It’s February. Your city has transformed into a giant lace doily. Subpar chocolates are veiled in red tinfoil and instantly marked up to a 90% margin. Restaurants create prix fixe menus with courses named like a drugstore romance novel. “Cupid’s Cutlet” and “Seduction soufflé” tempt the hopeless romantics into overbooked venues. Smelling a chance for sex, people start pairing up like socks out of the dryer. The 14th arrives with bang and you suddenly realize that you are the last person standing in musical chairs. You are single this year.
You have escaped the greatest cliché invented by American Capitalism. You are free from those cheesy cards with the slogan, “I’d put down my iOS app for you.” Couples who mildly tolerate each other 351 days out of the year, go to leaps and bounds to do what every single other couple that mildly tolerates each other does—feign love.
On my coupled up Valentines Day past, I always viewed this day with trepidation. I told my boyfriend(s) that if they dared to buy me red roses I would take it as a sign that they didn’t love me anymore. On the year one sent 2 dozen thorny long stems, I broke down in tears and never spoke to the man again. Our (creative) romantic future had no hope. I did not want this fake day imposed upon me, telling me it was the ONE day for love and that I shouldn’t be by myself. Because, sometimes I want to.
So since you are single – Celebrate. Here’s how:
1. UNLEASH YOUR INNER ENTREPRENEUR
On the 14th—go to all the gift stores with a grocery list and write down the items that seem enticing. Return on the morning of 15th to buy all chocolates and other goodies at 50% off. Store them in your freezer. Then, next year sell them to your friends in early February with a hefty markup. They will buy them from you because they’ll feel sorry for you as a singleton with nowhere to go. Lonely = clever marketing tactic.
2. BOOK A TRIP (WITH YOUR CANDY PROFITS)
Get out of doily dodge to go to Mexico with the surfers. Find love in a wave and a fish taco stand. Nothing says amor like post-surf guacamole and beer. Then, as you are somewhere tanning your toes, think on the cold winter back home where people are all inside eating the same overpriced meal making plans for future trips to Costco together. You, you free and wild creature, are not locked down to a day, to a person, or to stale ideals. You can be in love with any moment in time. And that is romantic.
3. EMBRACE HATE
Yup. Go ahead and salute the neglected emotions. Sending wax sealed letters is not only reserved for lovers. While everyone else is making schmoopy style valentines, make a hate-i-tine. Think of one person you loathe and cleverly create a limerick with all the things you cannot stand about them. If you want to be especially sinister, go to “http://shipyourenemiesglitter.com/ ” where your hate-i-tine will receive an envelope full of glitter that will infiltrate every nook and cranny of their surrounding areas when opened. Of course, if you do send a hate-i-tine, you must invite them to send you a hate-a-tine too. Emotions need to be reciprocated. I would probably fall in love with someone if they sent me a hate-it tine. I’m a sucker for reverse psychology.
4. GO VOLUNTEER
On Thanksgiving people help feed people at soup kitchens that don’t have enough food. On Valentines Day why can’t we go to places to love people where they do not have enough love? This will remove you from feeling forlorn on V day (which, frankly is a bit overdone thanks to Bridget Jones and Ben and Jerry ice cream tubs) by allowing you to focus on someone else. People in nursing homes are really in need of company. The greatest gift you can give them is to pay them a visit and listen. You’d be amazed at their tales of past loves, lives, and experiences.. (where do you think I got that hate-i-tine idea from? There was also the tale of the renegade wheelchair…).
Please know that I’m not anti-romance but to me, February 14th is just a day. Regardless if you are single or in a relationship, love shouldn’t be prescribed. To me, the very expectation (or even demand) that romance must happen, kills it. Romance should happen when it’s meant to happen, serendipitously at odd moments when you least expect it. Something that is truly yours. Like over a pool table in Costa Rica with a guy you met on the bus (true story…sigh…). If you really must use this day to be inspired, then start thinking out of the cliche. I bet a nice collie mix at dog shelter needs walking….and that love is unconditional every day of the week.
“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.”