The Five Stages of Valentine's Singlehood
Everyone knows the five stages of grief, but who knew they apply so well to a single person on Valentine's Day? The Daily Cardinal Arts staff presents the Five Stages of Singlehood with a song and movie to get you through each lonely stage.
‘I'm Not Crying' — Flight of the Conchords
Valentine's Day is the ultimate celebration of love and emotion, but for those of us who've been on the single side of a few too many Valentine's Days, we've simply come to the point of denying that we have any emotions left. Perhaps that's what Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords had in mind when they wrote ""I'm Not Crying."" This song, as well as the beautiful video that accompanies it, goes out to anyone who has ever blamed ""sweaty eyes"" on their apparent state of sadness. So this Sunday, go ahead and let the tears flow, just tell people that they're a result of the pungent onions you're sautéing for your lasagna... ""for one.""
‘The Sixth Sense'
Sometimes love, or the lack of it, can be so painful the only recourse is denial. Perhaps, to paraphrase Bon Jovi, you've been metaphorically shot through the heart and someone's to blame. Or maybe, like Bruce Willis in ""The Sixth Sense,"" you've more literally been shot through the kidney and become a ghost. But the denial in ""The Sixth Sense"" is rooted in the viewer. The big twist, that Willis' character was dead for the entire movie, should have been easy to spot. He gets shot in the first scene and from then on only interacts with a child whose famous defining trait is that he can see dead people. But we didn't want to believe it. It's a desire for a relationship, and that's something any miserable single person can relate to.?
‘I Hate Everyone' — Get Set Go
Don't worry, it's not your fault you're single. People are stupid, especially the ones you've dated. Perhaps if your ex had returned your calls, stopped hanging out with the bitchy redhead and wasn't an all-around douchebag, you'd be at Tutto this Valentine's Day. But no. He sucks. Get Set Go understands this. In their song ""I Hate Everyone,"" lead singer Mike TV complains, ""I hate most everybody / But most of all I hate / Oh, I hate you."" So this Valentine's Day, when you're sitting at home alone on your futon halfway through a box of Franzia, feel free to be angry about your current circumstances, because it's definitely not your fault you're a miserable loner.
‘He's Just Not That Into You'
According to the totally realistic portrayals of women both seeking and involved in committed relationships in ""He's Just Not That Into You,"" who would want anything to do with women? They are batshit crazy, anyway. Jennifer Aniston's character has a loving boyfriend who cares deeply for her, but HE WON'T GET MARRIED! Ginnifer Goodwin obsessively waits by her phone for Mr. Right to call. This movie clearly represents the female gender as incapable of a thought beyond boys, marriage or massive retaliation upon anyone who stands in the way of marrying that perfect boy. Women. Sheesh, who needs them.
‘Emily Kane' — Art Brut
Eddie Argos can't hold back any longer. He's been waiting 10 years (and nine months, three weeks, four days, six hours, thirteen minutes, five seconds), and he's had enough. His friends think he's nuts, but he's in full-on desperation mode. He knows the only way back into a girl's heart is by writing a pop song infectious enough to be echoed by choruses of school kids on buses across the globe. That way, even if she doesn't catch wind of the tune (she did, actually) or her heart of stone doesn't crumble for the summery hooks or endearing pleas for affection, at least the song's cheery chorus can replace his emotional void.
‘Youth In Revolt'
In ""Youth In Revolt,"" Nick Twisp, a lovelorn young boy, sets out to become the man of Sheeni Saunder's dreams. She's witty, sultry and, most importantly, has breasts. He, on the other hand, is the wispy, 95-pound Michael Cera. For some reason we are always willing to become different people for love. We cut our hair, dress more stylishly, listen to better music, all to gain favor in the eyes of the one we long for. Cera make deals, bargains and compromises to become the suave, polyester-pants-wearing Francois Dillinger, a man who, unlike Cera, is capable of landing the girl. So when you reach the point where you're willing to change who you are for love, take comfort in knowing Michael Cera knows how you feel.
‘Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime' — Beck
By now, we've all experienced some form of post-breakup depression. It's a gut-wrenching feeling of emptiness that can't be filled or erased. In Michel Gondry's surreal romance ""Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,"" Joel Barrish attempts to erase this emptiness. But before he can, he has to learn how to handle breakup depression the hard way: by letting it all out with a sad song. No song openly spars with the concept of depression quite like Beck's rendition of ""Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime"". Through the lazy guitar and gloomy orchestration, Beck croons to us that breaking up is part of the game. Once something breaks, it's incredibly hard to put it back together.
If you're single on Valentine's Day, it's natural to be depressed. Your diet consists of Coca-Cola and Cheetos. You've run up a $400 phone bill, mainly from calls to a 1-900 number where you consulted your psychic partner on your love life. Well, you're not the only one who's been there. In ""Reality Bites,"" Lelaina Pierce (Winona Ryder), too, lacks a life of romance. The love of her life walked out on her. Her daily routine has become waifish, and she's virtually incapable of being hired, despite being the valedictorian of her university. So if you're looking to wallow in a movie that reminds you that there are others whose lives are a little more pathetic than yours, ""Reality Bites"" is the right choice.
‘Tears Dry On Their Own' — Amy Winehouse
Singledom requires an anthem that's dynamic, one with genuine emotion at its core. It needs to capture the dichotomy of the feeling ever-present in the single mind: We always want what we can't have, yet realize obtaining it would inevitably be shitty and painful. In ""Tears Dry On Their Own,"" Amy Winehouse sings, ""He walks away / The sun goes down / He takes the day but I'm grown."" Delivered by a deeply rich, soulful and ultimately real voice, this exemplifies the constant flux of emotion and reason perfectly. Acceptance is neither a destination nor an arrival at an unshakable resolution. As Winehouse explains, it means you understand the ramifications of either situation and are living somewhere in the malleable center.
‘The Big Lebowski'
In a world where you can judge a man by the cut of his suit, Jeffrey Lebowski wears a bathrobe. He lives alone and gets by on unemployment checks and what little income he can wrangle goes toward booze, blunts and bowling. But The Dude isn't without his masculine charms, as his occasional success with women shows. But even during the few times The Dude gets laid, he perpetuates the stereotypes of singledom, freaking out when Julianne Moore mentions a child, then acting relieved when she says she would never want him involved in raising of it. So if you're stuck home alone on Valentine's Day, mix yourself a White Russian, pick up a dime bag, make peace with your single status and embrace your inner slacker.
—Kevin SlaneSubscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter