Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Up Yours, Cupid...

I have never been a fan of Valentine’s day. Even back in grade school, there was always that fear of rejection—that at the end of the day, my Valentine’s day shoebox-turned-mailbox would be empty. I was awkward looking with really big curly hair. We are talking Whitney Houston “I want to Dance with Somebody Hair,” the kind that would make even the most voluminous of hair bands jealous. My parents swore it was gorgeous, and a blessing in disguise, and maybe if I would have been a teenager in the days of The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, and St. Elmo’s Fire, I would have agreed. But alas, by the time I was old enough for fashion to have an impact on my life, the days of big hair were passé.

Body image aside, there was always something about Valentine’s Day that really frosted my cheerios. Maybe it was the belief that everyone had that special somebody but me. It’s only now that I am older that I realize I am not the only one jaded by this sappy holiday. Every year thousands of American’s sit around, waiting to be struck by Cupid’s arrow, and to find that one person they were destined to be with. Yet, every year, without fail it seems more of us are shooting our own something… and it certainly isn’t an arrow… at that stupid little cherub flying around in his pampers and little else.

But why are human beings so obsessed with being attached?... Are we that needy, insecure, and unfulfilled that we feel like we always have to have that special someone in our lives?

I recently had an old acquaintance of mine write me to tell me how happy they are that I have been able to accomplish as much professionally in the past year as I have, but felt that after reading some of my SI articles that I was cynical towards the idea of having a stable relationship and settling down. The letter closed with the ever-so-cliché “I really wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors, and hope that someday you find the right person.”

WHAT?!?!... At first I blew it off, but the more I thought about it, the more heated I got. How dare they judge where I am at in life, and say that I am not happy?? How insulted would they be if I penned them a rebuttal:

“Dearest friend… I know you are married to your high school sweetheart, and claim to be happy with your cohabitation for the past 5 years of your life, but the fact of the matter is… you never got a chance to date around and explore all there was to be had in the relationship realm. How sad for you!! Dump your significant other while there is still hope, unbuckle the safety belt you have been restrained by and enjoy the crazy ride life has to offer. Because you would not want to be sixty and look back on life and go.. wow.. I never really knew what ‘living’ was like. Love ya, Sterg.”

Yeah, that would get a warm response now, wouldn’t it?

To my friends that are constantly hammering me with relationship questions, and pulling the.. ‘why don’t you have a boyfriend card’… I have this startling revelation: Maybe I AM happy being single! What is so wrong with that???... I don’t have to wake up to someone nagging me in the morning to get out of bed. In fact, I can get up at my own leisurely pace, make my breakfast, hell… I can crawl back in bed when I am done and just marinate on the day ahead of me. That’s right.. I’m absolutely miserable… being able to crawl back in bed and treat most days of the week as if they were a Sunday. The only thing that would make my life any more perfect is if there was football on every morning. So what if I stay in my pajamas all day long until I am ready to greet the world?... The only person I have to deal with face to face… is my cat.. and she doesn’t seem to mind the fact her mom crawls back in bed whenever she chooses, and takes the day as it comes at her.

February 14 has always been about the cards, the candy, and the flowers. I got news for you…the flowers die, the candy gets eaten, and the cards get recycled with next week’s newspaper. All you are left with is a fat ass and a bill from Hallmark. They are the only ones that really profit from this whole thing with their stupid cards that range anywhere from 99 cents to 5 dollars (but those are the cool singing cards). Damn them for creating this holiday that discriminates against us singletons that have no one to spend it with. At least the other holidays give you options. You know: Christmahanakwanzikah, Passover vs. Easter. I mean, at least you are given a choice. On Valentine’s day… you’re either attached or .. it blows. Those that are depressed about their love life can usually be found at the local pub drowning their sorrows in the “I’m sorry you don’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend drink specials” while others just stay at home and watch the TNT and TBS showing of every Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, and Hugh Grant movie ever made. And this is supposed to be something to celebrate?.. You’re delusional.

So this Valentine’s Day I am announcing the creation of a new holiday for singles everywhere. The name is still in progress, but the idea of it goes something like this: This is a day to celebrate you. Take yourself to the nail salon, ladies, or buy yourself a new pair of Tiffany earrings. Why not??.. You deserve it. Men… it’s ok to buy yourself a steak dinner… and indulge in hours of ESPN Classics in HD from your leather recliner. Me?... my day will probably consist of all that and more, but the highlight of my day.. will be a haircut. There is something that is almost therapeutic to women worldwide in getting your hair done. It’s about being pampered, and feeling pretty.. but more so.. It’s about reinvention. This coming from a girl that has changed her haircolor to every color in the spectrum… including purple at one point or another. (Chill mom.. it’s called Eggplant.) My Valentine’s Day is all about taking chances, not only on my haircolor, but my life in general. So I don’t have that special someone to spend it with yet?... I’m in no hurry. After all, why settle for a hotdog when I can holdout for filet mignon?... Sure a microwavable hotdog is ready in an instant, but once you reached the last bite, even you don’t know what you REALLY just ate. A filet is nothing but the best.. the Grade A of partner material.. and that is what I want. There are plenty of guys out there that would “do”… but I would only be short changing myself. Prince Charming’s are few and far between, and the only thing you get from kissing toads is warts and dragon breath.

