The most depressing day of the year? The day that makes you feel like a romantic failure? The day that, irrespective of the proper code of conduct, couples commit PDA (public display of affection) everywhere and make you feel like sticking your head into the oven. What other day could it be, but St Valentine’s Day?
But does Valentine’s day really make the single person feel like a sad anomaly of the human race? Does every single person want to pull a Sylvia Plath on the 14th? Does the lack of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates littering the bed provide the emotional rope to hang ourselves? To just give up, to call it a day, to retire to a life of spinsterhood; perhaps in a cottage in the country with cats and ample DVD box sets?
This Valentine’s Day will be my 5th as a singleton; the equivalent (in time) of my senior school. Half a decade. 1,827 days (two leap years).
Blimey, 1,827 days, that really does sound like a long time. Perhaps I should be worrying…No, I am not worrying. I resent being emotionally coerced by society to feel inferior; to feel like I am not as happy, not as loved as the masses flocking to Clinton Cards shelling out wads of cash for over-sized teddy bears. I am single and I am happy.
There are a lot of people who are rather disdainful of the single girl. Not given the same kudos as the bachelor, society sees the single girl as something be worried about. A loose end, a spanner in the works, a nuisance. A dinner party nightmare. A Bridget Jones.
We are obsessed with pairing. A woman can’t be truly happy without a man and a man can’t be truly happy without a woman. Two hundred years have passed since Austen crafted that sentence – ” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Take money out of the equation (or don’t) and you’re still left with a single man wanting a wife – and a woman wanting to be married by said single man.
Considering what has been written, you might not believe me when I say that I am not opposed to romance. Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates – sounds good to me, who doesn’t like chocolate? No, it’s not the gestures that I have an issue with, what I have an issue with is being told when to be romantic and with companies spreading love-phlegm across the nation which results in many being made to feel like an inferior specimen of the populace for not having an other half.
Last year I went to an all girls single’s night in Nairobi. I caved into society and thought that I should find shelter with the other spinsters of the world. This year, I am fighting back. I am single and I am not ashamed. I will go out to supper, because I want to go out to supper and I’ll go out to supper by myself.