I hate/love Valentine’s Day

Katie Gile

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(Illustration by Grecia Valenzuela)

By: Katie Gile, Staff Writer

 

The time draws near when pink and red creep insidiously into the periphery, jewelry retailers go into overdrive and drugstore aisles burst with cherubs for the one holiday of the year that separates the singletons from the significant-othered.

 

While a treasured chance for couples to celebrate couple-hood, Valentine’s Day often spells trouble for the unattached.

 

As a veteran of Valentine’s Days spent single, I’d like to offer a few suggestions to my fellow single ladies to help the bemoaned 14th of February pass without any breakdowns.

 

If you think spending the evening dodging the accidental crosshairs of others’ goo-goo eyes is a task better left to an action star, spend the evening at home.

 

Before switching on Netflix and breaking out a tube of cookie dough, try one or more of the following ideas to relish being free and single.

 

Invite your single girlfriends and have a spa night, complete with manicures, pedicures and facials. Almost everything you’ll need can be made by hand or purchased on-the-cheap at your local Walgreens. Chances are, you haven’t had an at-home spa night since junior high, so enjoy the trip down memory lane, open a wine bottle or two and spend some quality time with your favorite ladies.

 

Throw an anti-Valentine’s Day party. Invite all your single friends over, or if your place is too small, coordinate with a friend and throw it elsewhere. In keeping with the anti- Valentine theme, stock up on all things pink, red and sickeningly sweet, then make a time of mocking them. You can even take a page out of Director Garry Marshall’s “Valentine’s Day” script and pulverize a heart-shaped pinata. Sure, it’s a little twisted, but some harmless fun can take the edge off a neuroses-inducing day.

 

If you still want to be part of the romance without leaving the house, invite your girls over and have a chick-flick night. Where some gents might be freaked out, in the company of your girlfriends, you can ugly cry to your hearts’ content over “The Notebook,” “Steel Magnolias” or whatever other tearjerker floats your boat. Spoil yourselves and order pizza, have some popcorn and enjoy some truly great, truly sappy movies.

 

Make home into your very own Peterbrooke. Valentine’s Day and chocolate-covered anything are practically synonymous. But why spend $15 for five chocolate strawberries when there’s a fun and cheap way to do it? Head to the grocery store and buy a carton of strawberries — and anything else you’d want coated in chocolate — then buy the chocolate. With the aid of a double-boiler, a stove and a few friends, you can make all the goodies you want and have fun doing it. Even if you’re not much of a cook, trying something new with friends is what makes memories and soon, you’ll acquire new skills in the kitchen.

 

If you dare brave the company of couples, give some of these ideas a shot and flaunt your single status in public.

 

Indulge your inner or maybe not-so-inner party girl and hit up your local bar or club. Given, V-Day falls on a Tuesday this year, so options will be few and party-going crowds sparse. But gather up enough friends and any place is a party.

 

To ensure you’re surrounded by single people but still ragin’, try a planned event like The Big Ape’s Third-Annual Bitterball at Whisky River. Though it’s held the Friday before Valentine’s Day, Feb. 10, it’s a gathering of tons of singles to last you through Cupid’s day.

 

Bowling is an overlooked option for V-Day. Healthy competition with friends can be just the cure for impending single blues. Have a few beers, play a few games and soon you’ll be more concerned with breaking your record of 299 than fretting about being mateless.

 

Or, if you want to go out with friends but want a low-key evening, get together for a movie night. Weeknight prices at movies are often less expensive, and it’s considerably easier to find seats together. So, grab your buddies and head to an action flick or even a rom-com, if you’re slightly masochistic. “Star Wars: Episode I” will return to theaters in 3-D Feb. 10, and the Channing Tatum/Rachel McAdams tearjerker “The Vow” will make its premiere on the same day. Pick a flick, then grab some late-night nosh at the uber-romantic IHOP.

 

These are but a few of the options available to the single crowd. Whatever you do, be sure it’s in the spirit of fun and you’re guaranteed to make it through this Feb. 14 with only the crazy you enjoy.

 

Email Katie Gile at [email protected]