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Hey, You.

Yeah, You.

YES, YOU — the married human with kids. I’m talking to you.

I want to talk to you about something important. It all starts with one question:

Why do you think it’s okay to reach out to single twenty- / thirty- / forty-somethings to babysit for you on Valentine’s Day?

We get it. You’re madly in love and want to celebrate on this manufactured, materialistic holiday that revolves around prix fixe restaurant menus, overpriced red roses, impulse-bought diamonds, and mini chocolates stuffed into heart-shaped boxes.

valentines candyWe get it. You’ve found your soulmate and are so in love that you created offspring and are single-handedly populating the earth.

We get it. You are super busy being husbands and wives and parents and really need a night out because life is so hard and you haven’t slept in years.

Congratulations! You found someone to love you!

But just because I haven’t found someone to love me doesn’t mean I’m automatically available on Valentine’s Day to babysit your little boogers. They’re cute and all, but so am I.

Bottom line, your assumption is rude. Even the way you present the question:

“Hey, Ruth. Can you watch the kids on Valentine’s?”

not

“Hey, Ruth. Who’s the lucky guy that gets to take you out on Valentine’s?”

Who’s to say I don’t have a date? Who’s to say I don’t have my own version of Juan Pablo (sans ocean sex) who’s pining after me? Hey, how about you stop reading my blog and thinking you know all about me? (Just kidding. Don’t leave me!) Granted, I don’t have someone special in my life. Fine. But the assumption irks me and my fellow singles. It takes away all the hope, and it directly contradicts all the I-have-no-clue-why-you’re-single comments you’ve made in the past. Get your story straight.

To be fair, I’ve spent many a Valentine’s evening babysitting. But I usually offered the service myself. I mean, I’m not the Grinch. I don’t hate love or anything.

chris pineI do, however, reserve the right to make my own plans, regardless of relationship status. If I want to go to the movie theater alone to watch my future husband in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, so be it. If I want to stay home and clean my bathroom with a toothbrush, awesome. If I want to go to CVS and wait for the precise moment when they put all the red boxes of candy on super clearance, I should be able to do it. It’s my right as an American.

So, to all you lucky people who have found not only love but also the joy of welcoming precious little babies into the world, here’s a basic rule of thumb for this week:

Valentine’s babysitting is reserved for teenagers.

And you’d better move quick — a lot of them are already in deep, committed relationships themselves and will have plans Friday. (So annoying, I know!) Your pickings could be slim. Let the babysitter wars begin, Suburbia!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stock up on regularly priced, regularly shaped candies for my solo Olympics viewing party this Friday night. Go Team USA!

~Ruth