No romance? No problem

Marchaè Grair

“I found out I don’t work on Valentine’s Day, and I was disappointed because I know that means I’m going to sit at home alone all day and think about the fact that I don’t have anyone.”

When my friend made this complaint to me, I knew his February bah-humbugs wouldn’t be the last I heard. It’s that dreaded time of year again when Hallmark, Wal-Mart and Hollywood bombard people with the commercial construct of love.

Red and pink fill every store display, and teddy bears — sizing up past my five-foot-three-inch frame — line the shelves of retail giants. Movies such as “Valentine’s Day” and “Dear John” will definitely rake in the millions, and for one day of the year, girls might not feel so empowered to dance to “Single Ladies.”

Many people will publicly mourn their single status, and I cannot say there haven’t been some Valentine’s Days where I was one of those mourners.

Who wouldn’t want to receive a dozen roses just to feel special? When has a nice dinner and an “I love you” ever made anyone’s day worse?

I don’t blame people for wishing they had the perks of Valentine’s Day.

But after years of being one of the grumblers, I realized people put way too much importance on having a girlfriend or boyfriend on Feb. 14.

Most people don’t make the important distinction between being alone and being lonely. The two emotions confused me for years because I thought the absence of romantic love meant I was completely alone. Somehow, I felt less appreciated if there wasn’t someone to appreciate me as their girlfriend.

The time I spent complaining about being alone was time I definitely should have spent appreciating the ways I am not.

My friends are some of the most reliable people I have ever met, and my family would do anything to make sure I am happy. I never spend one day without a caring phone call from someone asking if I am okay, and I think I used to take the significance of platonic love for granted.

The commercialism of cards and roses sometimes makes love seem like a narrow idea, but romantic love is the most unreliable kind. People get so caught up in whom they don’t have that they forget about all of the others who love them most.

I try to remember my friends and family on Valentine’s Day, but most of all, I try to reflect on the love I have for myself. Those who try to fulfill themselves with love from others are often searching for something they can only get from self-fulfillment. No one can understand how much they’re appreciated until he or she finds a place of self-satisfaction.

So on this Valentine’s Day, I wish happy Valentine’s Day to all of the lovers. And I hope everyone, single or not, has a special love for himself or herself.

Marchaè Grair is a senior electronic media management major and columnist for The Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].