The Ottumwa Courier

February 13, 2013

Embrace the single life

Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — Valentine’s Day is near, though it’s been shoved at us from every direction for more than a month.

After Christmas I went to Walmart, and the red and green candy aisle I had just seen a week prior had turned into an explosion of all things pink and lovey-dovey. Nausea almost had me running for another pink treat — Pepto Bismol.

Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite “holiday,” whether I’ve been in a relationship or flying solo.

If you’re single, Corporate America wants to force you to wallow in your singledom as you buy wine and chocolates, not to mention the flowers you send to yourself at work.

Last year, I spent The Day of Love “Bridget Jones”-style, rocking out to 1980s ballads in my apartment (air guitar and power kicks included) while my neighbors likely had the number for the insane asylum at their fingertips, ready to dial at the first sound of a sob.

When I was little, Feb. 14 was all about candy from my mom and my teachers forcing each of us to give V-Day cards to everyone in class, including the little boy who always yelled at me, “You’re funny ... looking!” as well as the boy who made me laugh so hard I shot chocolate milk out my nose (I don’t think he ever spoke to me again).

As for middle school ... well, let’s just skip middle school. Those years are not good to anyone.

Then high school came around and I started dating. Feb. 14 turned into simple little gifts of chocolate or flowers, a clumsy smooch and each of us steering as far as possible from saying those dreaded three little words.

In college, after one of my best girlfriends and I had each endured bitter break-ups prior to that love-filled day, we and our guy friends decided to throw an “Anti-Valentine’s Day Party.”

She and I gussied ourselves up. We perfected the “smoky eye” look, slipped into our little black dresses and found recipes for too-sweet drinks in Cosmo.

Unfortunately, our party stayed true to its name. My night ended after an intoxicated guy at a neighborhood bar lost his balance and knocked a table of drinks all over me.

This Thursday, I’m going to make sure my night is free of drama and free of drunk guys and wobbly tables. Though I don’t have a date and don’t plan on getting one anytime in the next few days, that’s fine with me.

Guess what, everyone? Being single is OK. It gives you time to decide what you want — and especially what you don’t want — in a future partner.

To all my single ladies out there (raise your hand if you just did Beyonce’s famous little shuffle), enjoy the single life. It’s pretty great.

I raise my glass to you, singletons. I hope your Valentine’s Day goes off without a hitch, and I hope all nearby tables stay upright.

Chelsea Davis is a staff writer for the Ottumwa Courier.