Ah February; the semester’s well underway, I can see myself through to spring break, but it’s not quite finals season yet so the inevitable end-o-semester panic hasn’t set in.
Every February you go about your business, your everyday life, your chores and things, blissfully unaware that anything out of the ordinary is about to happen to you. And somehow, it does. It creeps in – slowly at first so that you don’t even notice it. It begins to take over certain aisles in the grocery store, the bookstore, the coffee shop. It begins to sneak into your everyday life waiting, just waiting, for the opportune moment to strike.
And then, just when you’re least expecting it, BLAM in your face like a ton of bricks. Facebook blows up, it’s all anyone can tweet about, and there’s just no escaping it every year.
Every. Single. Year.
I hate Valentine’s Day.
Ever since I was a wee Danielle I’ve hated Valentine’s Day. At first it’s no big thing, right? An excuse to decorate a cardboard box and pick out those paper valentines to give to your classmates. An excuse to eat chocolate and those awful chalky conversation hearts.
But then, gradually, as you grow into the awareness that not everyone gives everyone a valentine and why are the popular girls so special because they have boyfriends and I’m still sitting at the geek table and oh god why don’t I have a boyfriend and wait, every guy I know is gay, I couldn’t have a boyfriend even if I tried and why does it happen to me every single February that I conveniently manage to be between any semblance of a relationship and what am I doing wrong with my life?
Some years I manage to forget it’s coming and every year I convince myself that I’ve steeled myself against it. A stupid holiday really. An excuse to sell and buy stuff. Why would you need a specific day to tell anyone that you love them, shouldn’t you love them every day?
I’ve heard enough arguments against Valentine’s day (and I’m sure you’ve heard them too) that I’m not going to re-capitulate them. Suffice to say that, as a perpetually single person, they all ring like empty platitudes in the grand canyons of emo that is single-girl-self-pity. Inevitably, no matter what I do, I wind up sniveling into a bottle of wine at the end of the night telling myself that it’s okay because I love me and that’s all that matters really.
It has not escaped my attention that there is no small amount of irony that a self-professed lover of all things about The Greatest Lover of the English Language hates a day which should be filled to the brim with Shakes-scene.
So for that, and for everyone out there who is single today, and for everyone out there who is likely going to spend the night with a chick flick and a box of chocolates they bought themselves, and for everyone out there who is feeling a little down because the people around them who are all “oh, it’s no big deal” even though they are still taking someone out to dinner tonight and thereby have no clue how big a deal it is, I’ll say this: this year, Shakespeare loves you.
No, really, he loves you. Truly, madly, often ironically, the Bard is here to profess his deep and undying love for you. Excuse me as I get out my literary ouija board…
“Doubt that the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”
-Hamlet, Hamlet, 1.2
“One half of me is yours, the other half yours
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so all yours.”
-Portia, Merchant of Venice, 3.2
“O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,
Through whom a thousand sighs are breathed for thee!”
-Queen Margaret, Henry VI ii, 3.2
“Hear my soul speak:
The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service.”
-Ferdinand, The Tempest, 3.1
“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.”
-Helena, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1.1
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.”
-Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, 2.2
Also, as a present from me, I give you one of my favorite comedic pieces. I even dressed up for the occasion (got out of my PJs for you today, folks!). This is Berowne, Love’s Labour’s Lost, 1.1. (…Apologies for the less-than-optimal video quality. All I’ve got is my little mac. Enjoy!)
Have a happy Single Awareness Day!