With the advent of February and the most recent Tatler survey reporting that the considerable majority of the Lakeside community finds themselves single this Valentine’s day, Tatler presents “A Day in the Life of a Single Person” written by someone who is (ironically) not single and told from the perspectives of what we consider the three most common types of singles: the hopeless romantic, the bitter single, and the indifferent one.
The Hopeless Romantic (HR): I wake up before my alarm even sounds, for I know it’s the day. Oh, that cruel, lamentable day where you’re reminded of the very thing you can not achieve. The love, the hate, the company, the isolation, the PDA’s, the PDA (“Puppy Dog Attempt,” a last resort where one tries to get someone to like them by giving them the puppy dog eyes while asking them to date—failure rate is 99%), the hope, the reality, oh the pain. Filled with ambivalence, I turn over and seize my phone from the bedside table only to open Veracross. “Ah,” I sigh as I see her picture appear. “There she is, my one and only. The girl who so effortlessly fills my dreams.” I press my phone to my chest and quickly arise from bed with newfound confidence and comfort at the very thought of her, before going to my closet to put on the pink outfit I selected for myself the night before; I’ve calculated that out of all my outfits it will give me the best chances of attracting girls (I wrote a program in math for this very reason). Brushing my teeth, “L-O-V-E” emanates from my Alexa and I read the Wikihow article on “Being attractive” for the fourteenth time. On the bus, I assume my seat and stare out the window, seeing her beauty in every flower and her eyes in the fading stars above.
The Bitter Single (B): Ugh. What an awful holiday Valentine’s Day is. I think, opening my eyes with greater effort than in previous days. You see it everywhere: people holding hands, making weird eye contact with each other, blushing, all that mushy-gushy junk; it’s disgusting. Thus, why do we then require a day where they’re encouraged to participate in these activities even more? It’s pointless and a marketing ploy if you ask me. But that’s America; whatever will get you to consume and spend. As I climb arduously out of bed, I scowl at my wall calendar and roll my eyes as I hear my little brother singing some song about love down the hall in that broken, pre-pubescent voice of his. Intentionally skipping over my reddish-pink sweater and heading straight for my black t-shirt, I stop for a brief moment to stare at the few roses he had given me when we were still together. Now they sit in the corner of my room, wilted in a state of neglect. Perfect, I think as I slip on my t-shirt and head for the stairs. In the kitchen, my dad, in his neon pink pants, places something down on my plate. It’s toast cut in the shape of a heart. Scoffing, I look at him almost incredulously. “Dad, do you realize how cliché this is?” “Lighten up,” he responds, “Don’t you mean ‘I love you, Dad.’?” I take my leave for the bus.
The Indifferent One (I): It’s February 14th already…huh. That’s nice, I guess.
HR: A glance is all I need as I scour Red Square for just a hint of her. I look toward her normal friend group, but she isn’t there. My worst fears begin to invade my mind: what if she’s with someone else? What if she doesn’t like me (although in the back of my mind I know that was established a while ago)? Before I begin to contemplate this rapidly growing list of possibilities though, the bell rings and I must retreat to class in AG.
B: I cut through the students accumulating in Red Square and head straight for Bliss to check my mailbox, not because I expect any candy grams or anything. No one would send me one, right? Well…no, it’s stupid. Once I approach my mailbox, I see the only thing in it is a math test I got back on Friday. Disappointed Satisfied that I was right, I continue down the hall, feeling my eyes roll back deep into my head as I pass a couple with arms interlocked on the way to French.
I: Oy vey, I hope Profe doesn’t give us a pop quiz in Spanish today.
HR: It’s been three periods and I haven’t been able to focus on anything. All I can think about is her. Her voice, her smile, the way she walks. I even called my Bio teacher her name twice, and he’s a guy. Oh gosh. I need to see her soon or I may go crazy. Luckily I have lunch with her next period.
B: Why did I choose French? The language of love. Did I tell you we met in French? Him and his idiotic “Mon amis” and “Mon cheris” (his pronunciation is an absolute mockery of the language). Today, we did an activity conducting fake dates in French, and people laughed and smiled the whole time they spoke with him like they genuinely enjoyed it. Pah-lease, it was onerous and difficult. No one, including me, had fun. I know that deep down.
I: Aced the pop quiz and now cupcakes for lunch? Yes, please!
Lunch and the Afternoon:
HR: I see her enter on the other side of the AAC and head straight for the ping pong tables, laughing with her friend the whole time. Taking a deep breath and gathering my courage, I walk towards her, my best friend casting me a confused glance as I hand him my still-full Cup O’Noodles without any context. As I arrive next to her, I channel my suave-ness, thinking of every Sean Connery and Gary Cooper clip I’ve seen. But all I can squeak out, voice-cracks and all, is an awful little “Hey”. She turns. “What?” she asks, cocking her head slightly. “Umm,” I stutter, “I said ‘Hey’, bud”. Her brow furrows and my head plunges into my hand. Maybe I can save this, there’s only one thing left to do. I think. Slowly, feeling her lose interest, I raise my head flashing my best puppy dog eyes. “Date?” I inquire. A smile filled half with pity and half with amusement takes her face, and she responds, “Maybe.” I practically skip out the door, leaving my still confused friend with my Cup O’Noodles. The bus ride home is pure bliss.
B: Making one final circle of Bliss before I go to lunch, I stop once more at my mailbox to find a small note tucked away among the neon yellow sheet. Taking it in my hand, I turn to see who it was addressed to on the front, certain it could not be me. Nevertheless, there it was, my name. And in his handwriting. I hesitated, but soon, the anticipation began to kill me in slow degrees. When I could no longer endure it, I opened the note quickly. Written in his small handwriting were the words “I’m sorry.” Shoving the note in my pocket, I smiled and pushed open the door into Red Square. Maybe there is some hope for this pathetic holiday.
I: How is tomorrow only Tuesday? Oh well, at least the only homework I have is English and Spanish.