It's not that I'm misanthropic; I genuinely like people.
It's not that I'm always single on February 14 (34 times and counting).
It goes deeper than that.
It all started when I was in about Grade 1. We had to do the standard "fill in a Valentine's Day card for every kid in the class, regardless of what you think of them, and go around the classroom putting a card in the paper bag taped to every kid's desk" exercise. I think everyone did. But, as a moderately introspective 6-year-old, I knew I didn't like it.
There were some people that I genuinely didn't care for — they weren't necessarily my enemy, but they also weren't my friend. And yet, I was still forced to put a card in everyone's paper bag. It was all so... institutionalized.
Fast-forward to high school, when girls mattered: this, I believe, is where the true bitterness began. It's not like there was a lot of drama in a school of 400 kids; hell, we weren't even big enough to have honest-to-goodness cliques, because everyone pretty much knew everyone else. But, it was pretty clear to me that there weren't too many girls swooning over thoughts of the J-man. Fine, whatever.
Bitterness is a funny thing, though. It builds. And whether or not it's a fast or a slow burn, year by year it accumulates.
As a so-called adult, I'm bombarded with messages about romance from every damn angle. Laura Di Battista on the fucking CBC drive-home show couldn't shut up about it. You turn on the TV, it's there too, screaming at you on the evening news. The majority of the people I know on Facebook who posted something about it put up something neutral or slightly negative; I went full-on negative, natch, but there were some that put up pictures of the flowers their man sent them, or how their significant other is the bestbestbest, or some other claptrap.
Ah... I dunno, man. Maybe I'm just mad about always being single. During those rare stretches where I'm successfully partnered-up, things like this seem a little more tolerable. I'm romantic in my own way, so I'm told — so it's not like I'm a total heartless dick.
Frankly, I'd prefer to just live my life without being reminded about shit like this.