Single Person's Guide to Valentine's Day | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Single Person's Guide to Valentine's Day

Whether you hate it, dread it, look forward to it or try to ignore it … it's coming.

I went in the local "everything" store to pick up a few necessities as soon as January hit, and I stopped dead in my tracks. They were already selling heart-shaped boxes full of chocolates. Seriously? I'd just barely slept off my New Years' hangover when red candies and obnoxious stuffed animals were staring me in the face. If you're like me, you might need an unoccupied paper bag to throw up in.

Many people boycott Valentine's Day, and for good reason: it is the moment when the world defines you in one of two ways: "have" or "have not."

If you're single this year—whether through timing or by choice—you don't have to buy into the concept of this pseudo-holiday.

You can try to ignore it altogether. It doesn't exist unless you allow it. But rational as it sounds, that approach never works well. Begrudgingly you have to admit it might be nice to get a card, and it wouldn't be all that bad to get some flowers. Before you know it, you might be feeling sorry for yourself.

I'm skeptical about someone having a terrific Valentine's Day because I haven't experienced one, yet. So, in an effort to transform the day and my own outlook about it, I'm throwing out a few ideas that might make it more bearable.

Because it falls on a weekend this year, a few words come to mind: Party! Music! Friends! Food! Spend it with the people you love and celebrate your friendship.

Dress up in your party clothes and make tongues wag. Invite everyone over for dinner and creative cocktails, or good beer and decadent munchies. Tell them to bring blankets and pillows because the party might surge through the night and into the morning hours.

Save some money and ask everyone to bring a dish. Serve your guests ruby red Razzmapolitans with frozen raspberries as a garnish. Put out your favorite party food, such as stuffed olives and pecan tapas. When someone asks for the recipe, act distracted and change the subject.

Who's got a disco ball? Bring your favorite iPod party mix and dance in your sock feet. Drag out the board games to see who is Parcheesi master and who is all talk. For real fun, try Truth or Dare (and pick Dare, this time) or play "Spin the Bottle." There should be an empty bottle or two by this point.

By the next morning, your guests will be in need of an afterglow breakfast with strong coffee. Have a few easy choices on hand to offer the party-weary, like sausage, biscuits and cinnamon rolls. The morning after, you're not trying to impress; you're spreading your healing powers to the masses.

Make it a Valentine's Day that you and your friends will remember. Don't let the smug couples have all the fun. You're single and probably having a better time than they are anyway. Live it up!

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