After that it got bad. All four years of college were spent lamenting my status as a single at dinners with other single girls, whining about not being anyone's date to any stupid formal, or worse, going as a friend and trying to hit on other people's dates. And then I graduated, and started working in restaurants, and then Valentine's Day became great. It was a way to rape and pillage happy couples of their money while serving them overpriced specials and champagne "deals", and I didn't have to worry about whether I was dating someone or not, because I was on the schedule to work either way.
Last year my boyfriend and I had only been together a short time and I had no idea what Valentine's Day protocol would be, so I asked him if he minded if I worked that night. I maintain that that question is one of the major reasons he wanted to continue to date me. This year, he's out of town (which I okay-ed, more than once, and never once threatened to hold against him) and I'm working, as I mentioned last night and I already have my little present, and that's fine.
Valentine's Day is silly. There's no reason to whine if you're alone, or wear black in protest, or talk about watching "The Notebook" on repeat, and there's no reason to sit in an overpriced restaurant, basically on top of other couples awkwardly trying to have whatever you deem a "romantic" conversation.
Maybe I'm a cynic, or, finally, a pessimist, but LOVE isn't something that concerns me so much anymore. To have someone who compliments you, who forces you to grow and push yourself, who you can share with, and who you can rely on, that is what is important. That person need not be a romantic attachment. Sure, that's the goal, and we'd all love to find the person whose presence makes our knees buckle and our mouths water, but there's so much love and support in the world with friends, family and even strangers, that we are all strong enough to make it on our own. Love is nothing more than a way to verbalize a feeling of comfort. So let's all be comfortable in our own skin and strive to make others feel the same way.
Remember, this Valentine's Day, you are loved. And come have some all-you-can-eat tacos...