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A Really Cynical Essay about Valentine’s Day that Emma Nicosia wrote in high school

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By EMMA NICOSIA: Editor in Chief/ Recovering Cynic*

Every year Valentine’s Day rolls around and is the perfect excuse for couples to show off their relationships and feel good about themselves. And every year, us single people are forced to feel like loveless pariahs. However this year, it is our mission to put a stop to this degrading tradition. While the media may lead you to believe that Valentine’s Day is a day dedicated to fawning over your significant other, Valentine’s Day is really about loving what is most important to you…yourself. In fact, having a boyfriend or girlfriend is just an unnecessary distraction from the main event: you.

We’ve decided to rewrite classic Valentine’s Day traditions with a more narcissistic twist.

Gift Exchanges

People act like Valentine’s Day is just about love, but we all know it revolves around how much stuff you get. Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness was cheap. It may be the thought that counts, but that only applies if you are thinking about buying us expensive diamond necklaces from Tiffany’s. However, why do you need to use another person (who might like tacky jewelry anyway) as an excuse to get yourself fancy things? It would be much easier to cut out the middleman and go straight to Tiffany’s yourself. You know what you want.

Romantic Dinners for Two

Why waste your energy on planning a romantic dinner for two when you can have an awesome dinner for one? After already spending money on a sad, pathetic stuffed bear, why would you want to go out and buy some ridiculously overpriced lobster to cook for your less-than-worthy lover?

It’s fairly likely that your meal will be mediocre at best, and you may even set the house on fire in the process of preparing it. Doesn’t it make more sense to stay at home, put on comfy pajamas, and order in all-you-can-eat takeout, without the pressure of trying to impress someone else? You eat that lo-mein!

Sappy Love Songs

During this time of year, saccharine love songs play on every radio station. Instead of listening to love- sick pop-stars crooning over someone for whom they would catch a grenade, you should be jamming out and celebrating the fact that you’re sexy and you know it!

Rather than having one special song with your boyfriend/girlfriend that comes on the radio once or twice a year, you could make every song you hear hold a special memory you had with yourself! You work out.

Love Poems

What’s the point of complimenting your loved ones when they are fully capable of complimenting themselves? Instead, use that time to reflect on how awesome you are. Take it from Walt Whitman, who wrote a fifty-two stanza poem all about himself, this is the thing to do. And if you’re in need of some inspiration, here’s an example:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I am awesome
Why aren’t you?

You sing that song to yourself.

So when Valentine’s Day rolls around next year, keep these tips in mind and you will be sure to have a blast. Remember, don’t waste your love on other people when the only one who is truly worthy of your affections is yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day!

*written with the brilliant Alison Elliott (University of Pennsylvania) in 2012.

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