Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Oregon Orange Suffragette Penicillin Ferris Wheel Creme-Filled Chocolate Quirkyalone Day

As an author of a blog about living single and living alone, I am pretty much obligated to write about that holiday that is the ultimate celebration of being paired off, the day that we are all expected to worship at the altar of coupledom…Valentine’s Day. 

Right now there are about 101 articles out there on the web about how to “survive” Valentine’s Day if you are single.  There are those that will tell you it’s a tribute to love and that you are perfectly okay in celebrating the day with your best friend (a fine idea if you ask me and one I’ve certainly done), there are others that will tell you to make lists of your best qualities and take the chance to celebrate yourself and be your own Valentine (also not a bad idea) and there are plenty of angry rants about how we should ignore the day all together, it’s all just a bunch of over Hallmarked holiday hype.  I’m not going to write about any of those things.

Yes, I do think it is over hyped and that if you are half of a couple that celebrates the day you are likely to find yourself under a stupid amount of pressure to do something over the top to demonstrate how devoted you are, and it certainly isn’t the first holiday that has come to have the expression of its more humble meaning tied to displays of excessive consumerism, BUT I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day.    For me it pretty much stopped being exciting sometime around middle school when the powers that be determined that we were now too old for the annual ritual of stuffing cards festooned with cartoon characters into doily enhanced, heart shaped envelopes taped to the front of our school desks.  As an adult, when I was dating someone, I was pretty much the one caught with the confused look on my face, stuttering about how “Oh, yeah… I was going to do something but I just got so busy and…it got lost in the mail?” as I was being handed a bouquet of flowers and heart shaped box of chocolates.   In other words, in my world, the great V-Day is pretty much a non-event.   Though Deeply Discounted Chocolate Day that follows on the 15th has always been a date circled and highlighted on my calendar. 
However, for those who do feel left out, excluded, annoyed or who just would rather being doing something else I am here to offer up some alternatives.  I have scoured the web far and wide to find for you the following events which also happen to fall on February 14th, along with a celebratory suggestion for acknowledging these alternatives to Valentine’s Day. 

1859 – Oregon is admitted as the 33rd U.S. state.  In addition to being the home of the other Portland, Oregon produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts grown in the United States.  I’m sure that there are other things Oregon is known for BUT since hazelnuts are part of what makes Nutella one of the most awesome things you can spread with a knife which is pretty much all I needed to know.  This February 14th we should all take a moment to raise a hazelnut flavored something or other to the State of Oregon.  May she “alis volat popriis” for many years to come.

1886 – The first trainload of oranges leaves California.  Down with scurvy!!!!  Yes that’s right.  One hundred and twenty six years ago on February 14th a train car full of sweet citrus headed east on the Transcontinental Railroad.  California’s been growing them and we’ve been eating them ever since.  Of course, chocolate oranges are one of my favorite sweets but I don’t think they grow those on trees.  However, in honor of those vitamin C packed orbs, orange chocolate would be an appropriate way to celebrate that momentous occasion (and hey…if you wait a day, you might get it 50% off).
1920 – The League of Women Voters founded.  Founded by Carrie Chapman Catt in Chicago, Illinois six months before the ratification of the 19th amendment, the Leave of Women Voters sought to empower women who had recently been granted the right to vote in their states.  Personally I think the celebration of this event calls for some sort of themed party, where everyone dresses up as their favorite suffragette and brings a casserole.  Of course, you’d likely wind up with a room of Susan B. Anthonys, so in order to prevent such an occurrence you may want to include the following link in your evite (http://www.history.com/topics/women-who-fought-for-the-vote)
1929 – Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. Well to be more accurate this is the anniversary of the day that Sir Fleming shared his discovery with the world, and while penicillin can’t cure a broken heart, it can cure certain other equally unpleasant by products of love…and you know it’s also known to cure sore throats.  Getting a quick fix in the form of a pill is a good thing, however as the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” so perhaps one could celebrate this day by handing out free condoms to all your friends.  It can also be an excuse to not clean your refrigerator because to throw away anything moldy on February 14th would dishonor his memory.

And finally if you need another holiday altogether to celebrate I offer up to you National Ferris Wheel Day, National Crème-Filled Chocolates Day  and my favorite International Quirkyalone Day, which this year is all about Celebrating Your Secret Single Behaviors (and yes…we all have them).   In honor of this year’s International Quirkyalone Day theme I shall dance around my apartment in my underwear, an old wool sweater and knee high polka dot socks to the sounds of the mambo punk band Babaloo; have an extra long conversation with my cat; spend a solid three minutes staring into the depths of my empty fridge and eat bacon for lunch...just bacon. 

Happy Oregon Orange Suffragette Penicillin Ferris Wheel Creme-Filled Chocolate Quirkyalone Day to you all.  May it be all that you hoped it would be. 


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