By Danielle Cramberg
Walking down the hallways on an average day, most single people see couples that they grow to resent; couples that giggle and grin like idiots in one another’s presence. Often, these “Single Pringles” get stuck behind a couple that is determined to both walk slowly and hold hands, making it impossible to pass them without hurdling over their intertwined fingers.
Seeing these couples reminds all the lonesome people that they aren’t receiving good morning or good night texts, going on dates, or hanging out and watching Netflix together. And, in that moment, they’re overwhelmingly aware of just how lonely they feel. While they hate seeing the happy couples, beneath all their bitterness lies an envy they can’t seem to shake.
As if that weren’t bad enough, an annual holiday helps rub their faces in solitude: Valentine’s Day. Suddenly, the hallways that were just couples kissing a little over zealously are now buried in affection that has materialized into very typical items: enormous stuffed animals, gift bags, cookies, cupcakes, and shiny heart shaped ballons. Anything that has a heart on it is toted around by a student, proud to have someone who cares enough to buy them whatever they have to lug around school all day. Now the singles are aware of the emptiness in their hands; that standard irritation for the sight of couples blossoms into hatred– at least for the day.
However, people do things to comfort themselves and fellow “independent” friends. They’ll go on and on about how they don’t care, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean anything to them, how it’s just about materialistic tendencies of our society, and just helps capitalism make the world go ’round. Some girls will buy things for each other, expressing that their friend is worth affection and is still loved, despite their current relationship status. Other girls try to express their independence, that they don’t need any boy to satisfy their desire to feel loved, not when their friends love them. And, in a few cases, that claim is actually an honest one.
Some people are more open in their bitterness, claiming to be Anti-Valentine’s Day. They’ll say they don’t need reminders of how alone they are, complaining about what a stupid and superficial holiday it is to celebrate.
But, at the end of the day, there are really only two categories: people who had a good Valentine’s day and people who didn’t.
There are people in relationships who let their expectations get the best of them and end up disappointed in the lack of pageantry in their gift. There are people surprised when their crush chooses the most romantic day of the year to declare their affections. And then there are single people who spend the day with their friends and make fun of all the couples and their stupid balloons.
So, while most of the high school population sincerely believes being single or being taken decides whether or not you have a good day, the real deciding factor in how Valentine’s Day plays out is who you choose to spend it with and how you choose to look at it.
And, worse case scenario, you can just wait until February 15 and go buy yourself as much discount chocolate as it takes to make yourself happy.