They come around every year. Those holidays that really aren’t holidays. You don’t get a paid day off from work. Instead you get out of bed and head to work like it is any other day. Your kids go to school with full knowledge that they will spend their day eating candy and giving out pink heart shaped cards. Stores fill their shelves with heart shaped propaganda in shades of pastel pink, magenta, and blood red. Naked baby cherubs with cute bows and arrows stare down at you with mocking whimsical smiles. Flower shops order extra roses in hopes of enticing those of us who forgot to get our loved one a dying flower on a Tuesday. Restaurants fill to capacity with couples trying for romance, which is something that they shouldn’t need a holiday to tell them they should try for. But there it is, on every calendar known to man and womankind: Valentine’s Day.
Not all of us like this love themed holiday. The dislike is not about being single or grieving a lost love. Some of us just prefer our romance not be planned out by stores and restaurants. Sometimes, romance is pizza and beer with your partner while the kids are at Grandmas. Romance can be found in the negative space that surrounds our lives, giving us the opportunity to poke fun at such a holiday. Here are some fun ways to cope with Valentine’s Day for those of us who prefer laughter and spontaneity over glossy red heart shaped pieces of 80 pound cover stock.
1. Bring a couple bags of chocolate hearts to work. Before you put them out to share with your coworkers, break all the hearts in half. If they are wrapped in foil then wrap them back up after the hearts are broken. If people expect you to be depressed about you single status, you might as well live up to the hype. An added bonus to this strategy is that people are less likely to eat all the chocolate you brought once they realized that you touched them all. It means more Dove Dark awesomeness for you.
2. Have a chick flick movie and wine night with your other single friends and watch movies about friendship. Sometimes, all it takes to lift your spirits is good company and a bottle of red. Some good choices are “Muriel’s Wedding” and “Bride Wars”. If chick flicks aren’t your thing, “The Goonies” and “Breakfast Club” are good choices from the eighties.
3. Throw condom water balloons covered in glitter at lovey-dovey couples that pass by your home. Even if the condom doesn’t break you will still get glitter on passerby and they will be reminded of your treachery for the remainder of their romantic evening. If the condom does break, it will be an ironic reminder of the benefits of the birth control pill.
4. Put a Valentine’s Day tree in your office break room (a mini Christmas tree will work, or a droopy plant). Decorate it with headless cupids, black roses, and empty condom wrappers. You did make the condom water balloons after all. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
5. Send yourself a carnivorous plant at work. Venus fly traps are relatively easy to care for. When it arrives, caress it lovingly and water it. During your lunch break feed it some bugs you bought at the pet store. Make sure at least one person is trying to eat their lunch while you do this. Talk to it like it is the love of your life and nickname it Baby. Offer your coworker a bug to eat when you catch them staring at you.
6. You know that rotting pumpkin you forgot to throw away after Halloween? Bring it to work and set it outside the main entrance. Put a sign on it that reads “Cupids latest victim”.
7. Buy some extra small condoms. Fill them with the leftover glitter from your water balloons and tie the open end in a knot. Attach pink valentines that say “Hope your date is bigger than mine”. Give them out to random strangers.
8. Have a horror movie marathon. “Warm Bodies” is a good spin on “Romeo and Juliet” and it’s about zombies. “My Bloody Valentine” was made for Cupid’s big day. If you want something not related to Valentine’s Day then “The Bride of Frankenstein”, “Psycho”, and “The Perfect Guy” are all good examples of love gone over the deep end. Bloody Mary’s would be a good choice with this marathon.
9. Dress in all black and let your hair fall limply in your face. When your coworkers ask what is wrong, stare at them forlornly until they get uncomfortable and back slowly away. If they persist in wrangling an answer out of you, tell them you wanted your clothes to match the darkness of your mortal soul.
10. Make sugar cookies that are dyed red. Use gingerbread men cookie cutters. Before you frost with icing, casually break off random heads, arms, and legs until your cookies look like a Jack the Ripper victims. Frost the cookies, both the broken off pieces and the bodies. Neatly stack the bodies on a plate and put the body parts in a separate bowl. Put a sign next to them that reads “Stupid Cupid sat on a wall. Stupid Cupid had a big fall. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men didn’t bother putting Stupid Cupid together again”.