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Feb. 12, 1999




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Valentine's Day reminds singles about loneliness

By H.G. Miller
Kansan columnist

H.G.MillerPerhaps you haven´t noticed the preponderance of pink and red hearts adorning the aisles of local merchants or the sultry advertisements coming through the radio waves, but Valentine´s Day is very near.

Because this holiday has worked its way into mass marketing, and thus the Grand American Culture, I feel that it is my duty to make fun of it.

If you aren´t familiar with the customs, the main point of Valentine´s Day is to show love and passion for those who are closest to you by surprising them with gifts at a designated time or else risking a loss of that special relationship.

Otherwise, the holiday, with all of its pink and red (how tacky, really), simply exists to make single people even more painfully aware of the complete lack of intimacy in their lives. I dedicate this column to all of the single people out there who must deal with this month-long onslaught of romantic insinuations, lovey-dovey salutations and all the other nauseating reminders of how happy other people are.

If I could express my feelings about this brutal holiday with one single statement, I would like to title this column “You Will Not be Getting Any Tonight.”

Before the tirade of angry letters begins, let me tell you that I´m just being honest. I am well aware that there is more to life than bedding down with the nearest warm body, but single people don´t exist in a vacuum. We have friends. We have boyfriends and girlfriends, people we go see movies with and have dinner with, and people who call us in the wee hours of the morning to discuss the problems of the world and hear a friendly voice.

We just don´t get to sleep with these people. I don´t know why, but those are just the rules.

I´m willing to bet that every one of us knows at least one person our age who has gotten married by now. Personally, I have three garter belts on the wall at home. I´m not trying to show off that I´ve got the hops, I´m just trying to illustrate that when all of your friends keep getting married, you begin to wonder what it is that you´re doing wrong.

Let´s face it, it´s hard work being single. We´re constantly checking for rings anytime wemeet somebody new and always looking for the most subtle way of finding out about a boyfriend before wasting good material. It´s impossible to attend a party and not stare longingly at the slightly toasted couples who fondle each other in the darkened corners, all the while waiting for the fight that always seems to follow.

I always feel bad when I go out with my married couple friends because it´s them on one side of the booth and me on the other, and I´m obligated to hit on the waitress because I´m so obviously alone. And, of course, she realizes this and probably doesn´t like working that hard just for a tip.

Then there´s this whole holiday thing. It´s not bad enough that single people must go to bed every night pondering the absolute stupidity of a statement such as, “As soon as you´re not looking, it will happen,” but we also have to put up with the commercial industries ramming images of happy couples — with their boxes of chocolates, their knowing smiles and their frolicsome ways — down our throats with about as much subtlety as a chalk birthday announcement in front of Wescoe Hall.

And so, we´ll call up our other single friends and complain about our married friends and drink copious amounts of alcohol and hope that we don´t do something stupid with the people that we´re “just friends” with because there are usually good reasons why we´re all just good friends anyway. And I´ll just write some run-on sentences, maybe some bad poetry, and then I´ll go to bed and wonder what the name of that waitress was and whether I tipped her enough.

H.G. Miller is a Hutchinson senior in English.


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