Is there anyone -- with the possible exception of Hallmark and De Beers -- who actually looks forward to this nauseating quasi-holiday? The stress, depression, guilt and weight gain are bad enough when you're part of a couple, but if you're between relationships, it's worse than being a Tibetan monk on Christmas Day.
Not feeling the love this Valentine's Day? Not to worry. Let this be your year to reject the pressure to be in a relationship and joyfully embrace Anti-Valentine's Day. Not sure how? Here are a few easy tips to get you started.
Dress all in black if it makes you feel better.
Rent or watch Sleepless in Seattle, The Wedding Singer, You've Got Mail, Under the Tuscan Sun, When Harry Met Sally or any other so-called "romantic comedy" unless you are determined to spend the evening in tears and own stock in Kimberly-Clark.
Treat yourself. One of the great joys of being single is that, when you give yourself a gift, it's something you really want. So go ahead and show yourself you care. Buy that new pair of Manolos, get a manicure or massage, or splurge on new lingerie. Better yet, spring for all four! You're soooo worth it.
Assume you have to forego the pleasure of faking out your coworkers just because you can't afford champagne, fancy chocolate and flowers. If anyone at the office asks if you're doing anything special for the evening, just grin and giggle like an idiot. You can still be the talk of the breakroom all day.
Get some friends together for refreshing adult beverages and an Anti-Valentine's DVD night. Think Addicted to Love, The Godfather, War of the Roses, Pulp Fiction, Fargo or The Sopranos. The more violent, the better. Cupid piñata optional but highly recommended.
Forget the fact that there are worse things than being unattached on Valentine's Day. For example, you could still be with what's-his-name. Be thankful for the ones who got away, like the dumb jock who could barely remember your name, let alone your birthday. Or the reptile who was cheating with his ex the whole time you were together.
Seize this golden opportunity to make everyone at the office jealous with a mysterious admirer scenario. A few days before Valentine's, order a dozen red roses, some Godiva chocolate and French champagne to be delivered to you at work from "Your secret admirer." Feign ignorance and surprise, then sit back and enjoy the attention.
Move to Russia even though it's rumored that 1) they don't observe Valentine's Day and 2) they do make a big deal out of International Women's Day (that's when you get flowers and chocolate -- and a day off work -- no matter what your marital status). Remember, it's only one day. Okay, two.
Unplug the house phone and hide your mobile phone so there is absolutely no possibility you will embarrass yourself by calling any of the people you are so lucky to have out of your life. This is especially important if there is any alcohol involved in your Anti-Valentine's Day celebration.
Enjoy the morning after, when you get to hear all about the romantic dinners turned sour, the engagements broken, flowers that never arrived, gruesome break-ups and tacky gifts tossed into the garbage along with the most recent copy of Bride magazine.
Consider sleeping through the holiday, if all else fails. And cheer up: Halloween is only six months away. Now that's an occasion we can all enjoy.
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