Valentine's Day is a holiday of embarrassing cliches, yet as Gawker's Brian Moylan recently pointed out, being anti-Valentine's Day is just as cliched and tired. So can one get through the holiday without looking like a complete tool? Perhaps!
1. Make It A Kid's Holiday: Jennifer Howze of the Times of London's Alpha Mummy blog suggests sidestepping both sides of the adult Valentine's Day conundrum by making the holiday one for children, though those of us who don't have children, or have other people's children in our lives in some direct way, might not be able to shift the Valentine's Day goofiness over to the land of construction paper hearts and classroom cupcakes that easily. That said, I don't have any kids and my niece and nephews live hours away, but that's not going to stop me from making cupcakes. Ever. EVER! TEAM CAKE FOR LIFE!
2. Embrace It: Singles Edition: While the anti-Valentine's day train has been parked at the station for the past decade or so, perhaps its time to just embrace everything stupid and corporate and annoying about the holiday in a different way. Sure, you can still hate Valentine's Day and all it stands for, but there are only so many times one can burn letters and rip pictures before the endeavor becomes a bit sad, no? Instead, throw a Romantic Comedy Cliche party, and invite everyone to show up in character as a high-powered magazine editor with a designer wardrobe (just get a t-shirt and write "Dior" on it) who can't seem to get lucky in love. Then get drunk (on wine or Cosmos, of course), sing Motown songs into a hairbrush, watch the worst romantic comedies ever, and be happy knowing that as shitty as your love life might be at times, it's nowhere near as dumb and formulaic as that of every character Kate Hudson has ever played aside from Penny Lane (and even then, kind of, you know?). The point is to celebrate love, your friends, and your future. And also to get a bit trashed and laugh, a lot. Valentine's Day shouldn't be about dwelling on your past—it shouldn't be about ANYTHING, really—so why not just have fun with the goofiness of it all?
3. Embrace It: Couples Edition: Yeah, it's dumb. And yeah, you guys are way past professing your love for one another with cards and balloons, because you do that shit everyday, with words and actions, like adults should. You're above it. You're beyond it. And you don't want to deal with making reservations and sitting in restaurants with 17-year-olds hoping to get laid after whipping out their parents' credit cards to impress their dates. That's fine. But as Brian noted: "What's so wrong about expressing the love one has for his partner? It's rare and wonderful to find someone to share one's life with, and surviving the daily silent tug of war of a relationship shouldn't go by unnoticed." Flowers and candy and a dumb card aren't the most terrible things in the world. And if that's still too gross and corporate and backwards and patriarchal and altogether icky, just steal some pink cupcakes from your office party (the ones with the cinnamon hearts on them) and split them together with a bottle of gin while watching a dumb movie together on the couch. Sometimes the best dates are the simplest ones.
4. Ignore It: Another option is to just ignore the holiday completely. There are a million other things one could be doing that don't involve anything Valentine's-related. As Fred Armisen would say as Joy Behar on SNL: "Sowhatwhocares?" If anyone gives you shit on Monday about not having Valentine's Day plans, just tell them you forgot. And then tell them why you forgot, as you probably had better plans for Sunday night anyway. Nobody can fault you for forgetting Valentine's Day if you were too busy with your awesome friends/class/job/life/etc. And if they give you shit, feel free to give them shit for making such a big deal out of Valentine's Day by yelling "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, ACK!" every time they walk in the room.
5. Be A Dolphin With A Heart Of Sea Chum: Because whether you destroy the heart-o-chum or embrace it, your adorableness makes this holiday tolerable for everyone. Ain't love grand?