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‘Happy Hearts Day’ advice for singles

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Better known in my circles as Valentine’s Day.

Oh, crap. (My Valentine’s Day equivalent to “Bah Humbug.”) The day of “luv.” And me alone, again. This is the day that separates the world into two categories — those who go home with someone and those who don’t even leave the house. Normally, I would find myself in the former group, but this year is going to prove to be very different. And lonely. And I’m sort of pumped about that.

Most think Valentine’s Day is simply a Hallmark holiday. Like Victoria’s Secret and Godiva put their heads together and came up with a great money-making scheme. However, I am not one of you.

Even alone, I love Valentine’s Day.

Why? I’m not sure. I’ve only had three really exceptional Valentine’s Days, and only two of them involved guys. But I’m a sucker for the romantic, even when I’m alone. Maybe it’s the color red. It’s my favorite. Maybe it’s the whole going out aspect of it. To me, there’s almost nothing more fun than gussying up in a knockout dress and having a night out with someone special. That someone doesn’t have to be “the one.” Hell, if all you want is a free dinner, you don’t even have to like them. Valentine’s Day was different when we were little. We had parties with candy hearts and cupcakes. Then we got “boyfriends” and “girlfriends” and everything changed. If you didn’t get a rose on Feb. 14, you felt like a loser. Now that we’re at “marryin’ age”, as one of my professors calls us it, Valentine’s Day seems to take on a far more serious meaning. People we know are getting engaged. Boys we saw pick their noses on the school bus are putting diamonds on girls’ fingers.

And some of us can’t even hold together a three-week romance. But that doesn’t mean Valentine’s Day isn’t for us. Maybe we’re the lucky ones. Maybe it’s all a farce. Love don’t love you. Love is fickle. Like Halle told Eddie, “Love shoulda brought your ass home last night.”

But I digress.

The point is, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for lovers. You don’t need a diamond or a box of Hershey’s Pot o’ Gold. We are grown folks. We can buy our own chocolate. Go treat yourself to take-out sushi or, if you’re brave enough, put on your finest and go have that killer steak at Bern’s. (Although, sitting alone at a restaurant just invites misery, Valentine’s Day or not.) Go out with a group of friends; paint the town red. For those who like to wallow, head to your nearest video store and rent The Way We Were, with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford. It’s guaranteed to have you crying in your Ben & Jerry’s. This isn’t something I would recommend, though.

While none of us are stoked that we don’t have a significant other (and if you say you are, you’re a liar), none of us are so dependent that we can’t go out and have a good time sans romance. So put on those dancin’ shoes or bowling shoes, or whatever, and go have a good time. Because lightning may strike in your direction tonight, and next year may be a whole different ball game.

Jessica Higgins is a junior majoring in mass