Some folks on Twitter (company motto: A Finger on the Pulse of the Unemployed) are trending up the hashtag #singlesawarenessday today. I've held off saying anything about this for some time, because a) I went through many past Valentine's Days single, and I remember how much it sucked, and b) many of my family members and friends are currently single, and I don't want to aggravate what may already be an irritant. But I happen to believe that Singles Awareness Day (abbreviated SAD, of course, and deliberately observed on Valentine's Day) is one specimen of an attitude I see increasingly often -- passive-aggressive public sulking over a holiday of which one does not approve.
Singles Awareness Day is one of several public-sulking holidays (I'm looking at you, "Buy Nothing Day") whose existence is primarily reactionary -- in other words, most people observe them as a protest against the celebration of the formal or informal holidays on which they fall. Based on the comments I've been reading, Singles Awareness Day is an attempt to cancel out the celebration of Valentine's Day by fostering guilt and shame in couples who just want to enjoy the day -- "how dare you rub your romance in our faces" is the way one Tweet put it. (If I were to do something similar, I'd declare April 22 to be "Thank You For Littering Day" and encourage as many people as possible to pollute the environment. Sounds kinda childish and stupid, doesn't it? Exactly.)
I know what it's like to suffer through a holiday I don't celebrate. For instance, thanks to the joys of infertility, I'm not a mother -- and at this point in my life, I'm not likely ever to become one. This makes me sad, but I'm not going to gather a bunch of childless women and spearhead the initiative to rename Mother's Day "Infertility Awareness Day" because the celebration of motherhood makes me uncomfortable. It smacks too much of sour grapes. Besides, I know plenty of awesome mothers (my own mom, my mom-in-law, and Miss V's mom come readily to mind) and I can choose to celebrate them on Mother's Day rather than curling up, licking my wounds and snarling at passersby.
Valentine's Day is a celebration of love. If you don't have romantic love right now, consider finding some other way to celebrate love positively -- adopt a pet from a shelter, serve at a soup kitchen, offer free hugs, treat yourself or someone you care about to a professional massage, whatever floats your boat. There's no need to be bitter and ruin the holiday for those who just want to celebrate.
And if you still feel like you really need a day to celebrate singles, the Koreans already gotcha covered. (It sounds delicious!)