Views from the Taken, the Recently Single, the Recently Not Single, and the Single
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
You know your significant other’s expectations for Valentine’s Day. You have a routine.
The routine is a dance carved out by years of trial and error, of missteps and misunderstandings, and it works for you both. Whether it’s a night out at a five-star restaurant complete with limo and Don Perignon champagne or, more likely, a night in with an absurd amount of chocolate and a pizza split between the two of you, you know what to expect, and it’s very nice indeed.
You think back, sometimes, to when you were a little more daring. To when the advent of Valentine’s Day brought your heart to your throat and your throat to the pit of your stomach and the pit of your stomach to your feet and yourself to a hospital because really, internal organs shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing, but this is better, now. More peaceful.
You tell yourself, maybe you’ll try something daring next year. Just to bring back a bit of that old thrill. Yes, maybe next year…
The Recently Single
The world is dark and cold around you.
It’s in every look, every piteous stare from those who know, and worse, from those who do not know. For how might they understand the pain and anguish you are in the throes of? They cannot. For no one has ever known loss as you have known loss.
There is an offensive amount of pink in the world. It mocks you. The very concept of chocolate, of love, of happiness mocks you.
Maybe you’ll watch Chopped tonight. That seems like a good idea.
The Recently Not Single
You are fucked.
You should have known—should have known—that asking someone out in the last week of January was a bad idea. You simply did not think ahead; nay, you did not think at all. You should have waited; by God, you should have waited. But alas, now you must try to gauge how well this committed relationship of all of three weeks is going. It is not dissimilar to when a waitress asks you how the food is halfway through your first bite. I’m deciding, Deborah. I’m deciding.
You wonder if you can perhaps skip the holiday altogether. You wonder if you and your dating-person are at a point where you can discuss expectations. You wonder how awkward it will be if they say “I don’t want to make a big fuss” because they feel like you don’t want to make a big fuss, but they do actually want to make a big fuss, and you’re just an asshole. Or maybe you could just cut them off at the pass and say you have no expectations, letting them decide, which also makes you an asshole.
So many paths to take. So much uncertainty. The anxiety threatens to eat you alive.
You are meant to be bitter and lonely on Valentine’s Day, but quite honestly, you are not.
You may cast a wistful glance towards the happy couples looking as happy couples do on Valentine’s Day—red-faced, smiling, and stuffed with chocolate. You could also be all three of these things, honestly, and not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the week.
You buy yourself chocolate and maybe take yourself out for dinner, or go to see friends for drinks. The sitcoms all say this is where and when you meet a handsome or beautiful stranger, but you don’t, and you’re sort of glad. You have plans to watch bad reality TV and stretch out in your empty bed and drink wine and eat chocolate and do all the kinds of things you like to do. And it’s good.
After all, it really is just another day of the year.