Damn. It's back again. That time of year is slowly creeping up on us again, smelling of patchouli oil and cheap roses. It's all well and good being in a relationship - well, for some people it is - but it's not always like a Drew Barrymore movie, is it? But for single people, it's worse, especially if it's not by choice. A lot of single people will claim to be single by choice. "Yes", they'll say, "I don't have time for a partner or a relationship; I'm too busy with my job. If I'm not there to put glass eyeballs into those fluffy gibbons, who will?" Hmmm. We're not fooled. Most of us want to conform and find the one true love that years of watching The Love Boat and reading Danielle Steel novels has ingrained into our brain-boxes. It might be a fantasy, but so is my dream of having a 30-inch waist. Never going to happen.
To counter the sludge of Valentine's Day dross that we are subjected to, I've decided to trawl through the FML archives to come up with some sort of guide for the single person on how to avoid getting bogged down by all the depressing forced-jolliness that goes with the 14th of February. While the rest of the planet is out with their significant others, we'll be having our own singles parties, trying to get off with one another. OK?
So, where do we start? Well, the usual point where the wheels come off a well planned-out Valentine's Day is usually a point-blank rejection, before you've even started. So what sort of rejection would that be, then?
Today, we wrote Valentine's Day poems in class. I wrote a very depressing poem about how I was rejected by all the girls I like and how it hurt to be alone. When it was read to the class, they laughed and told me it was hilarious. Even the teacher. FML
This story encapsulates everything you need to know about the risks involved in asking someone out for Valentine's Day. Just don't do it. For a start, it's too much of a cliché, and you could get hurt worse than someone jumping into a volcano. It's that bad. So, if you're single, don't count on Valentine's Day to magically make you some sort of sex magnet. You're not, despite those trousers.
But why would you want to put yourself through all that anyway? How does the other half live? If you've never actually been in a relationship on Valentine's Day, what is it like?
Today, I was informed that my boyfriend's mother would be joining us on our Valentine's dinner. I'm not sure if this momma's boy thing is going to work out. FML
Hmmm, sounds like fun. Not sure that I'd enjoy that, even though I've had a few girlfriends whose parents were a lot more fun than they were.
Today, for Valentine's Day, my boyfriend gave me the half-eaten chocolate bar that I left in his fridge two weeks ago. FML
Right, that's it! Sign me up for a relationship right now! I want one!
OK, these two FMLs are probably worst-case scenarios, but they do show that Valentine's Day is only worth putting up with if both partners are willing to make the required effort. This can be infuriating for single people, who have all at one point been in an unrequited love situation, more specifically been in love with someone who was already in a relationship, and thought, "Hang on, why isn't their partner going out of their way to give them EVERYTHANG?" Unfortunately, this sort of situation if left boiling over for too long can lead to the kind of mindset of the twit who believes in the existence of "The Friendzone" (hint: it doesn't exist; just because you're obsessively nice to someone doesn't mean you get to do sex to their body bits), and who'll spout inane rubbish like "girls only like guys who treat them like crap." No, they don't. They just don't like you specifically in "that way", so get over your teenage crush and find someone who does, dill-hole.
But what about being in a relationship? Why do people actually do it? Why do we, as single people, get all depressed about Valentine's Day? I mean, OK, things like love songs on the radio and TV shows constantly berate us for not being in a relationship, as if we were outcasts. But really, we're not. There's a lot at stake in a relationship, as this story seems to convey:
Today, while out for our romantic Valentine's dinner, my boyfriend of 2 years told me that he believes in women being subservient, and I'm not allowed to have opinions anymore. And that he's "the Alpha Dog" and I'm merely the "Beta Dog", so I have to "get used to it.” FML
Sadly, this is a growing trend. A lot of people believe in this alpha/beta stuff, and applying it to a loving relationship is just plain silly. Even weirder is getting bent out of shape about gender equality. Some guys feel oppressed by the ladies enjoying the same rights as they do. They think that their rights are being taken away, that the mean feminists hate them and want to cut their cojones off and take their Xbox away or something. But they're not losing any rights, they're just losing the privileges that they enjoyed free of charge up until now. Society is becoming fairer. Equality isn't a dirty word - it's great. But try telling them that; it's like trying to explain heavy metal to a wasp.
So be careful what you wish for, single people. Right now, you might very well want to have date set up for Valentine's Day. You might get invited - unfortunately by someone who you'd rather kick in the eye - or maybe even wind up on an actual date with someone you actually like. But would you want this for anyone?
Today, I received a single, hand-made Valentine's card from the weirdest kid in the school. It said, "If you ever get mauled by a bear, I hope he doesn't damage your face.” FML
Actually, I might like it if someone sent me that. But I'm odd in the head since I got whacked in the head with a golf club when I was 5 years old.
Today, I tried convincing my Valentine-hating boyfriend to send me a card, explaining how important it is to me. He finally agreed. I opened it up; it wished me 'harmony and well-being on Lupercalia'. What is Lupercalia? It's an ancient Roman festival where men run down the street naked, whipping people with goat skins to encourage fertility. FML
Not too sure about that one, though. Goat skins are hard to come by where I live.
A common theme amongst the Valentine's Day FMLs is the supposed loneliness of us single people. But that's got to stop. This sort of wank has to stop:
Today, I arranged to have some flowers delivered at work for Valentine's Day so that my colleagues will think someone likes me. FML
We're better than that. Stop pretending. We deserve better. So, this Valentine's Day, let's all meet up somewhere and have a party. A big singles party. I can even host it in my hovel. And NO non-single people pretending to be single so they can get off with someone because they're bored at home. You made your bed, now lie in it. We're single, not sad. OK? So, bring the booze, I'll make sure there's some plastic cups and something to eat, and maybe this year's Valentine's Day will be less of a snoozefest. Oh, and we'll avoid playing that annoyingly patronizing Beyoncé song as well, because being single and being unmarried are two different things. That stuff about having to put a ring on it? You don't need to put rings on people you love; you need to put love on people you love.
Until next time, here's a great love song, and remember: be excellent to each other, and if you've got it, flaunt it.