– by Cecily Knobler –
Instead of Stressing About it, Here are 3 Great Things to Do Instead
Come January, you dread every trip you have to make to the grocery store because your senses are bombarded with heart-shaped boxes full of cheap chocolates and teddy bears holding red hearts with ribbons and glitter splashed about. (Side note: Why did a bear become a symbol of cuddly love? Why not an animal less likely to maul you, like a puppy or a sea-lion? I mean, has anyone ever even bothered to ask why that giant polar bear is holding a heart in the first place? Whose heart was it? It’s weird, right?)
Anyway, V-Day can be tough for some of us single folk. And before I slowly (sadly) morph into a hacky Cathy comic strip, let me put a positive spin on it. Valentine’s Day is bullshit. I came to this realization in kindergarten, when we had to decorate those little boxes in which others could put tiny cards. Not gonna lie, mine was always pretty full, but this led to false expectations. “Tom gave me a card with Snoopy on it and it says ‘You’re a real lover!’ Tom must truly be the one! Wait, why is Tom talking to that other girl? Tom, you’re dead to me!” From that day forward, this day created a cycle of confusion and expectations impossible to meet.
So instead of feeling all bummed about this Hallmark-manufactured, nonsensical day, here are some other things you can do instead:
1. Make it a Friends and Family Day
If Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about love, who says that love has to be romantic? Maybe we don’t have to be cynical about the adoration part of it all, and instead can focus our attention on friends or family members we love. Send them flowers or give them a call as a reminder that you’re thinking of them on this “special” day.
2. Be of Service
Just because a ridiculous holiday exists to remind us what we might be missing doesn’t mean the world stops spinning. There are still elderly homes, homeless shelters and more who could use assistance! This day would be the perfect one to volunteer and make someone’s day a little brighter. Go serve at a soup kitchen or play checkers with an elderly woman. If anyone could use a little extra love on this day, it’s them!
3. Focus on You!
This might sound obvious, but how about taking yourself out? Skip the flowers (they always go way up in price around the 14th) and take yourself out to do something you love. Spend the day in a peaceful museum or go to a movie you’ve been dying to check out. If you’re feeling really in love with yourself, make a reservation for one at a romantic restaurant and then silently glare at all the couples to make their night just a little creepy.
And if after all this you’re still feeling sad about being single on Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Did that help? But seriously on a positive note, just remember that you can spread the love, with or without romance.