I love Valentine's Day.
This may sound strange, especially if any of you know me. Looking back, I’ve only celebrated one Valentine’s Day with a partner.
In fact, I’ve been single for about 97 percent of my life. A-plus in being unattached. I qualify for “ The Bachelor” more than many of the contestants. Gold star.
So as this February 14th rolls around, my holiday preparations aren’t quite Hallmark-worthy.
For those not keeping score, it’s time to pop the champagne and celebrate my 20th Valentine’s Day single. I’ll be accepting gifts of china and any tasteful platinum jewelry. After all, who says I need a boyfriend to enjoy this holiday?
Let’s break it down: Valentine’s Day means cheesy pick-up lines, chocolate and sappy declarations of love. I can easily celebrate in style by stopping at CVS for some Crunch hearts and popping in a Garry Marshall movie.
In fact, I’m stoked. This is going to be a great February 14th. After all, why would I need a boyfriend to enjoy a heart-shaped donut?
There’s so much pressure put on having a significant other. It’s not just about whether you have a special someone — it’s about a Facebook relationship status, someone you can introduce as “my boyfriend.”
Date parties ask me to bring a date, and then I spend the rest of my semester tearing my hair out, trying to manufacture my own personal Prince Charming out of thin air.
Relatives start conversations by asking, “So, have a boyfriend yet?” I’ve said no so many times that they brought me a list of top cat breeds at the annual barbecue.
In fact, our culture is so obsessed with who’s dating whom that people on the internet have been arguing about whether fictional characters are attached.
It was front-page news when J. K. Rowling announced she had changed her mind and that Hermione Granger should not have ended up with Ron Weasley. As she dropped that bomb, she said she could “hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans.”
Apparently, I’m the only one whose world has not shattered over the idea that two fictional characters are no longer fictionally married.
JKR, knowingly “breaking people’s hearts” right before Valentine’s Day! Is love dead?
The outrage this caused fans is understandable, but also a bit degrading if you think about it. Hermione Granger is an excellent role model and the brightest witch of her age, whether or not she ended up marrying Ron Weasley.
Don’t get me wrong — I loved having a boyfriend. It was great. I had an excuse to bake an extra batch of chocolate-chip muffins, and I had someone who didn’t mind sitting through yet another episode of BBC’s “Sherlock.”
But just because some guy isn’t telling me I’m pretty or buying me dinner doesn’t mean I’m not worth it. I can enjoy a fancy dinner without a Boyfriend with a capital “B.”
I can go and buy myself a pasta dinner — and I get to eat all the rolls in the breadbasket on my own. I can compliment myself with a cheesy pick-up line and a wink in the mirror and feel pretty when I want to.
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about validation. As nice as it was to have a guy confirming that my butt is not strangely misshapen, whether or not someone says it, it’s still true. There’s no reason to spend a holiday trying to parade around relationship labels.
So to all those couples who live like they’re in commercials holding hands in the sunset and smiling white-teeth smiles to each other: That’s nice. Good for you.
But me, I’m going to dress up in my skinny jeans, slap on some red lipstick and look hot enough to be my own Valentine while I stuff my face with chocolate and gush over Ryan Reynolds.
If my Mr. Right wants to interrupt my party for one, he’s welcome to join. The more the merrier. Except there’s no way I’m sharing any of my candy.
Sara Schonfeld is a College senior from Philadelphia, studying English. Email her at email@example.com or follow her @SaraSchon.