If you're reading this, chances are you're single and at least a bit salty over Valentine's Day. The couples walking in the streets, holding hands and occasionally kissing (or full-on making out, depending on what time it is and what part of town you're in) – they're just so disgusting, aren't they? If Valentine's Day had its own Ebenezer Scrooge, you'd be him. So, rebellion against the cultural institution that serves nothing but to shame single people and sell chocolates, (blood) diamonds and sappy greeting cards seems like a tantalizing prospect. But how do you rebel?
South Korea already does what appears to be a sort of rebellion against Valentine's Day, in the form of Black Day, at least at first glance. Placed two months after on April 14th, the holiday is a time for those who were single on Valentine's Day (which, in South Korea, involves women giving gifts to men) and White Day (a March 14th holiday that involves men giving gifts to women).
But is Black Day really “rebellion,” one may ask? Not considering what activities the singles who gather each year for the holiday take part in, which includes wearing black clothing, eating black food (predominantly jajangmyeon, a dish of noodles topped with a thick black soybean sauce), and moping about how lonely they are and how they didn't get anything for Valentine's Day or White Day.
In addition, the holiday's creation has been attributed to marketers looking to sell more goods – perhaps even made by the companies that peddle Valentine's Day-related goods in the first place. Even worse, speed-dating and other matchmaking events tend to happen on Black Day, which, though perhaps beneficial if you're looking for a partner, defeats the purpose of having an anti-Valentine's Day at all.
So how does one rebel against Valentine's Day the right way? If you desire inspiration for a holiday that isn't all doom and gloom, look no further than China's Singles Day. Rather than commiserate, singles celebrate on this annual holiday. Though attempts at matchmaking still happen, the holiday is largely about pride, rather than shame, over being single. Since the holiday traditionally falls on November 11th, however, you may want to observe it on a different date (such as Valentine's Day itself), as that day is reserved for Remembrance Day in Canada.
In some ways, however, the best act of rebellion is not to fight against the enemy, but to leech from its resources. For those with the ability to trade stocks, a number of stocks may see upward movement around Valentine's Day, thanks to the gift-giving habits of those engrossed in the holiday. Some are obvious, including Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY) and chain jewellers like Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG), while others are less so, such as Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) (you tell us why). This article will likely be published too late for you to take advantage of any Valentine's Day-related movement of stocks, but it can still be taken into account for next year. And remember – play it safe, buy low, and sell high, as this parasitic act of rebellion loses its purpose if you lose money on your trades.
You may have even more ideas for your own personal rebellion. I encourage you to explore them, but remember: love triumphs over anger, and happiness triumphs over hatred. The best rebellion is not that in which you show your anger, but in which you go on living your life, feeling the polar opposite of what “they” want you to feel. Go on, now. We'll support you.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 22, February 14th, 2017.