For those of you Horaces who, in carping the very fruit of the diem, live each moment on the brink of the now, allow me to lend you my foresight: Thursday is Valentine’s Day.
Yes, my poets, this is Yet Another Valentine’s Day Column. No, I will never, ever refer to Feb. 14 as Singles Awareness Day, and please rest assured: I’m not about to spend my whole 18 inches delving into the absurdity and impropriety of this Hallmark holiday.
For to complain about Valentine’s Day is useless and, worse, cliché. Although I agree that it’s ridiculous that we have allowed a greeting card company to impress upon our feeble culture an artificial holiday which publicly celebrates the very private and personal wonder of romantic love, there’s nothing more pathetic than a jaded singleton tilting at stone-solid, though saccharine, windmills.
And, really, far be it for me to begrudge someone some fancy swag or an evening out just because I have been deemed universally unlovable. No, my children, gather ye rosebuds and/or chocolates and/or mind-blowing sexual experiences while ye may.
But while you’re tending to your flowers — or your wounds — it’s important to remember what a momentous occasion most of us idiots (myself, many a time, included) have built this arbitrary day up to be.
Of course, some of them, like your wizened and totally-not-bitter correspondent, have transcended Valentine’s Day (and indeed, romance itself). Yet for those of us less progressed on our path to nirvana, a modicum of sensibility and sensitivity are required to navigate this farce without adding to the negative charge inherent to the pink, sparkly, anxiety-inducing glow of the holiday.
What I mean is, as with most holidays, etiquette is crucial. And so, out of the generosity of my heart and the wisdom of my years, I present to you, singles and couples both, A Few DOs and DON’Ts for Valentine’s Day.
DON’T, if you are in a relationship, indulge in public tongue-play. PDA is kind of gross already — my mirror neurons would rather not imagine the taste of your shaggy beau’s saliva — but on Valentine’s Day, it is an affront to all of us sexually frustrated peons who find ourselves, as the ironically tragic euphemism goes, “between partners.”
This rule also applies to your noisy “celebrations.” Sound is public; it counts as PDA. Some of us have class on Friday. Keep your ecstasy to yourself, please. Besides, we all know you’re faking it.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself unattached, DON’T complain that you are “so single.” You are either single or you are not. It is not an adjective that requires, or merits, an intensifier. If you are having your physical, but not your emotional, needs satisfied, you get to decide whether or not you’re single, but just pick a term and stick to it.
ALSO DON’T use phrases along the lines of “spending the day with my girls (or boys),” “I don’t need a man (or woman) to satisfy me” and the aforementioned Singles Awareness Day. DON’T buy chocolates and talk at length about how you’re your own valentine. These gestures are just really tacky, and they make me feel like my Facebook feed is stuck on repeat.
And on the topic of Facebook, please DON’T Instagram whatever Valentine’s Day present(s) you have received. This one is a no-brainer. If you didn’t realize this, you are a jerk.
DO, however, feel free to seek out a valentine, but DO ALSO be subtle about it. There’s nothing more depressing than discovering that you are attractive to all the wrong people. A quiet, but tasteful, confession of sentiment will do the trick if your feelings are reciprocated. Anything more elaborate than a well-written card or a flower will be both guilt- and vomit-inducing, I promise you.
And DO, lastly, enjoy the day. Enjoy the day not because it is Valentine’s Day, but because it is a day, and you are alive, and you might be in love or you might fall in love or you might discover that you don’t need romantic love, because the world itself is lovely, and Yale is beautiful and you — though you will not assert it on your Facebook — are beautiful. Enjoy the day because you should enjoy every day. But for heaven’s sake, don’t be an idiot about it.
Michelle Taylor is a senior in Davenport College. Her column runs on Fridays. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org .