The Alternative Valentine’s Day – Singlemas

1 Feb

February is possibly one of the depressing months of the year. Christmas is still fresh in the mind, but that famous winter festival leaves you weightier, poorer, and dreading the two and a half months of winter you still have to endure. There are no big holidays (not in Britain, anyway), and the only notable occurence is the frankly disgraceful leap day, in which all the lucky people who use the Julian calender get to enjoy 24 more hours of grey, chilly, soul-crushing February. It is a month in which people blow on their hands, stamp their feet and pray like hell for March. At least there’s nothing else that a terminally depressed wretch could use to torture themself with in this shittiest of months.

…no, wait, hold on. Valentine’s Day.

How could we forget? That most irrelevant of observances, the scourge of the singleton, the Hallmark Holiday Supreme – a celebration based on the ridiculous idea that couples need a day on which to be reminded to express their love for each other. The thing is, though, that no matter how bad I feel for the people who have to deal with all the little irritations of Valentine’s Day, my own irritation as a single person is foremost in my mind. Having to walk through town and see shops with love-hearts strung in the windows, meeting old friends and having them ask me what I’m doing for Valentine’s Day, trying to do ANYTHING on the night of Feb. 14th without running into flocks, hordes, swarms of couples, shivering into each other on the street or elbowing each other out of the way for space at the bar – it’s all incredibly saccharine and vomitous. The worst part, however, is the disgusting subversion of the holiday that some single people use as an excuse to get hammered, gibber to their exes down the phone and generally pity themselves for being single and therefore fundamentally unfulfilled. I have to strap myself to a wall at 5 o’clock on Feb. 14th in order to stop myself from sprinting into town, bursting into bars and slapping some fucking sense into all the miserable loners who use ‘Singles Awareness Day’ as an excuse to hate themselves. Come on, people. Have some dignity, at least.

I have to accept, though, that on this spurious holiday I’m actually pretty well off in that I don’t really have to deal with it all, so I generally take February the 14th as a day of silent prayer for my taken male friends. While those poor bastards are out circumnavigating packed gift shops and offering restauranteurs their left arm for a reservation, I get to sit at home that evening, put my feet up, drink tea and generally do whatever I can to relax.

Except that this year I’m not going to.

Except that this year on February the 14th, me and all my single friends are going to go out and do something disgraceful.

Why should it be a sin to be single? Why should we have to suffer the smug grins of couples who take the time to let us know that they pity us, on the very same day that they arbitrarily attempt to validate themselves by giving each other diabetes-inducing cards and equally virulent chocolate? Why shouldn’t February the fourteenth also be a celebration of being single?

There’s no reason why. So this year, I’ve decided to make a new holiday to give the rest of us a chance to revel in the glorious, unfettered freedom of being without boundaries and without obligations. We don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do and this year we’re going to be fucking smug about it. Singlemas is born, for you and for me.

Here’s how it works: Do whatever you want. Being single means never having to compromise, never being dragged along to events you have to pretend to like, never having to put off real life in favour of useless sentimentality. If you’re single, you’re free. Use the glorious holiday of Singlemas to get together in a huge group and do whatever the fuck you’d like to do. Go to a theme park or a football game, go bowling, lie around in the sun (if it’s out) – anything you want. Then, at night, it gets more interesting – book a large table in advance at a popular restaurant, and bask in the confused stares of the staff and the irritated glances of passing couples who were too late to get a spot. Then, because there’s no reason not to, hit the nearest bar and go a bit mental. I guarantee you’ll be the only people there who aren’t in a relationship, single and misguidedly looking for a partner, or bar staff. Most of all, use the day to disregard the romantic company you might want, and revel in the exponentially larger amount of platonic company you already have. Get out there and have fun, for God’s sake, and if I see you at the bar and you’re not with all your friends, well, it might be a good idea to bring a gumshield.

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