I’ve spent the past semester writing about how we don’t have time for relationships, fail at asking others out on dates (or don’t even want to ask) and hook up in lieu of dating. I’ve written about the latter theory, commented on how women “dockblock” each other and found that our noses may be better at determining potential partners than we are.
And now I get to write about the happiest, cheesiest, most romantic holiday in existence: Valentine’s Day (or as some snarkily dub it, Singles Awareness Day). When I asked other Georgetown students about their plans, most responses vary between a shrug and a mild surprise that it’s that time of year again. Even those I’ve asked who are in relationships seem to take the holiday nonchalantly, like they’d rather save money and treat the holiday like it was any other day. For most of us, Valentine’s Day will be yet another busy Monday, one that most of us will forget and others will blatantly ignore.
Valentine’s Day represents a desire to be attached to someone else and celebrate that symbiotic sense of love. It also reminds those of us not in a relationship that we don’t have one.
Singlehood is traditionally labelled as something undesirable, especially for females (e.g. historical derogatory use of the word “spinster”; unmarried women who were deemed “witches” during the Enlightenment period).
Singlehood may decrease as a stigma, however, as the overturning of traditional gender roles becomes increasingly common. Mark Regnerus, sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin, has found that as women experience increasing economic independence, their desire for marriage lessens. Marriage traditionally meant economic security for females. However, now it may represent less of a comfort and more of a compromise to her independence and autonomy. Single households now outnumber married households in America, and these single people may show something that gender generalizations ignore: Singlehood should be deemed something awesome — not a stigma.
So in the spirit of simultaneously honoring relationships, non-relationships and singlehood, I present to you a few Valentine’s Day plans to be followed according to your comfort and convenience:
1) Go watch an awkwardly romantic movie with your friends of the opposite sex (e.g. No Strings Attached).
2) If you’re a girl, dress up in some fancy get-up and go to a fancy restaurant with your fancy girlfriends and celebrate female autonomy.
3) If you’re a guy, bro out with your bros, wearing boxers, playing “Call Of Duty” and eating cheesy puffs.
4) If you’re in a relationship, have that romantically cheesy dinner and gift exchange (avoid PDA though — ensuing too many death glares from singletons can be fatal).
5) Decorate your room with Valentine’s Day decorations, but purposely forget about the holiday when it comes, so two weeks later, you suddenly remember it passed and you can tear down the decorations.
6) With a surge of rare optimism in an otherwise cynical mind, hit on an attractive Corp employee. When that fails, go on the Internet and peruse the LikeALittle backlogs for descriptions of people with your gender and hair color.
7) If you’re in a relationship, let the day pass because you’re broke and have a big exam the following day.
8) Read The Art of War and listen to throwback songs of Marilyn Manson and early Eminem.
9) Attend the Georgetown Program Board Bitter Ball Friday from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. in Riverside Lounge.
10) In the words of a friend, “Neutrally acknowledge its existence while trying to pay as little attention to it as possible.”
So whether you are allergic to Valentine’s Day or not, celebrate it with a five-course dinner date or completely forget it happened, one thing’s for sure: Georgetown students will spend the special day studying in Lau.
Stacy Taber is a sophomore in the College. She can be reached at [email protected] Dating Dalai appears every other Friday in the guide.