As Valentine’s Day approaches, I've been thinking that I'd like to switch the conversation up a bit, and in turn, redirect the spotlight of this Hallmark holiday onto a more subtle, underrated, and at times underappreciated character—mainly due to its behind the scenes nature amidst modern day relationships, The Designated Single Friend.
I hadn’t completely wiped off the Christmas snow off of my feet before Cupid made his appearance in every single CVS, Duane Reade and Walgreens in the City, reminding me that Valentine’s Day was just around the corner; not to mention the excessive marketing and advertising campaigns that strategically exploit the occasion, borderline blowing it out of proportion. But I’m not here to give you a class on twenty-first century trivial consumerism, I’m here because sometimes we tend to forget the things that really matter in life.
On that note, social media and some of those so-called news sites and magazines aren't of much help either. In the past few weeks I've stumbled upon a series of articles such as, “5 Struggles Only Single People Will Understand”, “7 Reasons Why Being Single Actually Sucks”, and “12 Problems Only You, The Single Friend, Understands”, and I just lost it. I mean, seriously? Why are we even going there?
I say, enough with the pity party.
It's cool, I get it, at some point or another in our lives we've all been The Designated Single Friend, and I solemnly believe that we deserve a solid round of applause for it! It's not an easy task, and it might take its toll on us at certain points; some days we might even wish for things to be different, but all in time. So if you've been or are currently there, I feel that you should give yourself some credit for being able to put up with the the responsibilities that come with the territory of being such an incredible friend.
For such reason, and on this Valentine’s Day, I will be cheering with champagne to all of the endless, impossibly hysterical and one of a kind memories, the epically amazing stories, and the unforgettable adventures that have encompassed being The Designated Single Friend to many of my favorite gals and pals, and I will also be celebrating, and sending all of my love, to those of you who've played such an important role in my life as well.
So, to the middle of the night calls when your friends needed someone to vent to, and regardless of your levels of sleep deprivation, you somehow managed to be there for them.
To the “Can you pick me up? We should go out and go crazy because I just had this huge fight with [insert name of significant other here] and I need to party it out of my system!” texts, and quite diligently you turned off whatever you were binge watching on Netflix and started planning a last minute adventure, ‘The Hangover’ style.
To simply being the ‘go-to-person’ every other night that one of your friends felt like reminiscing on when the two of you were single.
To having your friends constantly ask you for relationship advice, and somehow achieving to come up with some deeply profound, old sage-like counsel, regardless of the fact that you're not even in a relationship.
To being the voice of reason, the objective point of view and the unbiased opinion when your friends needed you the most.
To being the third wheel, and sometimes the designated photographer of the happy couple on a night out, knowing that you'll probably get paid with a couple of drinks, food, and if you're lucky, a nice introduction to a promising prospect.
To having your friends constantly set you up with their single friends as a repayment for all of these favors, and then laughing about how terrible or amazing it all went.
And to knowing that no matter what happens or whom you’re with, your friendship won’t ever change.
To this and to so much more, we should be thankful for our Designated Single Friends on Valentine’s Day—and proud of how great of a friend we've been, if we've ever successfully owned the title.
All in all, the idea behind Valentine’s Day should be an everyday act of love and caring, not just a “one-time only, let me prove to you how special you are” sort of thing. Love, in all of its aspects should be constantly celebrated. Why should we wait for birthdays and popular holidays to show how much someone really means to us? I guess that sometimes we tend to take things like these for granted, and maybe when leaving things for “later”, it might all just be a little too late. So after reading and reflecting on this, take a minute to think about your friends, your family and any other special individual in your life that has that one of a kind ability to brighten up your days with something as simple as their smile, and don’t hold back, let them know how much they really mean to you. You can thank me later.
Until next time,