It’s that time of year again, folks. Valentine’s Day. It’s time to pick out your sexiest outfit, stuff it with crumpled-up newspapers, and then put it in your bed so you don’t have to sleep alone. It’s time to dim the lights, take out the good silverware, and then eat a Hungry-Man dinner across from a framed photo of Glenn Close. It's time to drink half a box of wine, eat some ice cream with your bare hands, and then wander around town paying panhandlers to say the words "I love you" while giving you eye contact.
In short, it is time for the single grimmest holiday of the year. Or rather, the grimmest holiday of the year for singles.
For people in committed relationships, Valentine’s Day is just another fun reason to go to Applebee’s on a Tuesday. But for single people, it is a day of intense and focused hatred of other people's happiness. All the things about Valentine’s Day that couples enjoy (flowers, handholding, scented candles, movies in which Reese Witherspoon and/or Paul Rudd almost don’t get to be with a person of equivalent attractiveness but then do, hot tubs, cookie cakes shaped like hearts, back rubs, smiling, doing it, etc.) serve as painful reminders for a single person that he or she is alone, grotesque, and unlovable.
So for all you single folk looking to celebrate this holiday in a manner that reflects your actual mood, why not read a book that explores the theme of frustration and solitude in a cathartic, uplifting way? Instead of crying your eyes out while watching Something's Gotta Give on TBS, why not feel comforted in your solitude by stories like The Misery of the Conquistador, The Scribes' Lament, Lie Down and Die, and Frost Mountain Picnic Massacre? Drown out all the trite happiness of your couple friends with 190 pages of gleeful, existential havoc. That's right, it's the perfect time of year to read The Great Frustration.
Anyway, that's definitely how I would plan to spend today, if it weren't for the fact that I'm going to be making out in a hot air balloon with my fiancé Natasha.