Two years ago, I noted that Valentines Day isn’t as aversive when you’re not generally miserable. I am pleased to report that my hypothesis appears to be true. It turns out, I didn’t hate Valentines Day – I hated winter. And now that I’m back on the west coast, I don’t have to experience true winter anymore. I get to complain when it drops into the 50s. Today, I had ice cream outside in a t-shirt. That’s what winter is supposed to be like! And living on the west coast, where I’m actually happy most of the time, Valentine’s Day is just a minor annoyance. Not even that, because there’s free chocolate.
I think there is little doubt that being with people you love is generally better than being alone. But that truth is exacerbated when under times of stress and hardship. When you’re unhappy, that’s the time it’s most painful to be alone (and be reminded of that fact on Valentine’s Day). Ironically, that unhappiness also makes you much less pleasant to be around, and thus increases the odds that you will be alone. It’s a vicious cycle.
Many commenters on my V-day posts have noted that Vday isn’t really for couples. It’s a time when romantic gestures seem unromantic. So perhaps a new Valentine’s day tradition is in order. If you’re with somebody you love, celebrate your love the other 364 days a year. On Valentines Day, find somebody who’s lonely, and make their lives a little cheerier. Invite them to lunch, stop by their office for a chat, maybe give them chocolate. And if you’re lonely, well, do the same – there are a lot of other lonely people out there too, and you can make both of your lives a little better.
Now for the rant: Today while I was on the bus, some idiot cut the bus off – he was reading a work document and not watching the road. What’s wrong with you, you idiot? Can you really not spare to wait a few minutes and not read while driving so you don’t cause accidents and nearly get killed?!?! I mean, the bus is 10 times the size of your car! And you shouldn’t be reading and driving anyway, you could hit a pedestrian. (It’s an ANNUAL rant… I had to come up with something…)