Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Quirkyalone Day!

Today is International Quirkyalone Day!

WTF is a Quirkyalone? Could you be one? Maybe.

I am, perhaps, what you might call deeply single. Almost never ever in a relationship. Until recently, I wondered whether there might be something weird about me. But then lonely romantics began to grace the covers of TV Guide and Mademoiselle. From Ally McBeal to Sex in the City, a spotlight came to shine on the forever single. If these shows had touched such a nerve in our culture, I began to think, perhaps I was not so alone after all.

We are the puzzle pieces who seldom fit with other puzzle pieces. Romantics, idealists, eccentrics, we inhabit singledom as our natural resting state. In a world where proms and marriage define the social order, we are, by force of our personalities and inner strength, rebels.

For the quirkyalone, there is no patience for dating just for the sake of not being alone. We want a miracle. Out of millions, we have to find the one who will understand.

Better to be untethered and open to possibility: living for the exhilaration of meeting someone new, of not knowing what the night will bring. We quirkyalones seek momentous meetings.

Quirkyalones have vibrators.

By the same token, being alone is understood as a wellspring of feeling and experience. There is a bittersweet fondness for silence. All those nights alone — they bring insight.

Being quirkyalone can be difficult. Everyone else is part of a couple! Still, there are advantages. No one can take our lives away by breaking up with us. Instead of sacrificing our social constellation for the one all-consuming individual, we seek empathy from friends. We have significant others.

And so, when my friend asks me whether being quirkyalone is a life sentence, I say, yes, at the core, one is always quirkyalone. But when one quirkyalone finds another, oooh la la. The earth quakes.

So, what is International Quirkyalone Day?
International Quirkyalone Day is a do-it-yourself celebration of romance, friendship, and independent spirit. It's a celebration of all kinds of love: romantic, platonic, familial, and yes, self-love. International Quirkyalone Day is not anti-Valentine's Day. It's NOT a pity party for single people. It's an alternative--a feel-good alternative to the marketing barrage of Valentine's Day and an antidote to the silicone version of love presented in shows such as Hooking Up and The Bachelor.

Above all, IQD is a celebration of romance, freedom and individuality. It celebrates true romance (as opposed to the fake versions presented to us in reality dating shows), independence, creativity, friendship, and all kinds of love--including love for yourself.

If you are single, International Quirkyalone Day is a call to arms to celebrate the possibilities available to single people today. If you are partnered, IQD is a vital reminder to value yourself and develop your individuality even when in a couple.

Couples (especially quirkytogethers, of course) are welcomed to attend. After all, many a partnered person complains about the contrived nature of Valentine's Day.

It's an invitation to create a great day for yourself, whatever that means to you (and your partner if you have one and choose to celebrate with him or her).

My housemate (who happens to be my mom) and I exchanged cards and candy for Valentine's Day. I gave a Valentine and some groovy Spider-Man pencils to my nephew. But that's all from a V-Day standpoint.

In honor of IQD, my "independent spirit" is getting some pampering: I'm getting a pedicure and having my hair trimmed today. And then, I may have a glass of wine and muse on my dream house, its dream occupants, and how I'm going to get them.

Happy day, whichever one -- or both -- you celebrate.