by Sally Wolff
Welcome to February, where it’s still stone cold winter, all warmth and happiness is a bleak and distant memory, and Valentine’s Day is the only holiday to look forward to. Most of you reading this will probably roll your eyes and be all
I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY.
Well, everyone in a relationship seems to think that V-Day is a hollow shell of Hallmarked empty gestures, and you’re too good for it, obviously. And single people, heaving a collective sigh on Valentine’s Day, mutter bitterly into their whiskeys before wholeheartedly proclaiming that love is bullshit and being single is better because nothing can tie me down, man.
So yeah, I get that it’s corny and contrived and generally a meaningless day, but fuck… if you have an excuse to do something special, then do something special, you know? So quit rolling your eyes, put some pants on, and have a few tips on the house how to make a goddamn memory already.
Are you single?
Are you in a relationship but you both think Cupid’s 15 minutes of fame are lame? Try a potluck! Invite friends over, provide a festive punch or a rack of beer, and eat a weird assortment of foods. I believe that any excuse to host a house party should be seriously considered, and here you have a rare opportunity to a) serve red velvet cake, and b) play spin the bottle. So what are you waiting for?
Are you sad?
Do you often comfort yourself with cute animal videos on YouTube? Do you own a cat? If you’re like 98% of the people I know, the answer to all three, or at least two outta three, is a resounding YES! If so, arrange a pet date. Your friend has a cat, your other friend has a dog or two. BRING THEM ALL TO YOUR HOUSE. Drink some wine, hang out with some animals and your friends/their owners, and really let yourself wallow.
Are you seriously in love?
Like, super in love? Just make a thermos of hot toddy, bundle up, and go on a night walk. Make out in a dark public place, get a little drunk, and hurry on home to get yer bone on. Obviously.
Do you like someone?
Do they like you backsies? When I asked my coworker what he thought people should do on Valentines Day, he said,“oh, you do it. Do it a lot. Like all day. With someone you like.”
“Yeah,” chimed in my other coworker, “it’s sentimental as shit!” Wise words from wise men. So call up that piece of ass you’ve been making out with on a regular basis and make a 16 hour doin’ it date. Commit to gettin’ weird all goddamn day.
Are you into something weird?
Have you been too nervous to say something to your sex-love-life-partner? Today is your day. Give your person the ultimate gift of all: the gift of honesty. What better time to tell them about your freaky desires? If not today, then when? It’s gotta happen sooner or later, so you might as well choose an arbitrary occasion like today to make today truly memorable. Good luck, champ.
Do you like pizza?
Regardless of the day, occasion, or banality of any situation, ask, “Would pizza make today better?” The answer, undoubtedly, is yes. Yes it would. Valentine’s Day is no different. Have a pizza party! Your roommate/ spouse/girlfriend/you will be into it.
Do you love drinking, but hate being seen in public when its likely that you might burst into tears at any given moment?
Hey, me too! Don’t worry; there are options for the softies of the world. Try a beer or wine tasting at your place. Get a few friends together and have everyone bring their favorite libation along a theme (lagers, white wines, IPAs, etc). Drink up and rest assured that if you collapse into a fit of emotion one of your friends will safely tuck you into bed before tending to the get-together. That’s what friends are for.
Do you have money?
Most people I know, myself included, do not. However, f you do, congratulations! I often fantasize about the wonderful things/experiences/gestures I could buy for my loved ones if I just had liiiiiittle more money. So, hot shot, you’ve got it, SPEND IT!
One time someone sent me flowers at my work on Valentine’s Day and it was the Coolest. Thing. Ever. If you’re looking to impress, let it be known that flowers never get old. Cough up thirty bucks, look up your girlfriend’s address, and make her feel like a million goddamn dollars. FLOWERS, MAN. FLOWERS.
Take these tips and do something. Or don’t. It’s up to you. But know that gestures get you places, non-gestures get you shit-talked on the phone in the drunken hours. Other than that all I can suggest are nude pics, a nice bottle of a favorite spirit, and a staunch avoidance of anything from the the Russell Stover confectionary line. Snuggle up, and happy Valentine’s Day!
This article appeared in the Bellingham on Tap February 2014 issue.