The Single’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

by Katherine Shaw
Katherine Shaw

I’ve been single 73% of my adult life and this fact somehow becomes more significant as Valentine’s Day approaches. Some may be shocked by me sharing this calculation – there’s ample disbelief in our society that women can actually do math, and that women aren’t 100% ashamed of being unwed.

Call me a “spinster” all you like, for I appreciate the art of weaving so much that I’ve been on the hunt for a Master Weaver to braid my leg hair for winter. And feel free to refer to me as “old maid” because I do consider myself an old soul, and I’ve a natural tendency for tidiness along with an affinity for uniforms.

This year I’m in a familiar position – it’s not Missionary nor Cowgirl nor Doggy Wanna Bone (no thank you, I’m celibate). If forced to name this solo position, I suppose Witch’s Claw would suffice. More importantly, this single person (me) has celebrated each and every Valentine’s Day without having to shame-swipe-right on some Tinder profile exactly three weeks before February 14th. And rather than ignore this holiday, I assure my calendar has the 14th circled in red…and it’s nothing to do with menstruation.

So if you’re single and ready to mingle but your “aggressive” and “feminist” personality is off-putting to potential dates, fear not! You can still embrace that ‘lil Cupid inside. Here’s how:

Table for…Two?

Society is overdue for an inclusivity and diversity lesson, and Groupon is just one example. I’m technically a single person, but should that exclude me from purchasing a 20% off Valentine’s Dinner for two? I’m single, but I also contain multitudes! I bet if Walt Whitman sauntered into a restaurant and asked for a Valentine’s dinner, no one would bat an eye! Is his solo dining experience acceptable because he’s a man? Or, is it because old Walt died in 1892, therefore he’d technically be a ghost? Yea, sure – I’d be too terrified by ghostly Walt to bat an eye too.

But ghosts aside, when I see “dinner for two” deals, I just want to yell “your monogamy is showing!” Why not expand the market to include single people? And why not include poly couples who flaunt the fact that they not only found one person to love them but somehow found…oh sorry, my envy is showing again.

Anyway, don’t be afraid to get creative this Valentine’s Day in order to get what you want. For the singles out there, I’ll pass along my trusted “Dinner for Two Coup” steps:

  • Obtain a cardboard cutout of your celebrity crush.
  • Purchase Valentine’s Dinner for Two coupon.
  • Rehearse your phone reservation using ONLY the first name of your celebrity crush.
  • Make reservation for you and [INSERT FIRST NAME OF CELEBRITY CRUSH].
  • Under no circumstances utter the full name of your celebrity crush because no one will believe the reservation is for “some random person and OMG MARK RUFFALO?!”
  • Be extra careful when placing Mark Ruffalo in the trunk of your car because you don’t want him to get wrinkled.
  • Carry Mark Ruffalo into restaurant and make intense, wavering-on-hostile eye contact with the host because you cannot afford to be turned away because you spent over two hours getting ready for this dinner.
  • When seated, cozy up to Mark Ruffalo and after a few glasses of wine, you’ll have completely forgotten he’s cardboard and not a real boy.
  • Order two meals, eat however much you want, and if there are leftovers be sure to take them for lunch tomorrow.
  • Once home and in bed, call the restaurant and leave a voicemail in your nicest phone voice, stating you accidentally forgot Mark Ruffalo and if they’d mind holding him until you can pick him up tomorrow.

Keep It In The Family

They say blood is thicker than water, but I’m not celebrating Valentine’s Day with either of those beverages – pass the wine! Years ago, I convinced my aunt and uncle to attend a Couple’s Chocolate and Wine Tour. Now, before you applaud me on my generosity for being the designated driver for my aunt and uncle’s rendezvous, let me explain that my uncle was the DD for us two DDs, Drunk Damsels. This event was choco-stained-hands down the best Valentine’s Day celebration to date!

My memory is hazy at best, but I do recall proclaiming that I was on a date with my aunt. This joke fell flat with the moderately drinking non-related couples around me, but this only fueled my bad joke fire and I might have (definitely) said, “My aunt says I’m incessantly funny, but I like to think I’m incestuously funny.” Fade to black…

One perk of spending Valentine’s Day with your family is this thing called unconditional love. So have a glass or four with your favorite relatives and bask in the knowledge that they’re stuck with you and your wine-fueled jokes until death do us part.

Palentine’s Day

Formally known as Galentine’s Day but altered so that my masculine-leaning pals are included, Palentine’s Day proves that platonic love is just what the doctor ordered – especially if your psychiatrist gently affirmed that no, you should not get back together with your ex. Having a network of close friends is vital to a single person’s well-being; there’s nothing more soothing than initiating a group text after your family refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you because “last time was such an embarrassment.” Invite your pals over for a movie and popcorn night. Other suggested items to chew on are:

  • Grape salad (that means wine).
  • A giant wedge of cheese so that everyone has their own personal corner to gnaw (identifiable only by dental marks that, unfortunately, overtime become more difficult to determine due to grape salad consumption).
  • Comprehensive lists that outline exactly what you’re looking for in a partner, only to find out that YOU are the partner you’ve always wanted (#self-partnered).

What’s stopping you from celebrating Valentine’s Day? I mean, if it’s because of a stale partner who avoids thoughtfulness and planning by bemoaning “It’s just a made-up holiday anyway” – I can totally relate. The good news? National Break Up Day is February 13th.

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