Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Single Girl's Guide to a Fairly Enjoyable, Mostly Uneventful, Highly Forgettable Valentine's Day

First, let's clear the air. You don't need advice on how to survive Valentine's Day as a single woman. If you're single and you're reading this, then I'd say you're surviving just fine. Do you really need to read another article advising you to celebrate Valentine's with a weekend getaway at an expensive spa resort or a night out on the town with five of your closest single girlfriends, as if your life is one long Yaz commercial? If you've recently ended a long term relationship, it's unlikely that you have a gaggle of single women friends with the means and the desire to spend Valentine's Day sipping wine in Sonoma and talking about PMDD. If you do, that's great, but, again I must ask, why are you reading this?

If you live in the real world with the rest of us, read on for some tips on having a fairly enjoyable, mostly uneventful, highly forgettable Valentine's Day.

Sleep Late

Your bed is warm. You have the covers all to yourself. The pillows are positioned just right. What's that sound? Well, that's the rare and beautiful sound of silence. It's the sound that snoring husbands make after you divorce them. You don't notice the beautiful silence, though because you're still asleep. And you should stay that way for at least another hour or so.

Practice the ancient art of Feng Shui

You don't need to get out the bagua map or overhaul the entire house just yet. To get the chi energy flowing,  you can start by clearing that pile of clothes and random junk off the bed. Removing clutter allows new things to come into your life. Dangerously effective when de-cluttering the side of the bed where a man might someday want to sleep. Results may vary. If nothing else, at least you discovered where the can opener has been hiding. Nope, don't need to know how it got there on your bed. Just put it back in the kitchen drawer where it belongs.

Take Control

Stretch your legs a bit, saunter on out to the living room couch and grab the TV remote. Get re-acquainted with this powerful device. Behold the magic of random channel selection. Exercise that power often during the constant stream of eHarmony commercials. You'll need to be quick to avoid becoming another victim of eSmarmy's compatibility matching algorithm.  Don't even think about signing up with eHarmony today. You're in a weak and vulnerable emotional state. Chances are, you won't pass the compatibility test today, or ever. Better to invest your energy in more interesting online endeavors, like this or this.

Join An Imaginary Club

Begin watching the first season of Glee and consider becoming a Gleek. Practice making the L on your forehead. Wait, is there a problem with your DVD player? Warning! Do NOT try to fix it! This will only remind you that you don't have a man in your life to perform simple electronic repairs. On the other hand, you also don't have a man in your life to cause your electronics to break from overuse. It's a yin and yang kind of tradeoff. See, that feng shui is already starting to work.

Take A Little Trip

Now is a good time to venture out of the house. Throw on some old sweatpants and a hoodie and go to the nearest Walgreens. Regardless of where you live in the contiguous United States, there's probably a Walgreen's within easy driving distance. Not only will perusing the shelves of the Walgreens seasonal Valentine's aisle give you a lesson in blatant commercialism,  it will also provide you with fodder for criticizing the "happy" couples who show their love by giving this crap as gifts. Does anything say "I love you" more than a HoMedics Pedicure Spa Salon Footbath? Probably.

Your main goal for taking this little trip to Walgreens is to pick up a cheap box of chocolates, some hair dye, a teeth whitening kit, and maybe some spray-on self-tanner. Back at home, begin the process of discovery with the chocolates. Bite into random pieces to see what's inside and then put what you don't want back in the box. Free yourself of the need to follow the rules of eating chocolates. These are your very own chocolates, bought with your own, hard-earned $3.49, so you are free to enjoy them as you see fit. Insert power to the single people fist pump here.

Okay, but, if your single status still bothers you, plan to start using the hair dye, tooth whitener, and tanning spray on a regular basis between now and next Valentine's Day so you won't have to refer to this guide next year. Oh, and if you're offended by the superficiality of this bit of advice, then you're either a) already in a committed relationship, therefore delusional or b) single and waiting for that special someone to instantly fall in love with your inner beauty, which also makes you, what? That's right, delusional.

Exercise Your Memory Muscles

Try this mental exercise. Conjure up some Valentine's Day memories from your former relationships. Did any of those occasions resemble a De Beers commercial or a Nicholas Sparks novel-turned-movie-blockbuster- pukefest? That's what I thought. Guess what? No one you know is having a De Beers worthy Valentine's Day. It's more likely to be of the Walgreens variety with the all too familiar American Greetings card/ Whitman's Sampler/Paris Hilton perfume last-minute gift trifecta. Rejoice and be glad that you're no longer on either end of that gift exchange. 

Be Charitable

Emotionally charitable that is. Maybe it's time to give all those happy couples a break. Think of it this way. Relationships require a lot of hard work. After two failed marriages, I personally can't stress this enough. Valentine's Day is a time for couples to celebrate their achievement of getting through another year alive. I mean in love.

As single women, we get to do pretty much whatever we want every day of the year. Which is awesome. The least we can do is let couples have this one day to help them forget about the harsh daily reality of maintaining a relationship. Because, let's be honest, there's nothing sexy or romantic about shared finances, unapologetic flatulence or morning breath, which is part of the everyday stuff of relationships. At least that's been my experience. Which explains a lot.

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