While checking my gmail to see if anyone emailed me about a job offer, and right before i x-ed out angrily, worried that i will be forced to build a fort made of my “my little pony” sheets on a street corner one day and sell my collection of saved by the bell memorabilia, i noticed an email from a local bar in the city promoting a new anti-valentine’s day love-attack-ivity: speed hating.
while the idea of sitting with a stranger and unleashing my pent-up annoyances from the day sounds a bit appealing to me, i also have a couple of thoughts that get in the way of me buying a speedline ticket into the city with my maxed-out credit card:
1. what if said stranger is packin’ ammo
2. what if i cry
3. what if my stranger and i fall in love while speed hating, and our love is based on the loathing we feel for everyone and everything, including a holiday that, while pumped-up on commercialized steroids, means well. a holiday that just wants us to remember to kiss in-between arguments over who forgot to recycle the toilet paper roll, a holiday that demands that we wear pink and red with pride. what if our love is really based on our mutual hate for life… and one another. or… worse yet… what if i take pleasure in hating him and others.
4. what if the drink specials aren’t as worth it as they seem
5. what if i go and speed hate all over a distant cousin i didn’t know about
why do we feel the need to hate on a holiday that reminds some of us that we are single? what’s so wrong with being single? when i was in high school, i knew that every valentine’s day would be a single one for me. i’d wear all black to school on valentine’s day, and the only school funded carnations/love note that i’d get were from my best friends and my twin sister. i was so sure that february 14th was a day of damnation that i was actually afraid to have a real boy send me something in fear that he’d josie geller me.
i refused to be fooled into a fake belief that someone might do something romantic for me on the one day i was sure someone wouldn’t. call it low self-esteem, or call it part of growing into our own, but boys and love just didn’t seem like a match for me. a lot of my girlfriends went through the same deal: find cute boy, crush on cute boy, get crushed by cute boy. samantha baker’s dad said it best in sixteen candles: “that’s why they call them crushes. if they were easy, they’d call them something else.”
crushing doesn’t stop in high school, and neither does valentine’s day. we crush, and sometimes, we succeed in these crushes. but love never adheres to the plans that we have for it, and it goes in the direction that it wants to go in. we can’t control how others feel about us, and we can’t control how we feel about others; but we can control how we feel about ourselves.
so why do we wear the black on valentine’s day, eat all the chocolate in one sitting, drink too much wine, boy-bash with our single companions, cry, and develop these “i hate love” mentalities? instead of feeling bad for ourselves when we’re single on february 14th, we should celebrate love in a new way: love for ourselves, love from our friends, love for our family. we should celebrate our love for shopping, for watching really bad B movies, for eating snickers ice cream bars, for wearing hot pink nail polish with no apologies, for singing in the shower, for still prank phone calling our guy friends with our girlfriends at the age of 26, for our parents who love us with no possibility of ever running out of love, for our abilities to not be apart of a couple today and still feel whole, for dancing in our bedrooms to michael jackson and the dixie chicks, to thinking our dancing is really really sort of borderline good. we should celebrate our ability to still love after we’ve been hurt; to love others for being in love.
we should love a day that tries to remind others to love us back, extra hard, in the middle of a very snowy winter, in a very bad economy, when all we have is hope for things to get better.
or, if you’re a hopeless hater on 2/14/whatever year it is, think of it this way:
“I think every day should be a day of romance,” he says. “Then, on Valentine’s Day, you should get to tell whoever you hate that you cannot stand them. There would be one day of hating, and 364 days of love.” – ashton kutcher