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Singleness Sound-off: Eight Ways to Enjoy Valentine’s Day

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another article I wrote for that magazine-writing class, at my instructor’s request due to the depressing nature of the article I posted yesterday (even though she gave me an A on that one.)

Admit it—just hearing someone say “Valentine’s Day” sends chills down your spine and makes you nauseated. Why?

Let’s see if we can figure out the root of the single adult’s hatred of this over all other holidays by looking at some commonly held views on Valentine’s Day.

      1. Valentine’s Day is all about “couples”—probably as many people get either married or engaged on this one day as the rest of the year combined.

      2. Valentine’s Day is all about romance. If you don’t have a “significant other,” it’s hard to continually be bombarded with romantic images.

      3. For weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, the first thing anyone says when entering a conversation is, “What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” or “Do you have anything special planned for Valentine’s Day?”

      4. Valentine’s Day is just a marketing ploy made up by Hallmark cards, FTD florists, and Whitman’s chocolatier, to bilk the American populace of millions of dollars in one day.

      5. The whole point of Valentine’s Day is to remind me that I’m alone in this world.

If you found yourself agreeing with one or more of the above statements, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there—some have been there for a LONG time.

This year, I decided that I’m tired of giving in to Valentine’s Day negativity. I decided that I wouldn’t let Valentine’s Day have control over me any longer. I decided that I’m going to enjoy Valentine’s Day.

So, I came up with a list of ways to enjoy Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t easy. The negativity toward the holiday is engrained in my brain. Since you might have trouble coming up with a list for yourself, here are eight ideas to get you started, ranging from simple and free to complicated and exorbitant (hey, we can all dream, can’t we?).

1. Call up some other unattached single friends and plan a movie night. Bring your favorite comedy, action, horror, or suspense movie. Try to stay away from the romances—they’ll just depress you.

2. Have a “Hair and Makeup Night” to go along with (or instead of) your movie night. Get all the gals together (guys, umm, maybe this one wouldn’t work for you, but hey, whatever), buy a few boxes of hair color and pool your funkiest colors of eye shadow, lipstick, and nail polish and have a ball. Go to Waffle House afterward and see if you blend in with the crowd.

3. Pull out your favorite book from childhood and reread it. Then write a letter to the author and tell him or her why it’s your favorite book (even if the author has been dead for a long time). If your favorite book from childhood is a 1,000-page novel, you probably won’t have to read the whole thing in one night.

4. Grab that book off the nightstand you’ve never gotten around to reading, draw a hot bath, pour yourself a glass of wine (or whatever you like to drink), put in that Dean Martin or Yo-Yo Ma CD (you must have something that doesn’t shake the dust off the rafters in your collection), and RELAX. There’s nothing good on TV on Valentine’s Day anyway.

5. If you live in an area where there is guaranteed to be snow on the ground on February 14, get all of your friends together to build snow forts and then have a snowball fight. Warm up afterward with homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows burned over a fire (or over candles if you don’t have a fireplace).

6. Plan a scavenger hunt. In Nashville, we have a great downtown area where there are multiple restaurants, clubs, and other entertainment places that draw crowds at night. This can also be done at a mall, amusement park, or other place where people congregate. Gather up two or three digital cameras to send out with the teams and make sure the batteries are new for the items on the list which will require a picture for proof. Other items can be gathered and brought back with the pictures. Then come up with your items. Some suggestions are:

      – Picture and autograph of someone who can juggle

      – A flower

      – Picture of a man (not a team member) pretending to propose to someone on the team

      – Four business cards—from different people

and so on.

7. Take the day off, jet down to the Florida Keys, and indulge yourself in a day of the royal treatment at one of the many exclusive spas down there.

8. Go to the florist or the grocery store and buy flowers and a vase. Go to your favorite place to buy candles and buy at least two tapers along with candlesticks (if you don’t already have some). If you don’t have any nice dishes, go to Target and purchase a nice plate, bowl, and glass from their open stock tableware. Buy some cloth napkins and a tablecloth, too. Call your favorite restaurant. Ask them if they do carry out orders. Order your favorite meal. Dress your table with the above items, arranging the food attractively on the plate. Sit down and enjoy your favorite meal. Then watch Fatal Attraction to remind yourself that there are worse things than dining alone on Valentine’s Day.


I’ll actually be working (editing or writing) and watching the Olympics this Valentine’s Day. What will you be doing?

  1. Tuesday, February 9, 2010 8:15 am

    Last Valentine’s Day my best friend and I saw “He’s Just Not That Into You” – I actually don’t find rom-coms depressing on Valentine’s day.

    I’d be half way tempted to go out to eat at Chili’s (been wanting to for awhile now) and then go see a movie. Oh wait – its a Sunday – I might be able to do that.


  2. Wednesday, February 10, 2010 10:34 pm

    This was a great article, Kaye. Thanks for sharing it. I’ll be writing!


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