I know, I know … the point is to have a magical, fantastical, romantical Valentine’s Day … the kind of evening that makes you tear up and blush in the re-telling, while your less-fortunate girlfriends snarl and gnash their teeth in envy.
Sadly, having the perfect V-Day isn’t easy. For one thing, unless you’re a narcissist, you generally have to rely on another party’s cooperation to truly make it work. For another, much like other festive occasions such as weddings and funerals, Valentine’s Day is an excuse for retailers and restauranteurs to jack up their prices. So unless this recession has left you and your man unscathed, the cost might be a bit of an ouchie. Then there’s the pressure. The shopping. Do you go with the fancy under-duds or fly freebird? Do you get him a gift or is he supposed to be the one doing the giving? So many questions, so few correct answers …On the bright side, Stupid Cupid’s big day is an easy one to muck up. And maybe if you can avoid screwing it up, it’ll suck just a little bit less. So here are some tips to avoid:
Did you ever read The Secret? No? Me neither. But Oprah sure did and from what I hear, it’s all about how if you visualize what you want and then wish real hard, it’ll happen. So I’d suggest that a few days before 2/14, you start imagining your perfect day. Maybe it involves a romantic picnic for two, with winged ponies frolicking in the distance, diamond necklaces dripping off trees, and chilled rivers of crisp, delicious champagne …
Secrets and Lies
The key is to keep all this information in your head. Don’t share it. Because if your man truly loves you, he’ll not only remember what happens on Feb. 14, he’ll know that you prefer dark chocolate to milk, are fiercely allergic to calla lilies and imprinted in his brain will be the information that Jenny Craig suggests you calorie-splurge on sushi, not filet mignon. This way, when he shows up with a box of drugstore candies and a warm bottle of Cold Duck, you can pout dramatically and/or throw a mega-tantrum. Because nothing says “love me!” like a giant, shrieking, hissy fit.
Alternate plan: Whether you’ve been dating two days or two years, decide that this is the night he’s going to propose. Decide that anything less than a Kiss that Begins with Kay will not do and proceed accordingly.
All the Single Ladies
You know that there is possibly no sight more tragic than the single lady on Valentine’s Day. Haiti, Darfur, mortgage foreclosures—all pale in comparison to you and your singular plight on this most romantic night of nights. Instead of doing the sensible thing, like enjoying fruity cocktails with a few of your normal, sane, single pals, I want you to do the following:
1. Procure a lot of alcohol. Do not eat dinner. Make sure you are home alone.
2. Sign on to every one of your social networking sites—even Friendster. Leave all the screens open, but walk away.
3. Crack open a cold one, slip your copy of “The Notebook” (director’s cut, natch) into the ole Blu-ray and commence drinking. Ponder why nobody will ever love you like Noah loves Allie. Do a shot every time Rachel McAdams makes the squishy “I wuv you” face.
4. As you burst into drunken sobs, notice that your computer is still powered up. Start stalking random exes’ Facebook updates. Get mad all over again. How dare he have dumped you!? Commence drunken messaging. Make sure you go to bed without turning off the computer so you’re reminded of your actions the next morning. No reason 2/15 has to be any better.
Alternate plan: Dine alone at the most romantic restaurant you can find. Stare at all the happy couples and wonder what’s wrong with you. Bonus points if the waiter has to send over extra napkins because you’ve soaked the first one with your tears.
Then again … you could just do what this relationship writer plans on doing on this ridiculous Hallmark holiday, seemingly created to make everyone—whether coupled or single—feel inadequate and unloved: absolutely nothing.