singles feel on the fringe of society during the Valentines Day
marketing cycle when so much media attention is focused on
couples. But do large numbers of singles who are not in
romantic relationships really feel so slighted that they would
protest against Valentines Day?
Product designer Christine Ann
must think so, or hope so. She sent out a press release
last week trying to entice singles to buy anti-Valentines Day
products from her online store.
peddling an entire line of "Anti VD" goodies, from greeting
cards, to post cards, to hats and tee shirts.
press release urges singles to
make a statement this year by celebrating against Valentine's
Day. "Stand up for all the singles out there," she says.
"Showcase the Anti Valentine's day attitude with an Anti VD
people out there need a special day for them," Christine
proclaims. "A Happy Singles Day!"
I agree with
part of Christine's message. Singles do need a
commemorative occasion during which to celebrate their
do. In fact, they have an entire week. It's called
"Unmarried and Single Americans Week" which is celebrated during
the third full week of September.
But even if
"singles week" did not exist, why would single people want to
attack Valentines Day by sending out greeting cards protesting
the occasion or wearing a tee shirt showing their anger or
resentment against those who have a lover, partner, or spouse.
Christine does not realize is that people can be pro-single
without being anti-couple or anti-family.
Of the 89
million single adults in the United States, some 27 million live
alone. But just because they live solo does not mean they
don't have a boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, or a special someone in
are millions of unattached single people who do not currently
have, or who may never have, a romantic relationship. I
doubt if many of them take a scrooge-like attitude towards
A few years
ago, Sasha Cagen, author of "Quirky Alone: A Manifesto for
Uncompromising Singles" decided to take an approach to
Valentines Day quite different from the anti-VD method suggested
by Christine Ann. Sasha and some of her single friends
started "Quirkyalone Day" and declared that it would occur on
www.quirkyalone.net/qa/iqd.php -- says that "International
Quirkyalone Day (IQD) is not anti-Valentine's Day. It
just happens to fall on the same day."
International Quirkyalone Day is
an opportunity "to create a great day for yourself, whatever
that means to you (and your partner if you have one and how you choose
to celebrate with him or her)," the website explains.
"It's a day to celebrate the things you love to do alone and the
things you love to do with your friends."
"If you are single, International
Quirkyalone Day is a chance to celebrate the possibilities
available to single people today," the website stresses.
"If you are partnered, [this occasion]is a vital reminder to value yourself
and develop your individuality even when in a couple."
Sasha and her fellow quirkyalone
buddies suggest many ways to celebrate your singleness on
February 14, like throwing a dinner party, rearranging your furniture, taking a long walk
without your cell phone, exploring a new part of town,
organizing a card-making party, trying a new recipe, or coming
to or hosting a quirkyalone party.
Last year, Quirkyalone Day was
celebrated in 24 cities throughout the world. A librarian
in Iowa organized a quirkyalone party at her library and invited
a minister to come talk about her solo travels throughout the
In Baton Rouge, a group of
quirkyalone friends sang karaoke. North of Seattle, the
bookstore manager at Barnes & Noble organized a quirkycrafts
party at her store.
This year, Madison quirkyalones
will go "Cosmic Bowling"-- bowling with strobe lights!
Whether you celebrate Valentines
Day full of romance with your significant other, or whether you
get together with your single friends for a Quirkyalone Day
party, keep it upbeat on February 14.
Alternatives to Valentines Day
are not limited to the quirkyalone movement. Some singles
in Italy, tired of the couple-dominated Valentines Day theme,
have created a day of their own, just like the quirkyalones, but
not on February 14.
Couples and romantics have St.
Valentine in their corner. So three years ago, a goup of
singles in Italy chose Saint Faustino as their patron. His
feast day is celebrated on February 15.
Feb. 15 as Saint
Faustino Single Pride day, a day of awareness of the "status
single" with a special focus on the problems and discrimination
faced by people who are not married.
So, with positive alternatives
for everyone in the United States and abroad, there is really no
need for single people to protest against Valentines Day.
We have enough grief and conflict in this world already without
getting upset over a day focused on romantic love.
Whether you live alone or with a
partner, or whether your romantically involved or not, let's
keep things lighthearted and friendly. No protests are
Unmarried America 2006
Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of Unmarried America, is an
attorney with 33 years of experience in singles' rights, family
diversity, domestic partner benefits, and marital status discrimination.
Each week he adds a new commentary to Column One: Eye on Unmarried
email@example.com. Unmarried America is a nonprofit
information service for unmarried employees, consumers, taxpayers, and