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Davis, California

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Column: All the single ladies

I love Valentine’s Day. I love the chocolates, the excuse to use cheesy pick up lines on my housemates, the flowers … I enjoy it so much, I’ve made personalized Valentines for all my friends and passed them out every year since I was five years old. Being single never stopped me from celebrating.

However, all that changed the other day.

I was putting the finishing touches on this year’s Valentines when I stumbled upon an ugly truth online.

When I read the first article of how to “survive” Valentine’s Day as a single woman, I was merely suspicious – amused even. After reading the 15th one, I began to suspect something. It was the 23rd one that convinced me.

Single ladies of Davis, Valentine’s Day is out to get you. It be climbin’ in your windows, snatchin’ single people up. V-Day is out for blood and it is not about to spare me.

This realization inspired me to shove my Valentines off the coffee table in my living room, pick up the coffee table Hulk-style, and release a roar that echoed through the apartment.

Just as I was about to toss the table out the window of my second story apartment, my back cracked. I put the table down.

Instead, I expressed my anguish by running up the stairs, all the way to my room. With the butter knife I had grabbed off the table in hand, I jumped into my bed and hid underneath the covers. Knowing that my day of reckoning was upon me, I stabbed the air in preparation to kill.

I assume that many of the “survival” guides were written with the intention of empowering single women like me on Valentine’s Day.

Unfortunately many of them read like reminders that not only will I die alone and childless if I don’t step things up ASAP, but my chances of dying alone and childless are increased exponentially on Valentine’s Day. Because god knows what I’d do if I were to catch sight of a heart-shaped doily today.

I know that these survival guides are just for fun and that I shouldn’t read too much into them, but there are so many that it has gotten much too ridiculous not to suspect.

There is an underlying message to these “survival” guides and it’s one that I don’t agree with. The message is that single women are supposed to want to be in a relationship. That they are lonely, and that on Valentine’s, they are outcasts.

Now, the notion that a woman cannot be satisfied with her life without a relationship is not a new one. And while this feeling may be magnified on Valentine’s Day, it’s bigger than that – in fact, it has been maintained within ourselves and our society.

These “survival” guides for single women feed the stereotype that there is something wrong or damaged with women who are not romantically attached. It assumes that single women need tips on how to “survive” any occasion because, even as grown women, we cannot figure it out for ourselves.

It assumes that we must be saved.

That is bullshit.

While hiding out under my covers with my butter knife, I realized two things. First, a butter knife should not have been my weapon of choice to grab in a life or death situation.

Second, I like heart-shaped doilies. I like them so much. I’d eat them for breakfast every morning if I didn’t have to visit the ER hours after doing so.

Fuck this shit.

Valentine’s Day is just a day. It just so happens that it’s the day that celebrates a certain type of choice – the decision to be with someone for instance.

As grown ups, we can choose if we want to celebrate it or not. And it’s no one else’s business.

Strong, independent women (single or not) don’t hide underneath their bed sheets holding butter knives and they certainly don’t let being single get in the way of celebrating Valentine ‘s Day if they really love it. They do not “survive” V-Day or any other day of the year.

Strong, independent women live every day of the year.

That’s why today, I’ll be slipping into a pretty dress, putting on some hot heels, and wearing my red lipstick with my back straight and head held high. I’ll be passing out my Valentines with style and a smile. When I pass by couples, I’ll feel happy. When I pass by hot guys, I’ll holla. I don’t need a guide for that.

Today, I choose to be happy and hopeful because hey – maybe next year, I’ll get laid.

Hey sexy, are you an alpha carbon? Because you look susceptible to a backside attack! Toss your drink in KATHERINE TANG NGO’s face at kthngo@ucdavis.edu.


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