Valentine’s Day is a strange proposition. When you are in love, it’s an excuse to spend some money on dinner, buy some flowers, show the ladyfriend in your life that you have what it takes to stop her from sleeping with the pool boy (or cabana boy if you live at a tropical resort). When you are single on Valentine’s Day, you typically have two choices. The first is to make fun of Valentine’s Day with you other single friends (and your non-single friends who hate their significant others) and throw some sort of “Fuck Valentine’s Day” party, or something similar. These are typically awesome. Five years ago, just before I started dating my fiance, I had one of these parties to celebrate my single status. I made a cocktail that had both Jack Daniel’s and champagne in it and threw a dart from my balcony through my living room through my kitchen at the dart board. I didn’t hit the board, but I didn’t hit any of my drunk single friends either. The dart did stick in the wall. I also smoked 25 cigarettes that night, listened to old French cafe music (Guns n Roses, counts right?) and felt very fancy. Almost too fancy.
In short, not so bad.
The other option for singles is the one I find the most dangerous. That is when you use the holiday as an excuse to take someone out who you are nowhere near Valentine’s Day-ready with. Do you know what I mean? You met up with this person at fucking Barney’s Beanery one night, became magically charming after your third PBR and got their number. After a week of working your way to full-on sexting, you get this person to do sushi with you in WeHo at which time they will feel the need to tell you all about their summer abroad in Helsinki and you have two choices. If you listen and nod pretending to care about the Northern Quarter and Scandinavian economic policy, there is a good chance you are having sex after two more sake bombs, a half-assed attempt to watch an episode of Mad Men and a quick inventory of your prophylactic’s expiration dates. If you don’t listen, you will at one point get really angry when you overdraft your Bank of America debit card trying to buy a pack of Camel Lights (you quit two weeks ago, fuck it) and realize the 65 dollars missing is from that time you bought that person two spicy tuna rolls and a tall Kirin light and DIDN’T get sex out of it.
Anyway, you don’t call this person for a few days. You are riding the line between letting them fade into memory and calling them because you caught the last ten minutes of Shawshank on Cinemax and started thinking about conjugal visits. So you decide to ask this person out to dinner for Valentine’s Day, because you know neither of you are doing anything because you had sushi and sex just a few days before.
What comes next is the world’s most awkward dinner where both parties have a tangible sense of “really?” where neither is sure why the hell they are there. No one wants to be asked out do to loneliness. Well, some people do. But do you want to spend a c-note on dinner for a person like that? Then afterwards you will have the tangible feeling that you may owe this person sex, which then makes you feel a little bit like a lady/man of the night. You don’t need that feeling, especially in a tough economy.
The power of a corporate holiday is dangerous. It’s like the dark side of the force. When you are celebrating, it all just enhances the mood. I understand that on a day like this you can start to feel like you are in Denny’s on Christmas in Lincoln, Nebraska if you are single. Take it from me though, as someone who spent plenty of Valentine’s Days alone, it’s not that big of a deal.
Every day in a good relationship should be a celebration. If anything, VD (same initials as venereal disease, btw) is just an excuse to geek out a little bit with the person you love. That’s all. If you don’t love anyone, maybe kick it with someone you like. In the end of the day, just find a way to have a good time. It’s a fucking day. You don’t beat yourself up for not playing football on Super Bowl Sunday, do you? So don’t sweat this. You are the jam. I swear you are so much the jam that if I had any peanut butter and some bread, I’d make you into a big human-sized sandwich.
So all I want to do is stop you from making the mistake of having the big VD meal with the WRONG person. You will regret it. I promise. Call them now and back out. You got time still. Until you pick them up you got time. Stay home and watch the Olympics with other cool people. Take a drink every time there is a dumb joke about curling. Do what you gotta do.
Just listen to your buddy, Zack. Avoid the 150 dollar slow death we call the not-ready-for-VD-status-VD-dinner. You know what I am talking about. I love you all. Even you. Yeah, you.
Now here’s a jam to send you into the weekend: