I, like so many others, have the nasty habit of saying that I hate Valentine's Day. February 14th looms over me like a dark cloud every year, and yet I'm always the one raining on everyone's parade. I'm more likely to shout profanity than "I love you", more likely to give someone the finger than a kiss. This year, however, I'm changing all that. I realized how juvenile it is to blindly toss a blanket of hatred over an entire day. It's pessimistic and unhealthy! Besides, after careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that it's not really even Valentine's Day I hate at all. It's people on Valentine's Day I hate.
Of course, I'm not talking about everyone! I don't select one day of the year to unleash my loathing upon the general populous; I save my contempt for a select group of people who always seem to conduct themselves in a specific way when Valentine's Day rolls around. You probably have some suspicions about who these people are, but you might be surprised.
Couples? They're the obvious target of my rage on a day dedicated to them. They get to be cute and adorable while everyone else looks on in abject horror at the constant reminders that they are alone. Yes, it's easy to attack the couples, but they're not the people pissing me off every February. Truth be told, I believe couples suffer just as much as singles on this Hallmark-holiday. They must contend with dreaded expectations, which often lead to greater disappointments than those without any plans must endure. At least single people know they'll be on the couch watching television. Couples, on the other hand, must play horrible guessing games with their significant other, speculating just how much effort the other person is planning on exerting on what-would-otherwise-be an ordinary Tuesday night. I understand.
What about those whiny singles then? I'm all for healthy amounts of ranting, but I think we can agree that some people go too far. My Facebook feed, Twitter stream, Tumblr dash -- they're all clogged up with hundreds of sad "Forever Alone" posts this time of year and sometimes I want to scream, "STOP BEING SO PATHETIC!" True, it can get old after a while, but these people are not my Valentine's Day hate-victims either. As a dejected singleton myself, I sympathize with my peers. Being alone is a little like having a bruise on your chest -- it doesn't hurt all the time, only when pressure is applied. Valentine's Day is like taking a sledgehammer to that bruise. So let us complain, bitch and moan! It's our right!
No, the people I hate most are the ones that go out of their way to have dates on Valentine's Day, without actually dating anyone. These are the people who start going crazy around mid-January, looking to occupy themselves on what would otherwise be the loneliest day of the year. They'll do anything: search their phones for ex's they broke up with agreeably, troll the internet, ask someone to set them up. Some people are even so callous as to spend the evening abusing that friend who has loved them for years, but only gets attention when the circumstances are fitting. I think we all know what friend I'm talking about too, don't we?
I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "Whelp, I guess vodka is just going to have to be my Valentine this year," as if vodka were the absolute worst thing in the world. How dare them! Nobody wants to feel like the back-up friend, some sort of pathetic Plan B, and what is vodka, if not a friend? Why are people only turning to it as a last resort on Valentine's Day when all other plans have fallen through? I think we'd all like to feel special and important, like we were someone's first choice. Why should people treat vodka any differently?
Personally, vodka has been my go-to Valentine for as long as we've known each other, but I make sure to treat it properly every day of the year, not just when it suits me. Vodka has been there during my laughs, my frowns, my ups, and my downs. I don't know if I'd be as romantic or idealistic as to say it was love at first swig, but we've definitely built a solid relationship throughout the years. I don't discriminate against it; I don't judge based on color or the size of its... bottle. Hell, I even like those tiny ones they serve on airplanes; I'm no size queen! And in return, vodka doesn't discriminate against me. It's taken me for richer or for poorer (mostly poorer), in sickness and in health, and I know it will stay with me as long as we both shall live. And that's why vodka is my Valentine every year. It's earned it!
What I'm trying to say is that people need to take a page out of my metaphorical book (written by Hemingway? He was a drunk, right?) and start treating their own vodka in the same manner I treat mine. With love and respect! Stop treating it like some second-class citizen on a day when everyone should feel cherished; it's cruel, unjust, and downright mean! Give it the deference it deserves and make it your priority this Valentine's Day, your number one choice!
And don't feel as though you have to exclude others from your date with vodka either; vodka is perfectly fine in threesomes, foursomes and other orgy-like situations. It won't judge -- it just likes to be included, you know?