Everyone knows about February 14th. Cupid flutters down from the Heavens and everything turns red and pink. Chocolate wrapped in sickly red foil stuffed in heart-shaped boxes and the fluffiest stuffed animals hit the shelves; flowers pile themselves in every grocery store for miles and corny cards spring (seemingly) eternal. The holiday of love, the Feast of St. Valentine, V-Day. While there are many terms for this particular day and many movies to go along with it, there is also a lesser-known holiday of love that comes just after its famous relative. February 15th is “Singles Awareness Day” however many of those who celebrate it refer to it as “Singles Appreciation Day.” This unofficial holiday became popular in the early 2000s after singles realized that they too needed a day of appreciation (and realized they could get all of the candy at a discount price). According to National Today, the holiday was officially copyrighted in 2005 after its initial boom at Mississippi State University.
Singles Appreciation Day (or SAD, as many wouldn’t refer to it as due to the connotations) is a day of self-love, familial love, and platonic love that can be celebrated through gift-giving, parties, and festivities, as well as “friend dates”, which is fairly self-explanatory. A widely-known femme iteration of Singles Appreciation Day is Galentine’s Day, in which, customarily, women get together with their friends (usually women as well) and celebrate themselves and their accomplishments. While Valentine’s Day is marketed towards romantic or sexual relationships, it’s not exclusively meant for them, but Singles Day is a way for many singles to celebrate their own stories without the hot sticky breath of Hallmark and jewelry retailers on their necks. While COVID has made going out with friends difficult, it is still quite possible to have a day of self-appreciation by yourself or virtually. Some activities you could try include writing yourself a love letter–yes, I mean it! Tell yourself how much you love yourself and all the great things about you! You can even seal the letter and open it at a later time to give your future self something to look forward (or backward?) to. If you’re yearning for friends to spend February 15th with you, try having a watch party–I suggest Parks and Recreation Season 2, Episode 16 “Galentine’s Day”. If these ideas seem too menial for you, or you want the feeling of having physical friends around to celebrate the day with you, try making them! With the snow that has hit Portland and Forest Grove over this Valentine’s Day weekend, take advantage of the fluffy building blocks falling out of the sky and create an army of fellow single people to share in your glory. If that’s too weird for you, try Zooming with a friend you haven’t seen in a while or calling home and having a long-needed heart to heart with a family member you miss. Singles Appreciation Day doesn’t have to be sad, it can be what you want it to be. So get out there and shower yourself and others with affection, because you deserve it! — Haley Berger