Have you ever read “Alice in Wonderland?” No? Me neither. The one thing I do know about “Alice in Wonderland” is the looking-glass world she jumps into in the sequel. On one side of the looking glass is the world we live in, on the other side of the looking glass is the reverse world. If Alice wants to stand still, she runs, chess pieces come to life and print is read backward.
On Valentine’s Day night 2023, I saw something that reminded me of the looking glass. I walked alone down Court Street searching not for love, but a slice of pizza. On my walk to Goodfellas, I witnessed something horrifying at Jimmy John’s. A woman, who was alone, approached Jimmy John’s, which was full of Valentine’s Day decorations. As the woman approached the door, she looked through the window and saw a boy and girl happily sharing a sandwich. The woman peered into the restaurant for a few seconds, turned around and left, shaking her head in disapproval.
What I discovered that night is the romantic world is one giant looking glass. On one side you have love and fulfillment shared by every happy couple and on the other side you have heartbreak and loneliness felt by lonely hearts. Valentine’s Day is a beaming spotlight that highlights the excruciating differences.
Heartbreak leads to shame, shame leads to anger and anger leads to spending 12 hours on Twitter trying to get Valentine’s Day canceled.
That is how Valentine’s Day has become one of America’s most hated holidays. Although irrational, lonely hearts have many arguments for why Valentine’s Day is awful; the crux of the argument is that its exclusion of so many people is wrong.
Of course, Valentine’s Day excludes people, almost every holiday does. Christmas and Easter alienate practitioners of religions other than Christianity; the Fourth of July excludes those who aren’t American; Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated in countries other than the U.S. Here’s the good news: in life, not everything is for you.
Have people considered the fact that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be difficult for people who have lost their parents? I personally don’t celebrate Hanukkah and likely never will, but does that mean I believe no one should partake in the festivities? Of course not. “I don’t have someone I love on Valentine’s Day, therefore those who do shouldn’t celebrate,” is an incredibly self-centered argument.
St. Patrick’s Day never made sense to me before I turned 21, but even then I understood that the holiday could be a much-needed distraction for a group of people who could use the day as an excuse to go out with friends. I can see how it would be hard to empathize with couples as a single person, but Valentine’s Day can be great for couples who look forward to romantic nights out.
I understand a lot of single people feel lonely and heartbroken on Valentine’s Day, but the solution is not to cancel the holiday and ruin every couple’s good time.
My advice? Endure a little bit longer. Hold on to your loneliness and heartbreak with your head held high. Then, when you’re on the other side of the looking glass sitting in a Jimmy John’s sharing a sandwich with the person you love, you can look back at the empty doorway with a smile.
Bobby Gorbett is a senior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby.