Today, I will be alone. I’m not particularly heartbroken, because I know that Valentine’s Day is bad for people on both sides of the fence: if you don’t have a date you feel like a loser, and if you do you’re about to go into debt. Despite what the cards say, it’s impossible to have a happy Valentine’s Day.
That’s why Singles Day makes so much sense.
Singles Day, held on November 11 by all the cool but single adults of China, celebrates the independent spirit and perserverance of the lonely and undatable.
The tradition started in Nanjing University in 1993. Apparently, the four “ones” on the date—11/11—were the perfect signifier for loneliness. Holiday traditions include eating out with single friends and eating fried dough-sticks that also represent the “one” character. Today, the holiday has become trendy for hip singles, and it is not unheard of for lonely males to go into the night, banging pots and pans together while shouting their desire for a girlfriend.
To me, this sounds like the best thing ever.
Singles Day combines the celebration of Valentine’s Day with none of the discrimination against singles, and none of the excessive spending; it’s just a night out with your friends. In practise it might exclude those in happy relationships, but seriously—screw those guys.
Of course, in Canada we use November 11 for Remembrance Day, but a neat substitute can be found in December 1, or 01/01. That’s why in the waning days of 2011, I’ll be heading out with my single friends to celebrate my self-reliance and ability to wear hideous things in public without getting flak for it.
I mean, I already do that, but this time there’ll be a reason for it.