Monday, February 14, 2011

Shmalentine's Day

Valentine’s Day, like most holidays, is one of those times of the year when you’re meant to account for what you’ll be doing, where you’ll be doing it and who you’ll be doing it to. This could make a girl feel instantly anxious. V-Day creeps up on you just when you’ve finally started to come to terms with your SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and to get rid of your Christmastime bloat (be it credit card related or mid-section related or both). There are lots of ways to interface with this holiday and we’d like to outline them for you as a means to soothe your nervous stomach:

The Enthusiastic Couple typically involves taking your loved one out for a five-course meal that features strolling violin players and a dessert in the shape of a heart that may or may not be set on fire tableside. You can expand or contract this concept to make it more or less hokey and more or less expensive. This is a standard Valentine’s Day solution for people in monogamous relationships.

The Valentine Shuffle is for the person who may be dating a person (or people) but is in the early stages of the relationship or is having doubts about their interest in its long-term viability. The Shuffle could be as simple as acquiring a magical flu around February 12th or as elaborate as taking an international trip that makes it impossible to visit or call on The Day. Many people in this situation just don’t go out on dates from mid-January through mid-February to avoid any of the awkwardness and pressure that comes with having to buy special crap for someone you just want to screw.

The Beaches is all about friends.  You call your favorite boy and girlfriends, you buy an enormous amount of fruity wine and stinky cheese and you drink and eat said wine and cheese with said friends while you commiserate about the various iterations of your personal lives. Rinse and repeat. This one is easy and a true Valentine’s Day classic. (The Beaches is El’s 2011 pick because it involves cheese. If you added cheese to The Shuffle, then The Shuffle would be her favorite.)

The Apathetic Anti-Establishment usually involves a scrunched-up face and repetition of words like “Hallmark” and “this sucks” to anyone who dares to pass you by. We’ve all been there, sista, and if that’s where you are this year, go full throttle. Cut out red hearts in construction paper and then burn them while incanting the names of your philandering ex-boyfriends and/or girlfriends, read the Craigslist Missed Connections and fantasize that they’re all about you, or just order that take-out, sit on that couch and fulfill the full sad-lady-eating-large-amounts-of-food-alone cliché.

The Eve Ensler is fast becoming a classic Valentine coping mechanism. It requires taking a holiday about cheap candy and making it all about female genital mutilation. (This is Mel’s favorite for 2011 as she enjoys any opportunity to put a weirdly political damper on things that are meant to be pure fun and make something useful and educational out of something frivolous).

Happy Shmalentine’s Day, kids. Enjoy it.

Mel & El