It’s almost Valentine’s Day—again. Reminders are everywhere: People kissing in public more often than usual. Co-workers gushing about the surprise dates their spouses are planning. Facebook is laden with people professing undying love for their new girlfriend, their husband of 20 years, or even their favorite pet! (I wonder if these people think they’re off the Valentine’s Day hook because of a post that took them 35 seconds to write.)
You are probably thinking something like, I would rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue than be single on Valentine’s Day!
But wait. Let’s be optimistic and think of all the reasons it totally ROCKS TO BE SINGLE on this most cherished “lovers” holiday of the year …
Reason #1—We don’t have to celebrate what is a very, very confused holiday.
Think about this for a moment. This is the day that people buy each other stuff, write each other more stuff, and make out a lot. Is this really the way we should celebrate St. Valentine, a priest who was poor, illiterate, and celibate? (Ok, he probably wasn’t illiterate, but his whole life is vague so why not throw that in there?)
Why do we celebrate this saint, anyway? In ancient Roman times there was a celebration called Luercalea, which was a fertility festival. They did things like a matchmaking lottery, which was basically speed-dating only with togas. So Christians decided to celebrate a saint named Valentine on the same day to distract people from the debauchery.
Valentine was a priest. There was an emperor named Claudias who prohibited the marriage of young people because he thought men would make better soldiers if they were single.
So Saint Valentine officiated weddings in secret. He was caught and sentenced to prison.
Some of the married couples that were indebted to him would come to him in jail and pass him Hershey’s Chocolates, FTD Flowers, and Hallmark Cards through the bars. (What do you mean you think I’ve been accepting bribes from large corporations!)
While in prison, Valentine met the blind daughter of a jail guard. He prayed for her and she was healed. The guard became a Christian because he was so amazed by the healing. Valentine fell in love with the girl, and passed her a note before he died … it was signed, “From your Valentine.”
So here’s what we’ve got:
Debaucherous fertility parties + speed dating + good-looking bachelor soldiers who are unlucky in love + St. Valentine whispering, “Mawwiage is what bwwwings us togevah today,” behind a bush + chocolate contraband + a surprising twist where the celibate priest in jail falls in love with a blind lady … all this plus half-naked, flying babies shooting arrows at you? SUPER. WEIRD. HOLIDAY.
The real hero in this story? Emperor Claudius. He knew how awesome single people were.
Reason # 2—We save gobs of money.
For Valentine’s Day, non-single people buy:
- 1 billion cards.
- 35 million chocolates.
- 180 million flowers.
- 4 billion dollars in jewelry.
- Averaging $133 per person.
A single person buys:
- 2 bags of potato chips.
- 4 Twinkies.
- 1 “Singles Awareness Day” pin.
Reason #3—We don’t have to buy into the crazy Valentine’s Day Money-Making Machine.
Let’s look at the statistics. For Valentine’s Day …
- 87% of men buy things for their partner only because they feel pressured to do so.
- 92% of women would be angry if their partner didn’t do anything for them.
- 68% of the gifts are bought in the checkout aisle of grocery stores.
- 12% of the gifts are actually just marked-down Christmas gifts.
- 42% of statistics are made up by people writing articles who have no idea what they are talking about … which is true in this case.
Reason # 4—We don’t have to wear high heels.
Reason #5—Couples aren’t the only ones with a patron saint.
That’s right, folks. There is a patron saint of singles. His name was St. Benand. He was an obscure but kind monk from the 14th century. St. Benand struggled with his bachelor status. He felt that his mission was to create something that would comfort singles throughout the world.
After working on recipes for 22 years, he finally came up with a miracle that has soothed lonely hearts every Valentine’s Day since. He called it “Ice Creameth of the Cookie Dougheth.”
The monks passed his secret recipe down for generations until some hippies in Pennsylvania discovered it, found out his last name was Jerry and mass marketed it. They took the “Saint” off for trademark reasons, and called it Benand Jerry.
St. Benand, we are so grateful to you!
Reason #6—Singles have a holiday after the holiday.
It’s called “Eat as freaking much chocolate as you want because it’s 75 percent-off day.” And it is glorious.
Okay, these are lame. It DOES NOT ROCK to be single on Valentine’s Day. It sucks. But at least we tried.