Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14th

St. Valentine's Day. Single Awareness Day (S.A.D.). Whatever you want to call it. Happy February 14th!

As I sit here eating Valentine's chocolate and pondering the pros and cons of this day, I would like to add my voice to the boiling pot of mixed feelings on the most romantic day of the year.

I have mixed feelings myself. On the one hand, Valentine's Day has always been special with my family. We have a rather unusual family tradition: each year, my siblings and I come up with a surprise to show my parents how much we love them. So I grew up believing Valentine's Day to be a celebration of any kind of love. I like that version of Valentine's Day.

But here I am, for the first time, celebrating Valentine's Day far away from home at a university that is particularly romance/love/dating/marriage-oriented. The telltale signs of Valentine's Day are everywhere. You can literally smell it. (I would know the scent of Valentine's chocolate from a mile away.) And do we really need a day on which we gather in masses to profess to the world that we're in love? Why can't we just stick to personalized holidays like anniversaries?

So in an attempt to resolve my confusion a little, I'm going to make a list of the pros and cons of Valentine's Day.

Pros:

1. Chocolate. Obviously. If someone decided to start calling February 14th "National Chocolate Day," I would not be opposed. (Actually, maybe I should start up that campaign...)
2. Like I said, it can be a celebration of love for anyone. My roommates have all gotten each other Valentine's candy, cookies, etc. (Except for me...I guess I should get on that.) I'm eagerly awaiting my parents' reaction to their 2012 Valentine's surprise. There really are a lot of people to love in this world; why not have a day to remind ourselves?
3. Chocolate in the shape of hearts. (Very different from plain ol' chocolate.)
4. Seeing other people get surprised with flowers. Aw.
5. Chocolate wrapped in red. It's a very attractive color for chocolate.
6. People are more friendly in elevators. (Just a personal observation.)
7. There is an abundance of chocolate in my kitchen right now.
8. Ummm...pink? (It's a nice color...)

Cons:


1. Extreme commercialization, and not in a good way. Every time I go into the grocery store, I see these hideous fake roses and Palmer's Valentine's candy (I'm hesitant to call it chocolate. It's more like chocolate-flavored sugar). If I had a significant other, I would rather he do absolutely nothing than get me one of those cheapo gifts.
2. Unlike special, personal holidays like anniversaries, for people who do not currently have a significant other, Valentine's Day is a very loud, obnoxious reminder that "NOBODY LOVES YOU!!!" Even though you know that in fact, the only reason you're not dating someone right now is that you are actually secure in yourself and you're waiting for the right person to come along... What was obvious every other day of the year is now less obvious, even to you.
3. Pink and red, though both very nice colors, don't look very nice together.
4. People are more friendly in elevators.

Well, you can see that the pros outweigh the cons...but as the list clearly shows, Valentine's Day has been misnamed.

Happy National Chocolate Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why You're Single

Good news! I haven't disappeared off the face of the planet!

Also, shockingly, I have some spare time to blog. (I know, it's crazy.)

You know what's been bugging me lately? Gender stereotypes.

After writing a short, annoyed post on Facebook about this, I decided it wanted further explanation. According to the stuff my guy friends have been posting on Facebook (no offense, if you're one of them), nice guys are fed up with finishing last. Why are they single? Because they are nice, obviously. The only difference they can see between themselves as all the guys with attractive girlfriends is that those guys aren't nice and sensitive.
Seen this floating around?

Shall I list the people who could potentially be offended by this?

1. Girls with nice boyfriends. "Oh, so it's only the pretty girls who have jerks for boyfriends. I get it."
2. Girls with no boyfriends. "Right, I'm just waiting for a boy who's 'bad' enough for me."
3. Nice guys with no girlfriends. "So no girl will ever be interested in me. Thanks."
4. Nice guys with girlfriends. "Sooo...is my girlfriend ugly, or am I actually a jerk?"

But of course, that's beside the question, because being offended is a choice and if we're really going to go that way, someone could be offended at just about anything you say. Let's get more to the point.

I don't understand why guys need to separate themselves into categories of "bad" and "nice." If you're single, there could be an innumerable amount of reasons why, such as:

--You're looking for the wrong kind of girls (aka the insecure ones who like guys who treat them like dirt).
--You're too nervous to ask her out or take any kind of step past friendship.
--You're focused on only one girl and she happens to not be interested in you (not because you're "nice," but for some other reason. Like, you could actually have faults).
--The right girl hasn't come along yet and you just have to be patient. (Proverbs 3:5, anyone?)

These are only a few of the many reasons you might be single. I'm not saying these are necessarily bad; I'm just saying that you shouldn't blame being single on being "nice" when that makes little sense compared to other reasons. (I might get put in the insane asylum for saying this, but is being single actually bad?)

When you say that girls only like bad boys, this is what you're doing. First, you're saying that all girls are insecure. Second, you're saying that it's not your fault you don't have a girlfriend; it's the fact that girls want the wrong things.

But let's stop criticizing the men here for just a moment and acknowledge that a lot of girls are similarly at fault, even though they might be less blatant about it (or maybe not; there might be more Internet evidence that I have yet to see). Girls often attribute the fact that they're single to things like "guys are just looking for Barbie." Is this true? I mean, really, what are you saying? You're saying that all guys are so superficial that all they care about is that their girlfriend has a certain kind of body.

Yeah, okay, some guys really are that superficial. Some girls really are insecure. But we all need to stop putting everyone in a stereotype just because of their gender. We all want different things in relationships because we are all individual people who are very, very different from one another.

Look around, folks. Plenty of girls are dating guys who treat them well, and plenty of guys are dating girls who don't look like supermodels. Maybe you're the one who is attracted to the wrong kind of person.