Editor’s Column – A SAD Celebration

Sumner Ellsworth

All you need is love. And it’s everywhere nowadays. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and love is on the brain. There are no less than three Coop tables selling various forms of ___grams (candy, singing tele, etc.). Florist ads in this issue of the paper are double what they’ve been in past weeks, and the Colgate Inn has two ads all to itself to promote its romantic possibilities.

All of my attached friends have been planning evenings out, agonizing over gifts and plotting to get rid of roommates.

This is the time of year that singles hate. No matter how okay you usually are living the single life, come February social stigma shifts and our culture proclaims that you’re a pariah if you’re not in a relationship.

But what about Valentine’s Day means that it has to be about romantic love? Or even love at all?

Originally, Valentine’s Day was Saint Valentine’s Day, a Catholic celebration of one of three possible men martyred in the third century, all of whom were named Valentinus. There are many myths surrounding the Saint Valentines, but no solid facts survive surrounding their lives, or even their deaths.

Perhaps the association of Valentine’s Day and love came from the date. The early Church would often place its celebrations on feast days in the pagan tradition and corrupt them in order to convert more people to Christianity and keep recent converts happy. Valentine’s Day falls on the date of an ancient Roman fertility celebration.

The first time that Valentine’s Day was associated with love was in Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem “Parliament of Fowls” in 1382, more than a thousand years after Saint Valentine first appeared.

Even so, today’s Valentine’s Day is all about love.

But why does love mean you have to be in love? Just because you don’t have love, doesn’t mean that you can’t have love.

In rebellion against the Valentine’s stereotype, a number of my (single) friends have decided to celebrate Singles’ Appreciation Day this year.

Despite a somewhat unfortunate acronym, there will be no wallowing this coming SAD. Cards will be exchanged, in the feel-good, elementary school everybody-gets-one-because-everybody-matters kind of way. Chocolate will of course be consumed, but mostly because chocolate one of those things that you indulge in when you’re celebrating. And there will be celebrating; it will be a celebration of love and life and friendship.

This year we’re not going to be bitter about the couples’ holiday; this year we’re celebrating a holiday of our own. So come Wednesday, I hope all the couples have a fantastic day full of love and as much sappiness as they can handle. As for you single folks, I invite you to join us as we celebrate SAD with joyous abandon, and fill our day with friendship and laughter.