I was just talking with a single co-worker of mine, and she was lamenting that she and a friend had canceled their Valentine's Day "ladies night out" plans because her friend didn't think she'd be able to stomach sitting at dinner and watching all of those happy couples make googly eyes at each other.
So in my effort to be a good friend and try to avert any feelings of singlehood depression that might be overwhelming her at any moment, I tried to give her a different perspective of Valentine's Day, one that is a little more realistic, at least in my experience anyway.
1. Only a fraction of the couples in that restaurant will be giving each other googly eyes: the ones who have been planted there by the Hallmark companies to perpetuate the Valentine's Day syndrome. The rest of us will be cranky after a two hour wait at our favorite restaurant that for whatever reason doesn't take reservations, which we endured because of some unexplainable, automatic, obligatory response to February 14, and we will have no desire to make googly eyes at anyone by the time we are actually seated, no matter how in love we were with them before we got to the restaurant.
2. The couples that you see eating might be thinking how nice it is to have a night out with their special someone. However, it is equally likely that at least some of them will be thinking that the meal they waited 2+ hours for really isn't that good, and they will be wondering who decided to implement this "Valentine's Day" in the first place, and why such a thing is necessary when we could eliminate Valentine's Day entirely and let individual couples arbitrarily choose any random and mutually acceptable day(s) in which to celebrate their love for one another, which would result in a fraction of the wait time for a table.
3. For those couples with enough stamina left after waiting for a table to actually engage in conversation, not all of these conversations are going to consist of whispering sweet nothings into one another's ears. Some of it is going to revolve around such romantic topics as: when do you think you will get around to fixing the bathroom sink? and: did you remember to take back the rental videos on your way to work this morning?
4. Single people aren't the only ones not having sex on Valentine's Day. After the two-hour wait to eat, the time it took to eat, on top of the 8+ hour day you put in at work, some couples decide to throw in the towel and give up their oh-it's-Valentine's-Day-isn't-this-romantic charade and do all they've really wanted to do since the alarm went off that morning: go back to sleep.
Of course, for those of you who have been married oh, three years or less, or are still in the dating phase of your relationship, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. For those of you that can relate, know that you're not alone. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!