patriotic on the fourth of July. They are days dedicated to things that we should do every day, regardless of the calendar page.

So I won’t be wearing seven shades of pink on Valentine’s Day, but I won’t be wearing black either. A day full of constant reminders that I’m romantically uninvolved is not exactly the most enjoyable thing I can think of, but who knows? Maybe the next dance will be for me. After all, there are plenty of songs to go around.