Valentine’s Day, you fickle, fickle mistress. Smack dab in the middle of the shortest month, this concentrated dose of consumerism is like a slap in the face of single people everywhere, as they wade through the throngs of cards and candy while shopping for necessities at Walgreens.
“It’s a greeting card holiday.” “I hate chocolate.” “Flowers die.” “If I drink enough, I’ll be able to sleep through the day altogether.” I’ve heard it all. Hell, I’ve said it all. I’ve spent many years guzzling chardonnay with my single friends and eating baked goods en masse. I’ve gone to singles mixers. And for a few years here and there, I celebrated the Hallmark holiday, starry-eyed and grinning, charmed by the allure of the roses and the nice dinner.
As a culture, we’ve exiled Cupid to “love-him-or-hate-him” territory, torn between burning him in effigy and getting his name tattooed on our arm. And it’s a real bummer.
For a single person, Valentine’s Day is an annual reminder of one’s solo status, a yearly refresher course in the bad first dates that have led to consistent singledom. It’s also a time of year when chocolate is really cheap, and crab cakes come shaped as hearts. Oh, and we’re surrounded by the sweet sounds of Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” at every turn.
So it’s no surprise that those solely in the party of one category have developed a hatred for the holiday dedicated to St. Valentine. Even many in a relationship shun the day, opting for a night at home rather than indulging in pomp and circumstance.
But there’s a happy medium between reciting Sleepless in Seattle and having a vodka-fueled sing-along to “Love Stinks.” A myriad of ways exist wherein you can see February 14 come and go without feeling like you’re hit over the head with it. And I’m here to offer a few suggestions.
Throw a Galentine’s Day bash
Leslie Knope got this one right. On February 13, she gathers her lady friends and indulges in all things ladylike. And waffles. There are plenty of waffles. S.O. or no, this is a perfect way to hang with your favorite gals and take the pressure of V-Day.
Express your love (or angst) through song
Thanks to your friendly CultureMap staff, we present two playlists for your listening pleasure or pain. Feeling happy? This mix should compliment your makeouts well. Not so much? Get your fix of the not-so-romantic over here. Rookie Magazine also provides this batch of songs perfectly set for seven minutes in heaven, and over at Side One Track One, I’ve picked a few of my favorite love songs.
Watch some stuff get blown up!
The fifth (FIFTH?!) installment of Bruce Willis’ Die Hard franchise hits theaters on February 14, a premiere date usually reserved for Nicholas Sparks adaptations (don’t worry, ladies, there’s one of those, too…). So get some friends together and practice your best “Yippie Ki Yay,” because there are very few people worthier of spending a romantic day with than John McClane. If that’s not up your alley, the Drafthouse has a slew of cinematic options sure to suit your fancy.
When in doubt, stick with live music
The North Door offers up the perfect recipe for a low-key date (or non-date) night with “Some Like it Hot,” a night of music from Jazz Mills, Lex Land, Meiko and 10YR. The evening also includes cupcakes and a lovers’ photo booth, which the single people will undoubtedly mock to no end.
There you have it, folks. We don’t have to sing Valentine’s Day’s praises, nor do we have to pretend the day never happened. With enough alcohol, some dark chocolate and a soundtrack of indie love, we’ll all get through it. We might gain a few pounds, but it’ll be worth it.