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All by myself

By Rootbeer Napiza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:47:00 02/09/2011

Filed Under: relationships and dating, Youth, Conflicts (general)

VALENTINE?S DAY is just around the corner. Time to bring out my DVDs of Japanese horror films. While the rest of the world drowns in mush, I will binge on dark chocolates and scream my heart out, surrounded by images of blood, gore, splatter and headless people.

I am 21 years old, and I have never been in love. I have had my share of crushes, from grade school, to law school, to ABS-CBN (Ooooh! Papa Piolo! Ivan Dorschner so sexy!). But I have never been to the lovey-dovey merry-land. Or maybe I had, at some point, but it wasn?t as merry as I had thought, because the boy I liked found me ugly and called me Piranha on account of my unusually large teeth.

Of course, I am bitter. Who wouldn?t be? Twenty-one Valentine?s Days have passed, and I have spent each and every one of them at home, watching movies. My Prince Charming hasn?t arrived. My Disney film marathons have turned into Japanese horror movie marathons. I am growing wrinkles (and I?ll probably be having more of them in the near future), and yet I am still unable to feel anything. No fireworks, no ?Teenage Dream? a la Katy Perry, no nothing.

I swear that at my age it can be agony not to know what a kiss feels like, especially since I have read about it in books hundreds of times. Sometimes, I curse those books, because they make me realize that I am indeed a lonely person. I see couples walking past, and I hate their guts?how they manage to kiss each other in front of other persons in the LRT (?HAVE YOU NO SHAME???? I bitterly cry to myself), how they hold on to each other like their butts were glued together (?The LRT is not a love hotel, ano barrr!). I hate their guts, I hate their brief exchanges of cheese, I think to myself that eventually the two of them will break up, I think of worst-case scenarios to justify my hate, but then again, my heart gets tired of hating. I have to face it: They?re happy. I?m alone.

And so this year, and much as I hate to admit it, I am still dreading Valentine?s. Imagine your classmates blushing as they show off their Ferrero Rochers to their girlfriends, while your hands are empty. (Kahit Chocnut man lang, please!). Everything?the chocolates, the harana, the love letters, the not-so-surprise gifts? (insert battle cry here). The reality that you don?t have a special someone to spend that one special day with?that cuts like a butcher?s knife! I can?t even go to McDonald?s for my comfort food and caramel sundae, because the tables are mostly occupied by mushy-mushy couples. So I go home and watch my horror movies.

What about the idea that you spend Valentine?s Day with your other single friends? Crap. We tried that once?pigging out in someone else?s apartment. We ended up drinking afterwards, lamenting the fact that we didn?t have our own lovey-doveys to cuddle (?Boohoohoo, what is wrong with me why won?t he like me. Boohoohoo!?). As expected, we had a hard time consoling each other, because even we didn?t know how to console ourselves. I ended up going home and watching ?Sleepy Hollow,? with my eyes red and puffy from crying.

Yes, I know, I am being pathetic. No matter how hard I pretend not to care, no matter how loud I declare, ?Hindi ako mag-aasawa! Masasaktan lang ako! Mas gusto kong maging mag-isa para wala akong problema!? there?s this unexplainable weight in my heart that reduces me to tears once I realize that I want roses too, and Teddy Bears, and stuffed Pandas, pretty dresses and cute cards decorated with hearts all over.

That said, Valentine?s Day is really the hardest occasion to celebrate, especially when you haven?t got a lover to celebrate it with. I do not like being unhappy. Of course, every Feb. 14, I greet my mom and dad ?Happy Valentine?s? with a big smile on my face. And yet I feel bitter. My hands are itching to tear off the Valentine?s Day cards and pop the heart-shaped balloons I see everywhere. Greeting card companies should also make Valentine?s Day cards for the singles, the dumped, the undisputed members of the ?No-boyfriend-since-birth? society, the lonely, the unloved. Cards that say, ?Cheer up, darating ?din iyong taong nararapat para sa iyo? Happy Valentines!? or ?Sinaktan ka niya? Pwes, mag-brea-break din sila! Bwahahaha!?

No matter how much we, bitter, resentful people, try to ignore Valentine?s Day, or consider Feb. 14 as ?Singles? Awareness Day,? we do feel lonely. And yes, we may deny it, but we are somewhat hopeful that maybe, in the next two years or so, we would meet somebody who will sweep us off our feet.

I don?t want to be all by myself forever. But for now, I will have to spend Feb. 14 watching horror movies. And of course, I could also learn to appreciate the kindness of my family?my ?lovies,? the only two people in the world who are giving me chocolates every Valentine?s Day. Mom, Dad, want to watch ?Shutter??

Rootbeer Napiza, 21, is a political science graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University.

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