Singletons find a plethora of ways to cope with holidays that seem to be designed for the sole purpose of making us extremely aware of our residency in Singleville.
Some resort to bitterness and immerse themselves in jaded cynicism and comfort themselves with the knowledge that Valentine’s is just another commercial holiday that turns into a competition of whose s.o. got them a better gift.
Others resort to fun nights out on the town with their singleton friends and drown themselves in the oblivion of dance clubs and liquor.
But what do you do when most of your friends have moved out of Singleville and you would rather not live under a cloud of cynicism?
This year, I find myself in that position. The majority of my local friends have paired off, and even quite a few of my long distance friends have done the same. No wild girls’ nights out for me, and, frankly, the definition of “wild” nights for me is eating ice cream and watching Firefly or Doctor Who or a version of Star Trek (listening to Sir Patrick’s voice can do a lot for a lonely girl). If I’m getting really crazy, I watch My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic. As you can deduce, the party scene is not really my scene, though I did try it out for a few months before I hit my twenties.
So, this year I’ve been thinking about some things to do to make VD special and fun for me, particularly because this is my first one since moving back to Singleville last summer.
I only have a few things listed here, a mix of things that you can do alone, with friends, and with long distance friends. None of them are expensive, and most of them require you to think outside of yourself a little bit—something that’s a big help in the battle against cynicism—and might also ask you to move out of your comfort zone and break the habits that make us feel left out and alone during holidays like VD.
1. Go out to eat.
If you have friends around, Singletons or not, go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant on the 12 or 13. You’ll avoid seeing the lovey couples that are celebrating VD on the 14, and hence avoid making gagging noises over your dinner, or miming vomiting over your plate. Try an experiment for the evening and don’t talk about relationships, or weight loss. Those two topics seem to creep into the conversation anytime I’m out with a group of women; I suspect they creep into the convo for groups of men, too, though I can’t verify. They may be important topics, but take a break from them for a night. There are other wonderful things going on in your life, and in the lives of your friends that don’t require definition by your s.o. or lack of an s.o., and we certainly aren’t defined by our weights or clothing sizes.
1a. If you don’t have friends around, go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant on your own, also a couple days before VD. You’ll enjoy your own company.
1b If you don’t like eating out alone, get takeout from your favorite restaurant and rent your favorite movie. But, seriously, try eating out alone. You’re a pretty awesome person and spending some time with yourself might be good for you. Take a book along and read so you don’t spend the entire time on your phone texting and checking Facebook.
2. Heart Attacks.
Who says VD has to be about expressing love just for your honey? We all have people we care about, so take the opportunity to show them. A Heart Attack is something that comes from my youth. Pick your target. Make a bunch of paper hearts. Write nice things about your target on each heart. cover your target’s door with the hearts. Ring doorbell and run away. DO NOT LET YOUR TARGET KNOW IT WAS YOU. Secret nice deeds are sometimes the best.
I’m sending Cat-entines to other singletons that are cat ladies (or gents) like me. This includes a plush kitty, some chocolates, and a Valentine.
4. Read a book.
As you read, keep a pad of post-it notes handy. Write notes and stick the post it notes in the pages and then send the book to a friend that lives far away. Write the things you would like to say to your friend as you read. If you need a recommendation for a book, I suggest Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper. It’s a romance, but it’s really about friendship. Or, a good book of poetry, such as Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Collected Lyrics. Poetry evokes emotions and memories and sharing them with your friend will help the distance between you feel, well, not so distant.
Take a mini road trip somewhere you’ve been wanting to go but haven’t made the time for/have been waiting for other people to want to go, too. Me? I’m going to the Philbrook in Tulsa since I’ve lived in Oklahoma for 9 years now and have wanted to visit the Philbrook every single one of those 9 years.
6. Conquer the Kitchen!
On Valentine’s Day, go to all of those fabulous food blogs you read and pick a recipe you’ve been wanting to try, but that maybe is a bit more complicated than you’re used to. Make it for yourself. You won’t have to worry if it doesn’t turn out because it’s just you. If it does turn out, you’ll have something awesome to nibble on for yourself, and you’ll also have a new recipe to wow your friends.