Picture this — you are decked in sweatpants and accessorized with your laptop and a gallon of your favorite flavor from the Berkey Creamery. You burrow into the couch as your roommate — fresh out of the bathroom and dressed in his or her best — bids farewell and goes to meet their significant other for a romantic Valentine’s Day date. You, meanwhile, turn on your DVD player and pop in your favorite romantic comedy.
Sure, you could find something to do. After all, it is a Thursday night at Penn State, but the very idea of seeing happy couples all over State College simply drives you nuts, and you’d rather spend the night with Jennifer Aniston or Gerard Butler and sweets you’ll regret tomorrow morning.
After all, there are plenty of other single people probably doing the same thing.
The holiday — often a special night for happy couples — also has its detractors, specifically those who spend the holiday alone. In the weeks leading up to the “special day,” hearts canvas storefronts, and every commercial reminds singles to make plans with your “loved one.”
You know — the one you don’t have.
Yes, being single on Valentine’s Day can be discouraging.
But is one little day really going to force those of us without a girlfriend or boyfriend indoors?
Only if you let it.
Local venues and businesses are planning to cater to both couples and singles today, with many understanding that while the night may be important for some, it may just be seen as “another Thursday” to others.
Eisenhower Auditorium is hosting a performance of the touring Broadway hit, “The Addams Family” tonight, and Laura Sullivan, marketing and communications director for the Center of the Performing Arts at Penn State, said that the show is “a perfect combination for a fun, light-hearted, and nostalgic Valentine’s treat.”
Sullivan insisted the performance date has nothing to do with making the show exclusively for a couple’s night out.
“We did not specifically choose Valentine’s Day to present ‘The Addams Family’ musical as part of our season. It simply happened by accident,” Sullivan said, noting that the show was able to make a stop at Penn State in between performances in Utica, N.Y. earlier this week and Scranton this weekend.
Sullivan said despite the show’s date, the same trends in ticket sales would have been seen.
“Tickets to our events are often purchased as a ‘date night,’ whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, so no matter what the time of year, the Center for the Performing Arts always offers an opportunity for a great evening out,” she added.
Despite this, singles looking for a fun night out need not worry about enjoying this show in a sea of couples.
Another musical opens across town at the State Theatre on Valentine’s Day but not one you might expect.
“The Last Five Years” is an enticing musical drama about a marriage but told from a unique perspective. The husband’s story is told from the start of the relationship to its gloomy end, while the wife’s perspective is in reverse, their stories only crossing paths once.
Richard Biever, executive director of The State Theatre, said “the musical is kind of the perfect anti-Valentine’s Day show.”
But perhaps the show has an encouraging message for the lonely of Valentine’s Day.
“[The show] certainly doesn't gloss over how hard relationships are but neither does it say relationships are hopeless. It's really about finding the right person,” Biever said.
He adds even cynics of Valentine’s Day will feel conflicted and emotionally invested in this story that half ends optimistically.
The State Theatre is also upholding tradition in its yearly Valentine’s Day showing of the classic romance “Casablanca.” Biever said the screening has developed a loyal following over the years, but requires no one to share the night with.
“The movie definitely focuses romance, but I believe it is about a lot of things and can be enjoyed on your own without a date,” he adds.
But what if you’re single and not willing to be confined to a seat to watch a sweeping classic, a heartbreaking musical, or willy nilly antics of Cousin Itt?
Although Tussey Mountain is holding a Valentine’s Day special for couples, Sue Matalavage says singles in the area can still join in on the fun.
“Our Valentine’s Day special as it applies…is two-for-one for couples, but couples can be any two people,” Matalavage said.
Thus, singles can pair up and form their own couple, while still enjoying the benefits of the special, which includes two-for-one half and full day passes as well as dinner and desert at Edges Pub.
But if you are the only daredevil in your group of friends, there is still no need to worry. Matalavage said Tussey will still honor its weekly Thursday night special of $20 passes from 4 to 10 p.m., a 30 percent discount from regular daily passes.
Yet, because of the day of the week the romantic holiday landed on in 2013, a large population of Penn State singles will be prepping up for something bigger than Valentine’s Day — the Interfratenity Council/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, or simply, THON.
Regardless, it is quite apparent that Valentine’s Day is no longer a holiday simply meant for happy couples.
Rather, it is a celebration of friendship and making memories.