So, you're loveless and dreading the prospect of a lonely Valentine's Day. Or you're single, couldn't be happier, and are sick of all the Valentine's Day natter. Or you believe V-Day to be a capitalist construct, the sole purpose of which is to move greeting cards and jewellery. Or you're a cyborg from the future who doesn't have the required programming to even be able to experience what we humans call 'love'. Or you suffer from the condition known as Raynaud's Phenomenon, in which strong emotions cause your blood vessels to spasm and you are therefore feelings of love towards another person could result in your death.
If you fall into any of these categories, you may be wondering what to do on the 14th of February while what seems like everyone else in the world is out romancing. Here's a list of eight ways to spend the day if you're Han Solo:
Sit through a movie marathon of films about relationships that don't work out such as Kramer vs. Kramer, The War of the Roses, To Die For, High Fidelity, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fargo, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Shining and Fatal Attraction. Ignore any of the 'love conquers all' and 'light at the end of the tunnel' bits some of them might try to sneak in there; that's purely Hollywood claptrap.
Phone all of your ex-partners, one by one, and ask them to summarise the reasons your relationship didn't work. Write a list of 100 of your personality faults/failings and pin it to the wall. Now drink a bottle of gin while listening to 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams on repeat and at high volume until you pass out.
Find out where your best friend is going for dinner with his/her partner and casually show up at the same restaurant by yourself. They will feel obliged to invite you to join them, and after a little awkwardness to start off with, the three of you should have a riot of a time!
Boycott Facebook, Instagram, and all other social media for the day so you're not bombarded with everyone else's V-Day schmaltz. In fact, you'd best avoid TV and the rest of the Internet as well. Just stare at the wall until it's time to go to bed.
Love is, actually, just your body releasing endorphins. And maybe a bunch of other stuff. Anyway, just eat loads and loads of chilli or dark chocolate on the 14th, and it will have virtually the same effect.
So you've got nobody to buy you gifts for Valentine's Day, and nobody to buy gifts for? You need to start thinking hypothetically. Imagine you had a special someone. What would you get for them? How much would it cost? Now that you have that figure, spend an equal amount buying something for yourself. And what would your imaginary special someone get you in return? Perhaps they are very, very rich and would spend a lot of money on you. Buy yourself the present that your rich, hypothetical partner would have bought for you. Look, now you have two presents! Happy days.
Compile a playlist made up of songs that have nothing to do with love. This is more challenging that you might think, and should distract you for most of the day. Steer clear of pre-LSD Beatles stuff, for example (after about 1966 you should be fine; I am the Walrus, goo goo g'joob), and forget about Taylor Swift. Some genres that should prove fruitful in your search for choons are death metal, deep trance and crunkcore.
Apologies if this last bit of advice might actually prove useful, in stark contrast to the rest of this article, but the best option would appear to be to get together with a bunch of your single friends, hit the town, and have a good time. Thousands of other singles are likely to be doing exactly the same thing and, since all the couples will be having dinner together or at home making sweet, sweet love, Friday night should prove to be a bit of a meat market. Just saying.
TUL Note: Hailing from the 'Paris of the South,' Bundaberg, Dan Colasimone is back in Brisbane after spending the better part of a decade living overseas. He also writes about sport. He once completed an Arts degree. Twitter: @ArgentinaFW
Image credit: Amazon