Brace Yourself. Bitterness Is Coming.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Valentine’s Day is arriving this Sunday, which means the usual tide of snarky hatred should be rolling across our doorstep. So watch for the “Greatest Hits” of bitter posts that say:

  • I’m single, and unless I’m personally content, I don’t want anyone in the world to be happy!
  • Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday, and if you have to be reminded to be romantic to your spouse, then your relationship is clearly a fraud and should be disbanded!
  • I had a bad experience on Valentine’s Day, and therefore I’m going to shit on everyone else’s attempts to enjoy themselves!

To which I say, quite seriously:
Maybe you’d have better romantic experiences if you spent less time being angry at other people for enjoying themselves when you’re not.
Look, I get that you might not be happy about Valentine’s day because you’re single. The world’s a little lonelier on those days, and for that I console you. (Especially if you just had a breakup, in which case I’ll personally deliver a hug to your doorstep.) If you don’t want to join in the festivities and instead band together with a bunch of single friends to drink wine and razz bad romantic comedies, go for it.
But angrily trying to piss in everyone else’s Cheerios because this holiday isn’t working for you personally?
Come on. Look, Valentine’s Day is commercial, but there’s nothing wrong with giving people a reminder to be nice to each other. And clearly lots of people do enjoy being given this space to reconnect with each other, so screaming LOOK AT ME AND REMEMBER HOW HOLLOW THIS ALL IS is kind of a dick move.
Not everything in life is going to be for you. And I think, quite honestly, if you’re looking for romantic love, you’re going to do a lot better if you learn to cultivate this compersive idea of “Let me allow other people to have a good time even if I’m a little saddened.” Because frankly, the relationships where you’re only allowed to be as happy as your partner currently is rarely end well.
For me, there were songs that were absolutely wrecked for me when my goddaughter died of cancer, songs that make people happy and get played at football games and make people dance. Yet when they come on the radio – and they do, a lot – I don’t stand up and remind people of my loss; I excuse myself quietly and let people have their happy dance.
Because the answer to inconsolable happiness is not to rip down other people’s joy, but to protect it wherever you can. Happiness is fleeting, ephemeral, and it’s so easy to shred someone else’s nice moment.
It sucks to be single when the world is dating. I get that. But let the world be happy for a bit.
And I hope when you get your happy moment – because I hope you do get your happy moment – nobody will be there cynically sneering at you.
Happy Valentine’s Day, three days in advance.

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