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End the Valentine’s ‘Day of Bitterness’

Single on Valentine's Day? Stop complaining and enjoy it.

by
Bethany Mandel

Bio

February 13, 2014 - 11:30 am

V-day

It’s that time of year again. For those of you in brand new relationships with something to prove, it’s called Valentine’s Day. It’s filled with dinner, chocolate and roses. For those of us who have been there, done that with our current partner, it is called February 14th. For those who are unattached, who either became so recently enough for it to still be raw or who have been so for a significant amount of time, it’s called the Day of Bitterness.

When I was single, I never treated it as a day to lash out at friends who were in different stages of their lives. Why? Besides the fact that it’s hard enough for me to retain friends, I did so because it’s extremely unattractive to be hostile to those you love simply because they are happy. Not being in a relationship does not automatically preclude happiness, and despite my being single, I still worked to make sure I was happy.

This year I’ve decided to fight back, on behalf of the couples everywhere. I am not sorry for being married and having a baby. When a friend recently posted a Facebook status complaining that everyone in her high school had been having babies, I responded on behalf of young mothers everywhere (recall how I don’t retain friends easily):

Picture 143

My advice to singles this year is: buck up and enjoy your singledom.

I know, you’re sick of hearing that, but seriously, enjoy this stage in your life. Make a drastic life decision without consulting anyone first. Move, take a new job, make chicken soup instead of tacos on Tuesday. Even though you may feel jealousy pangs, know that your coupled friends are jealous of your ability to be totally spontaneous and go out for drinks with friends on a weeknight just because.

The grass is always greener, yada yada. Buck up, quit complaining, and go get drunk this Friday night. Not a wallowing kind of drunk, but the kind of drunk where you won’t be woken up at 5 a.m. by a hungry infant or dog that needs walking and you’re happy about it kind of drunk. A positive outlook on this year’s Day of Bitterness may help you end up celebrating Valentine’s Day next year.

Bethany Mandel is a graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in History and Jewish Studies. Previously she worked as a teacher in rural Cambodia, as an online fundraiser at The Heritage Foundation and most recently the Social Media Associate at Commentary Magazine. She is currently a work-at-home mother. She has appeared on CNBC's The Kudlow Report, Huffington Post Live, BBC World's World Have Your Say, and is a regular guest on "Powers to the People" on Talk Radio 1380am WNRR. She was chosen by The Jewish Week as one of its "36 Under 36" in 2013, an annual list of individuals reinventing Jewish life. She lives with her husband Seth Mandel, an assistant editor for Commentary Magazine, in New Jersey.
Top Rated Comments   
"When I was single, I never treated it as a day to lash out at friends who were in different stages of their lives. "

But you're doing a bang-up job of it now that you're Smugly Married, scattering unrequested crumbs of cliches at your inferiors, who you to need to believe are consumed with jealousy. Throw your husband and baby in their face and tell them to make soup.

(The smear of singles who live with pets was a nice touch. Way to get in there and crush any bit of joy that unterfrauen might have in her life...that'll teach her not to think she's no less than you.)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
26 years divorced and still loving it!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey being single gives me an excuse to drink on Valentine's Day. Not that I really need one.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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I never understood why the fact that there's a holiday for certain people means other people need to feel resentment because of the "unfairness". I mean, are men supposed to feel bad on mother's day? Jews should fight to ban Christmas?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is very true.

But this particular holiday is not 'just a holiday'. Society is built around couples. You can't even take a vacation as a single person without being financially penalized for it. I couldn't believe it when I first started learning this. So... it's not bad enough that you might need to go on vacation alone? (Although I would venture to do it, rather than staying home!) But you're going to be charged MORE for a hotel, just because you're not lucky enough to have someone to share it with?

Then there are people like this woman, who are not content to simply enjoy their particular blessings. They not only rudely shove it in the faces of those who don't have such blessings, but on top of that they chastise them if they happen to feel pain on this day!

Just because a certain holiday is painful for you for whatever reason does not necessarily mean you are bitter. But if you dare express any of that hurt, you are assumed to bitter.

Or outright called bitter by people such as this incredibly insensitive and unbearably smug woman.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Regardless of marital status, an innately happy, confident person does not long for the relationships of others. Many years ago an old friend once said with regard to my hearing of an old boyfriend's recent marriage, "Would you want him?", and I automatically answered, "No way."

You can be miserable married or single. You can also be comfortable being either. I opted for being married to my college sweetheart after two unpleasant divorces. He was always The One, but life goes on and, if you're lucky, you can be rewarded for living your life with or without that soul mate you long for.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"When I was single, I never treated it as a day to lash out at friends who were in different stages of their lives. "

I don't know of any single person who does that. But you've sure done it here.

"Besides the fact that it’s hard enough for me to retain friends...

With an attitude like yours, it's no wonder!

