At time of writing, Valentine’s Day has very nearly unleashed itself upon millions of unsuspecting Hallmark recipients, and by the date of your reading, countless more chocolates will have been received, emergency backup Tinder dates left at dubious conclusions, and awkward gifts from overly-affectionate co-workers politely rejected. Indeed, love is in the air, or if not love, something painted-up to look like it. For still other folk, a few gestures of warmth will quietly mark the passing of another celebration of one another’s treasured company. Yet I do not presume to waste any more of this publication’s ink on the latter sort of person. I am set today to write of those whom Valentine’s Day has forgotten. For we cursed souls remain unattached through no sure fault of our own, our stomachs turning to endure the adoring couples. Yet, I foresee a revolution.
As my esteemed readers are doubtless aware, an increasingly detached and irascible sect of our fellow sufferers, naming themselves ‘incels,’ have perpetrated a most belligerent informal campaign on much the same grounds as I have outlined above. Be it assured that I imagine no similar venture, but rather, a civil society of those who, for one of any number of reasons, have despaired of the great mating game. I would see foisted a banner beneath which may gather the rejected, those despondent after love gone sour, and those of us whom one not given to conventional descriptions of attractiveness might gingerly describe as “visually ill-favoured.” Thus, this is to be considered the founding document of the Angered Singles Society (A.S.S.).
One may query what manner of bonding activities or social events might attend such an organization as the A.S.S. To begin, I envision retellings of rejection stories, followed by voting and the awarding of medals for the categories of Most Pitiable Public Rejection and Most Humiliating Breakup. An executive board might be founded for the judging of such contests, comprised of members selected for their number of rejections and breakups, or other similar romantic misadventures. A separate commission would meanwhile be elected to stand in public places on future Valentine’s Days to jeer raucously at passing couples, and to shout rallying cries such as “the people divided need never be united,” and “lonely we stand!”
In raising awareness for our cause, we may also canvas for funds. I conceive that if we run a sufficiently successful campaign, we may be able to buy out entire sections of popular romantic restaurants on key dates, such that loving couples will be unable to infest public spaces. Should our movement gain national support, we could even begin to cordon off certain areas of our cities for the lovey-dovies to inhabit under armed guard, such that they may not spread the plague of their happiness to those of us merely seeking solace in our time-honoured urban solitude.
For those among you who have endured our latest corporatized celebration of affection unscathed, I heartily salute you. To the rest of us, who may retain some scarring at having forcibly been made to note the romantic successes of others, take comfort. Too long have we silently accepted lonesome misery as if it were our cross to bear. Alone we may be, but we may at least find ourselves alone together. Let us pledge then not to rest until every last adoring couple has been made ashamed of the slight which their contentment does the rest of us!
There are those who may dare suggest that so much effort as I here propose would be better directed at finding ways for lonely singles to forge meaningful emotional connections. I need hardly dignify such blind naivete with an answer. Yet I cannot refrain from reminding detractors of the misery tenfold our own which arises from all attempts at lasting love. Better the misery of today than the thousand stinging darts of true heartbreak, I warrant! For those who today claim true and eternal love will tomorrow, on their inevitable embitterment, find welcome in the Angered Singles Society. And so, in the spirit of our noble undertaking and in the repurposed words of a great philosopher, I look forward to the day when we may claim, “Romance is dead. And we have killed it!”