There are only four kinds of people in this world.
Okay, that's not true. There are a million kinds of people in this world. But on Valentine's Day, there are really only four:
- People who are alone and wish they weren't
- People who are alone and are glad they are
- People who have someone and are glad they do
- People who have someone and wish they didn't
When you break that down even further, only 50% of people are happy with their relationship status, and the other half are hoping and waiting for something else, something better. Valentine's Day is the painfully glaring reminder of all this. The one day (oh... and two weeks prior to... and several days after...), where we have everything we're supposed to want or have shoved right at our consumery faces. But some people don't want a romantic relationship. And some people are in them and don't need one day to celebrate 365 days of love. And the people who don't have what they want and aren't happy with life need self-empowerment to achieve their goals, not a 'holiday' reminding them of everything they don't have.
Far be it from me to single-handedly revolutionize this day. I'm not saying anything new and the holiday is clearly not going anywhere.
Instead, here are some ways to celebrate the day (in a Carpe Diem way, not in a spend $170.00 kind of way), no matter what 'type of person' you are!
Single and lovin' it
Yeah. There is such a thing as being single and being happy. It happens all the time. It's not all about an "in-between" thing -- "I just broke up with my ex and need some time to myself before I start dating again" or a permanent thing -- "It's a lifestyle choice to not tie myself down to any one person" -- it's a human being thing. It's about loving who you are and your life as it is with you being the biggest star in it! Single does not equal lonely. Singles can fill their time however they want, whenever they want, with whomever they want. They completely pilot their happiness. Besides, all you have to do is look around to know that being in a relationship does not necessarily make you happy! There are MILLIONS of people stuck in ruts or bad relationships who, for whatever reason, decide to stay that way. Life on the single-side, when you're doing it right, is... the bomb.
So! Want to celebrate being young, single and free? Check out:
Beauty Queens -- NOT your average run down the catwalk, this book follows the lives of a plane full of Pageant contestants who crash land on a deserted island and have to learn how to fend for themselves - WITHOUT hair straighteners and mascara. It pokes a lot of fun at contemporary consumer culture, and DOES stereotype some ideas of young girls -- but stick with it, and you'll discover an island full of empowered, kick-a$$ young women who are saving the day and having a lot of fun doing it.
And what about a guy who is so busy blowing stuff up and rescuing the planet that he doesn't even have time to THINK about dating? Stormbreaker has enough action to keep your heart palpitating without any of that lovey dovey stuff.
Sometimes it ISN'T easy, fun, or exciting getting to the healthy side of single (and there are rarely any pyrotechnics). The "Alice" series are a tried and true map of teen life -- in this book, Alice has to navigate a recent break up from her boyfriend, Patrick, and figure out who she is, and how to love life now that it's just her.
And then there's Hollywood's take on the matter: CLEARLY it's better to live the high-life as a onesie than have to deal with crazy stalkers or have people dying on you all the time. I'm thinking "Misery" for psycho love and "Romeo and Juliet" for dying lover... or "Titanic"... or "Moulin Rouge"... you know, there are a lot of those out there... There's also the BRILLIANT "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (check the ratings for all of these, guys... just a heads up!), which has a futuristic sci-fi feel in the idea that we could erase entire chunks of our memories as if they never happened... leaving our personalities intact, but nixing say, those pesky reminders of a relationship gone wrong...
I believe in a thing called Love
... But then again, there's a lot to be said for love. Many people who aren't in relationships DO want them, and for good reason. You can get so much out of life by sharing love with another person; a feeling of companionship, someone to share hopes and dreams with, constant feel-good hormone rushes... If you're single, but hopeful, there is a light on the horizon. Don't believe me? Scope these out:
Tiny Cooper is in LOVE with being in love. He's had a million (and counting) boyfriends. The kid just does not give up! Enter Will Grayson, his next beau, who, plot-drivingly enough, shares the same name as Tiny's best friend, Will Grayson, and who decidedly does NOT believe in love. We keep finding lists to put this book on because it really is one of the funniest, loveliest, weepiest, thought-provoking and awesome books out there.
The Statistical Probability of Falling in Love at First Sight (phew!) lives up to it's fluffy, feel-good promise. It's a light read -- with a few Kleenex moments -- that will take up your time until you're ready to go out and fall in love yourself.
Everyone knows you have to hit rock-bottom before you can start climbing back up again (unless you're one of those freakish movie stars who can support their entire body weight with one hand dangling down the edge of a cliff for like, an eternity...). Tom's rock-bottom is a heartbreaking one, but he slowly patches his life back together, and yup, finishes the story by being in love. The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta.
Need a flick? Kat doesn't believe in love... until she meets Patrick. Uhhhh, yeah. That's Heath Ledger. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Don't need much more than THAT to believe in love... unless you love Shakespeare like I love Shakespeare... cuz it's got just a little sprinkling of that too. Borrow 10 Things I Hate About You from the library -- you won't regret it. Oh, and here's the jam you can rock to through the whole love-loving day: The Darkness - I Believe in a Thing Called Love
So. You believed in love. You really did. But now it's gone and sucker-punched you, and you need to get out of this relationship -- fast. Fear not, you are FAR from alone. Anybody and their dog could name you the best Break-Up movies, so instead we made a list of the greatest break up songs. Need to cry? Check. Need to scream? Check. Need to realize-how-awesome-you-are-and-how-much-better-you'd-be-without-them? Double Check.
I Will Survive -- Gloria Gaynor
I Hate Everything About You -- Three Days Grace
I Want To Break Free -- Queen
Too Little, Too Late -- JoJo or Leave
Face Down -- Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Since U Been Gone -- Kelly Clarkson
Irreplaceable -- Beyonce
This Love -- Maroon 5
Fighter -- Christina Aguilera
Survivor -- Destiny's Child
These are guaranteed hits... but if you've got something a bit less... top 40, leave us a comment to let us know. We're ALWAYS looking for good music. I personally believe that "Wild Hope" by Mandy Moore is the BEST break up album ever -- she wrote it after her split with Zach Braff, and this chick knows heartache. But, she's not everyone's cup of tea, so fair warning. Now that I think about it... Kelly Clarkson's a killer crooner for break-up anthems too... she's got a whole album of them.
Sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Okay. So you're in love. And the person you love is loving you back. And everything's great. And it's Valentine's Day. And you've already watched every Nicholas Sparks movie ever (or been 'forced' to watch... although really, who are you kidding, you liked it too...) So... what? Try a Classic. Not like an OLD classic, although flicks like "Roman Holiday" and "Bringing up Baby" are pretty awesome. I mean like... something just heart-warming that you could watch again, and again, and again. Maybe the movie you saw on your first date? Or something you haven't watched since you were a kid. Or the movie your PARENTS saw on their first date (now that's something to keep you guessing...)
Here are some pics I could watch a hundred times and never get sick of:
So Happy Valentine's Day; whoever you are, wherever you are. Rock it out YOUR way.