"... I did so because it’s extremely unattractive to be hostile to those you love simply because they are happy."

And it's extremely unattractive to be hostile to others simply because for whatever reason, they may find this day difficult and painful.

I'm not one who believes everyone has to tiptoe around every topic just for fear of "offending" people. People can choose to take offense at anything, whether there's anything inherently offensive about it or not.

But there's a difference between that and being deliberately cruel and insensitive.

I'm glad you're happily married and have a baby. But did it ever occur to you that for those of us who don't, that it may be painful?

Did it ever occur to you that some people may have lost a spouse to death? Or that some people have been abandoned by a spouse?

Sheesh!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
This article is a perfect example of how conservatives are losing touch with the country.

Move? Get a new job? Like most people can do that on a whim? Most people are flat broke these days and cannot simply wander off to new cities (that costs thousands of dollars) and expect to find a job that pays anything decent.

Ditto for the bit about going out for drinks just because. How much of this country is on food stamps (all of $5 a day, mind you) because they can't afford food?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dude -- you chose a socialist president. Socialism means people are encouraged not to produce. Naturally this means they don't so there is less produced, which is what being "poor" means. What did you expect? It's like making cattle growing illegal and then complaining of a milk shortage.

All socialist (which used to be known as "communist") countries who succesfully fought the evil income inequality of the rich (what used to be known as the "capitalist exploitation of the workers") -- EVERYBODY is ALWAYS poor and without hope, except for the tiny clique who has political connections to siphon what wealth doesn't flee the country their way -- and they, too, only until that runs out.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Nope, not on a whim. Why do you assume that all advice is supposed to be easy to execute? News flash: a lot of things worth doing to make your life better are REALLY HARD. However things that are worth it (like moving for a job and better life) are still worth it, despite the fact that they're hard. And I know plenty of people who do it, even broke. It might be hard to get rid of your stuff and lower your standards so it DOESN'T cost thousands of dollars, but it's possible. Technically moving only costs a bus ticket and lodging when you get there, now i wouldn't want to move like that, but reality for most people is between the couple hundred at the bottom and thousands at the top. No one ever claimed life would be full of only easy choices.

But this is why socialism doesn't work: because producers work really hard to produce, and if they don't get the benefit of their labor it's just easier to NOT produce. Those people aren't lucky, they make HARD CHOICES. Lots of people have it hard. Some people sit back and are victims of reality, and some people take what control they can and make stuff happen.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have more and more rights under socialism -- except for the right to keep the fruits of our own labor, or to freely speak our mind.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good way to embrace the entitlement bitterness and envy mindset. Someone else has achieved some level of success and happiness through their own merit, and you've just got to crap on it, whine about how unfair it is.

What are you, part of the Occupy Hallmark crowd?
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
"how I don’t retain friends easily"

Not surprised to hear this.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
"When I was single, I never treated it as a day to lash out at friends who were in different stages of their lives. "

But you're doing a bang-up job of it now that you're Smugly Married, scattering unrequested crumbs of cliches at your inferiors, who you to need to believe are consumed with jealousy. Throw your husband and baby in their face and tell them to make soup.

(The smear of singles who live with pets was a nice touch. Way to get in there and crush any bit of joy that unterfrauen might have in her life...that'll teach her not to think she's no less than you.)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know, right? I couldn't believe what I was reading!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Except that it was a RESPONSE to a whiney comment about babies. Most people who are bitter on V-day ARE consumed with jealousy. Those that are happily single tend to not display bitter tendencies toward the happily married.

And if she didn't want a response the friend should restrict her whining to other bitter single friends. I also tend to be a little put out when a friend rants about people like me.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I get the feeling the comment about babies was interpreted the wrong way by this author. Just a guess, based on what the response was.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Or people are misinterpreting the response. Perhaps I'm not as offended as many here because this is how I would speak to my friends, in fun. Then they would call me a boring old married lady and tell me to shut it.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exactly right! I got tulips for Valentine's Day today. Do you know why I got tulips instead of Shari's Berries? Because my husband, wise man, knows that our 3-year-old loves chocolate and strawberries every bit as much as I do, and that I, as a doting momma, have a really hard time denying him anything he loves as much as that. So, I got tulips because it's all supposed to be for me, and my husband knew I'd wind up giving the lion's share of be berries to our son instead of keeping them for myself.

I love him for that, but I miss not having my berries even though I wouldn't have eaten enough of them anyway.

Being single, you don't have to worry about that.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
26 years divorced and still loving it!
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lucky 13 here!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
A full decade, here.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
To paraphrase Groucho, if you were married by a judge, I'll bet you had wished you had asked for a jury.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mae West:

"Marriage is a fine institution, but I'm not ready for an institution."
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll raise a toast to that! (35 years for me... it's awesome!)
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey being single gives me an excuse to drink on Valentine's Day. Not that I really need one.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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