Ah, to be young and in love. Or, heck, even old and in love for that matter. Because, after all, love is a many-splendored thing. Love makes the world go round. Love is all you need. Or ... insert cliche or cheesy song lyric of your choice here.
Yes, for the love-privileged, life at Valentine's Day is definitely coming up roses - even if they do cost a hundred bucks a dozen.
But let's be honest...whatever our reasons might be, not all of us love Valentine's Day. The foremost members of the anti-Valentine's Day school have got to be the Singletons. The lovesick and forlorn. This day fills us with bitterness and angst. It is nothing but a pink and glittery reminder that we are alone...terribly, desperately alone. It is bad enough to be companionless, but all the exaggerated romance and - some might say - emotional hooey which glorify love simply add insult to injury. This blasted holiday merely rubs salt in our wounds...or, maybe that's the dust of a thousand pulverized candy hearts.
Yet while the unattached may be swingin' solo in reality, they are definitely not alone in their beliefs. Interestingly, many of those who were the most vehemently opposed to the occasion were actually in happy and successful relationships.
Paige Stephenson, a Dallas resident, has been blissfully married for 25 years. "I hate Valentine's Day! It's a ridiculous holiday," she says. "Why do you need a special day to show your love? You should show it all the time." Okay, fair enough.
Dominque Brock, a native New Orleanian from Gentilly, also married, shared Stephenson's sentiments. "Don't give me gifts on that particular day. I'll get angry!" (Let it be noted that Dominique is perfectly happy to receive gifts any other day of the year). Raluca H., a local bartender who is engaged, feels that "Valentine's Day is really just an excuse for people to get laid.'
But love is a beautiful thing. So how can we be so cynical in the face of all the Valentine's Day warmth and fuzziness?
They say life is like a box of chocolates. And around Valentine's Day, life - just like your average mass-produced box of V-Day chocolates - is overpriced, hard to swallow, and sickeningly sweet. And, if I may carry the analogy even further - if you are actually looking for a date for the Big Day, good luck. Dating subjects you even more so to a box-of-chocolates existence: full of people who are deceptively appealing on the outside but very often nuts underneath.
There is plenty to be said for both sides of the equation. But like it or not, the holiday is here. So what do you do if the very thought of Valentine's Day leaves you seeing red?
Here are a few activities to consider if you really just want to tell Cupid where to stick that arrow:
1) Throw an "I Hate Valentine's Day" party. Invite all your friends, even the ones your ex got in the break-up. Make giant, poster-sized photocopies of pics of all your exes, tape them up, and play Pin-the-Tail on the Jackass.
2) Do something touristy. Take a stroll down Bourbon Street. Nothing takes your mind off all things dreamy and amorous like various forms of debris and swill. Or, though it may seem trite and overly obvious, you could also go on one of those voodoo tours (Haunted History Tours offers one that is a good bet). You are sure to pick up a few pointers on how to put a hex on former lovers and other adversaries, which is a skill most of us wish for at some point in our lives. It is bound to come in handy far beyond the holiday. Even better, take a cemetery tour. Fingers crossed that you might run into someone you used to date there.
3) If voodoo isn't a point you want to add to your resume, learn something else. Take a class. Read a book. Study a new language. Do something productive, like organizing your closet or alphabetizing your DVD's. It will stop you from sitting around feeling sorry for your dateless self, and you'll look that much smarter and cooler for the next potential companion who comes along.
4) Give Valentine's Day the ol' kiss-off by opting for the antithesis of love. Try to find the most unromantic activity out there, like, say, bowling. Or a trip to the urologist. I guarantee that watching Wrestlemania will be a real elbow in Valentine's Day's face.
5) Embrace your singleness. Go out - God forbid - alone. Or make it Ladies' Night, or 'Bros' Night Out. Eat chocolate anyway. Drink champagne in a go-cup. Buy roses for yourself (if it won't take a week's salary). Be the bigger person by proving that you aren't going to let the big V get you down.
If none of the above is your cup of tea, I asked a few people to make suggestions of what they would consider to be the perfect anti-Valentine's Day activity.
"Go out and try to break up all the happy couples." --Rachad Rad, Metairie
"Make black-frosted cupcakes and watch horror movies." --Marissa Riera, Mid-City
"While my old roommate was out on a date for Valentine's Day, my friends and I used to stay home and sabotage her gifts. We took bites out of her chocolates and put them back in the box, so when she opened them later every single piece was half-eaten." --Danielle Miller, Baton Rouge
"Call up all your exes' parents for a good chat and a cry." --Mike Wells, New York City