Many years ago… after being consistently disappointed on Valentine’s Day – while single OR involved – my college roommate and I decided that instead of feeling sorry for our single selves, we would celebrate together in style! At the time, we were no longer roommates. She rented a room in a large house with lots of other renters. Our plan was to binge horror classics such as My Bloody Valentine, eat as much junk food as we could manage, drink ourselves into the biggest hangover of all time, wear our pajamas all day everywhere we went, and spend most of the evening at her place by ourselves. We called it our “Anti-Valentine’s Day” party.
Our plan to spend the evening on our own unraveled before we could even get the movie together. As we left to rent videos (yes, it was that long ago), one of her male housemates stopped us to ask where we were going in our pajamas. So, we told him about our party. When we returned, he and two male friends stood at her door to ask if they could join us. They claimed watching horror movies, eating junk food, and getting drunk sounded like much more fun than trying to pick up chicks at bars too crowded with over-expectant girls on Valentine’s Day. We agreed if they supplied the snacks and stuck to the “Anti-Valentine’s Day” vibe. When they returned, they had another few guys in tow, snacks, AND drinks…
During the movie marathon more guys invaded and by the end of the movies there were ten guys in the room with us. We started out this party trying to avoid guys and wallow in anti-Valentine’s Day misery and the guys were flocking… Remember, this was the “Anti-Valentine’s Day party” so there were no moves made – we were just a bunch of people watching horror movies, eating junk food, and drinking drinks. We ate at least 4 pies, 3 gallons of ice cream, and a bottle or two of booze. It wasn’t a crazy party, it was just an all day anti-party. No one started dating as a result. It was the best Valentine’s Day I have ever spent, still to this day. It was the only one that turned out “better than expected”.
What the party taught me is that societal expectations may not always apply – no one in that room fell in love on Valentine’s day. No one in that room was romantic. No one in that room felt the need to comply with the “norms” of the “holiday.” Yet, there WERE people IN that room. My roommate and I found people who felt as we did about Valentine’s Day, just by saying it aloud. By doing our best to “not fit in”, “fitting in” found us – along with a fun new way to celebrate a day on the calendar that neither of us liked too much before our party. In other words, we made it our own.
I still celebrate Valentine’s Day watching horror movies, although now I watch with my husband, the two of us cozied up on the couch by ourselves. No chocolate, no flowers, and never dinner out. You can’t even get a table at Waffle House without reservations on Valentine’s Day, and I’d rather stay in!