Maybe some women just weren’t meant to be tamed anyway. Maybe they were meant to run free until they find someone that can keep up and run wild with them. And maybe.. I’m ‘that’ girl. Sure, you can waste your time being a horse in the carousel of life, and ride the merry-go-round.. but the only place it gets you is right back to where you started from. Besides, riding around in circles is only fun if you like Nascar. I want to find the one person that makes me stand still. That is when I’ll know.. I’ve found “the one.”

So this.. is my Valentine’s gift to all those whose hands aren’t weighted down by a piece of metal. May we all raise our glasses together, and realize you don’t always need someone else to be happy and fulfilled. After all, how can you expect someone to love you, if you don’t love yourself??.. So maybe you don’t have a plus one on your party invites, or a table for two or more???.. Who gives a crap?... Make today about YOU.. and let the others worry about what to do with their dead flowers and love handles in a few days. At least you will look and feel fabulous… and if that isn’t something to declare a holiday over.. I dunno what is.

Besos, Jenn.


Troy said...

Hi Jenn,

Your Valentine’s Day speech reminded me of a poem from the Lonely Guy:

Will you be my Valentine?
Think about it a bit.
If you will, that’s ok.
If not, who gives a shit.

Happy Holiday-To-Be-Named-Later,

roothog229 said...


I would be honored to raise that glass with you. Seriously, I'm with you 100% on this issue. Feb. 14th isn't a holiday; it's a commercialized attempt to sell cards, candy and try to make people rush desperately to be attached. Who cares if you're attached or not? Personally, as I'm on the road all the time covering sporting events (not as many miles as you, but you know what I mean), I don't have time for it, and I'm happy to be where I am, and take the filet over the gas station hot dog anytime.

Your mindset is perfect: happiness is all that matters, and one doesn't need a significant other to have a fulfilled life. So tonight, when I enjoy a good steak and an ice cold Warsteiner beer, I'll raise my glass to you and others who refuse to let a Hallmark holiday run their lives (and hope you can get out of Syracuse before it snows you in). I hope you'll raise one for me as well.


thä Dýna§ý said...

if only I was snowed in with ya on v-day (:
at least I have my box of cocoa puffs to keep me company! :)

mager leagues said...

im pretty sure you'd make an excellent journalist.

Shaun said...

I couldn't agree more. I actually wrote a similar piece a couple weeks ago, but your views are a little more dignified. Nonetheless, check it out when you get a chance.

Shannon said...

Truer words were never spokenQ

Jon said...

"I want to find the one person that makes me stand still."--That's a beautiful line. The truth is most frequently now the opposite of popular belief. Almost every one of those people who are likely to judge you for choosing to be single are the same one's who will be divorced in five years and wonder what happened. Waiting for the real thing is far better than grasping at the first enticing thing that comes along.
Cheers, Jenn.


Gildorg said...

Hey Ms. Sterger,

Sorry I missed you in Eugene. I used to live there and there was a bar there that had an anti-valentines day party.

You brought a pic or other small item, and they would burn right there in the bar and then you got a body-shot from one of the available young ladies (or guys for the ladies).

I gotta tell ya, I have always hated VDay... But I started to look forward to the Anti-Vday party!!!

In any case, hope you enjoyed Oregon and look forward to your continued progress.

Jordi said...

I know this comment is a little late to matter but I've come to the conclusion that Valentine's Day is a lot like FAMU homecoming weekend in Tallahassee: the one day/ night where you let people of a certain demographic (in this case, couples) have their run of the social spots and you just sit back and wait it out at the house. Sure enough, the next day the sun rises and everything goes back to being normal.
By the way, I don't know how big of a baseball fan you are, but hope to see some FSU representation at the upcoming FSU-Philadelphia Phillies game on Wed, Feb 28th.
Keep up the good work.
- Jordi

Ruby K said...

Hey Jenn,

trust me, not only are you not the only one that hates valentine's day, there are plenty of couples that hate it as well! My girl and I can't stand it. I don't even remember what we did 2/14. It's all about consumption, end of story. If you love someone, why do you need one day? Why can't that day be this coming tuesday? or the following thursday?

And as for holding out for the person who's worth it, do your thing. Trust me, it's so much better in the end.