Single’s Day Is A Totally Made Up Holiday, But I’m Buying It

Photographed By Nicolas Bloise.
We're pretty quick to add bells and whistles to the calendar. There are the holidays that close the post office, sure, but at some point we started assigning days of the year to just like...things. But at no point in the bedazzling of a calendar year were single people thought worthy enough for celebration — until now. Single's Day is upon us, and if cats and French fries get their own "day," we do, too.
The Cliff’s Notes history of the holiday is that in the early ‘90s, several college students in Nanjing, China got together and decided to create a special day to “break away from the monotony” of being single, and instead honor it. I see no monotony in my single existence, but I believe that their hearts were in the right place.
November 11 seemed like the perfect day to celebrate singledom, given that the date, 11/11, is all ones. It stings, I know — blow on it. The holiday grew in popularity, and eventually mass online retailers, such as Alibaba and Tmall (sites similar to Amazon in Asia), caught wind of this special occasion and saw opportunity. Cue the Mr. Burns grimace, obvs. The day became something akin to Prime Day, if Prime Day had three espressos in the morning and traveled to work in George Jetson’s flying car.
I know what you’re thinking, “All we get for Single’s Day is...a sale?” Where’s the decor? The themed music? The seasonally available candy, goddammit?! We don’t yet have identifiable colors, symbols, or folklore (Tinder gripes don’t count), so yes we will celebrate this holiday by buying shit. Hear me out.
While I acknowledge that Single’s Day is 100% a made up holiday designed to help brands make money, what I will not acknowledge is that it’s any different from any other day in the calendar with a star on it. Hallmark and Hershey’s have relied on inflating the importance of events for decades — get on board. Further, it’s one day a year when the world is relying on its singles population (yes, the one it usually craps on), to dispose of a little income for the greater good. Ladies, on this day we are the backbone of this goddamned economy. Add to cart.
How many times have you looked through emails or holiday windows and thought what a shame it was that you had “no one to shop for.” Friends, today we are that one! Throw on a pair of Cruella DeVille gloves and cackle like you mean it! And if you’re worried about overspending with the holidays coming up, don’t be. I’m sorry — who are you buying presents for exactly? Tom, the fake boyfriend you made up during small talk at the last wedding you went to doesn’t need a damn thing. A single woman’s gift list can have as few names on it as she wants. This is awesome, not sad. See that gorgeous raw cotton minimalist necktie and handmade cufflinks? LOL, brb I need new boots.
Single people should be celebrated — I think this constantly. Every shower, engagement party, wedding, and *gags* gender reveal event reminds me just how seldom a single woman is celebrated after graduation. Most of life’s adult celebrations require being a pair. For fucks sake even Santa is hanging out with his wife on Christmas. I don’t think consumerism is necessarily the best way to celebrate us, but since there was virtually nothing there before, I’ll call this a good start.
Given everything I’ve learned in a decade of being single and living off the scraps of joy that have fallen from the table of life, if one of the theories behind Single’s Day is that shopping for ourselves can give us a little bit of well-deserved happiness, I’ll buy it.

More from Wellness

R29 Original Series