Have you had sex with three different people named Matt in the last year? Do you only go on Tinder when you're drunk and play it like a video game, then have to deal with messages from guys in business school asking, "How curvy?" Have you tried explaining to straight girls that they can't identify as queer if they only try to hook up with women when their ex-boyfriend posts something about his "journey" on Instagram? Did you just get out of a two-year relationship with a man who may or may not have worked out because he was technically married for the first half of it? We've all been there!
Whether you're sad about being single, or empowered to be single, or sad but pretending you're empowered, or empowered but pretending you're sad, give yourself a gift this Valentine's Day. Just embrace it. In so many ways, society prioritizes relationships because they promote wealth and are an accepted/easy narrative of love, but not having them is great, too. This year, embrace the nothingness that everything is spiraling towards anyway. Take yourself on a date! Alone. Without another person. Here are some fun ideas of things to do in the city on Valentine's Day when you're single:
1. Gene's Parking Lot
Yes, the small one that only has three diagonal spots between the food part and the daiquiri part of Gene's, where, if you're not careful, your car can get trapped for the better part of an hour. First of all, Beyonce's been there. So maybe you'll see Beyonce. Stranger things have happened. Second, you're in a great spot here to remember all the books you like to read. Did you remember that you like reading? It's not very valued in relationships because you can't do it with another person (and please don't try, gross), and people just try to see on first dates if they want to screw you based on the dead men you've read. But by itself, it's very good and you like it. Don't read here, you'll look literally insane, but just stand and remember. Then get a daiquiri with an extra shot and masturbate to literotica online when you get home. Look at how cultured you are! Bonus: You're very far from any restaurant that has tea candles on all the tables, so the likelihood of seeing aggressive hand-holding here is low.
Gene's Curbside Daiquiris/Gene's Po-Boys, 1034 and 1040 Elysian Fields Ave., (504) 309-4634/(504) 943-3861
2. Bike Ride Through City Park
Have you ever wanted to go on a bike ride, but someone else didn't have their bike? Or didn't own a bike at all? Or didn't even know how to ride a bike? The only thing you need to worry about now is yourself and Donald Trump's Twitter, but let's forget that one for a second. The park is so beautiful and serene, and if you go just at the right time, you can see some tourists eating their first beignets while they don't think about how unethical Airbnb is at all! Also, how many times did you not wear your helmet because you thought it didn't look cute or would mess up your hair? Now that you're single, you can protect yourself from a fatal brain injury at ANY time, because who cares? Protect that noggin! (Also, people look cute in helmets.)
City Park, 1 Palm Dr., (504) 482-4888, neworleanscitypark.com
3. New Orleans Museum of Modern Art (NOMA)
Lots of the museums are free for residents on Wednesday, so take yourself there. Read the captions of people who died after being rejected by their lovers, or drank themselves into oblivion because someone didn't return their scroll or whatever, and feel the freedom of not having to worry about that at all. Now, find the people who lived alone in the woods. Good art, right? Has anyone in love ever made any good art? Probably not; they're too busy trying to rearrange the one blanket they're both sharing. Just get another blanket!
NOMA, 1 Collins Diboll Cir., (504) 658-4100, noma.org
4. Port of Call
Did you think that eating half a pound of beef and a full baked potato was only for people in love? Think again. There's no better way to assert your dominance over singledom than by showing it that you can consume a hamburger with the weight of a small dog. Get in there! Bonus: There's always a line, but you know the number of seats it's always fastest to find? One. You'll be in and out before some of these idiots realize they're screwing someone whose middle name they don't even know.
Port of Call, 838 Esplanade Ave., (504) 523-0120, portofcallnola.com
5. Prytania Theatre
Did you know that on Wednesday mornings, the Prytania shows old movies for $5? And did you know that at 10:00 a.m. in Uptown, you can see middle-aged couples regretting every life choice they've ever made? It's not 9:00 a.m., when everyone is busy waking up and getting to work, and it's not 11:00 a.m., when people are looking forward to lunch. 10:00 a.m. is the witching hour for examining your life and finding it lacking, ESPECIALLY for realizing that you have to compromise with someone named after a boat about what to order when you get Chinese food. When you're single, nothing is a compromise. Everything is exactly what you want! Do you want that movie theater butter even though you know it's just thick yellow dye? Get it! Do you want Junior Mints because they're the only candy your mom used to eat that isn't red licorice and that means something to you? Get them! 10:00 a.m. is our time.
Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St., (504) 891-2787, theprytania.com
6. Kajun's Pub
If you thought karaoke was a group activity, I understand where you're coming from, but you're wrong. Think about it, what's the only bad part about karaoke? The shame of messing up in front of people we love! Because who could love you after hearing you go sharp on the male part of "Summer Lovin'"? Probably no one. BUT, all you have to do is remove that part (people you love) and only the good parts are left. You have a perfect singles' activity. No more waiting for everyone to go up at least once to sign up for your second song, no more having to buy shots for everyone every time you get up to get one; only the pure true love of you on an empty stage with the background noise of a Rihanna song surrounding you. If you're asking yourself, "But who would I look at for strength while I sing?" YOURSELF, BITCH! Stare into your own shiny dead eyes in the reflection of an empty Corona bottle that is ALWAYS on that table closest to the stage (how is it always there?) and finally SEE yourself, maybe for the first time.
Kajun's Pub, 2256 St. Claude Ave., (504) 947-3735, kajunpub.com
7. Fulton Alley
Bowling! Bowling is so much fun. Imagine being able to do it without having to wait 15 to 20 minutes in between turns. Imagine if you were all the turns. Look, here's what you do. Wake up early. Put on some good socks (but not too good, these are for rental shoes). Take an Uber cause it's cheaper than paying for parking. Are we inside a hotel, having an affair with the mayor? Is this a bank in outer space? No. That's just what Fulton Alley looks like. It's cool in there! Buy a lane. Enter yourself for all the players and have some fun with it. Do you want each person to be a different Mariah Carey album? The cast of Friends? Cat names you are deciding between? It can be anything you want. Now, order some chicken strips and a pitcher of beer that YOU like. This day is about you.
Fulton Alley, 600 Fulton St., (504) 208-5593, fultonalley.com
8. Pirate Alley/Jackson Square
Have you ever wondered what your future holds? Did you know that there's a woman right now wearing a wrap skirt and a bandana sitting at a folding table in the Quarter who knows what it is? Go get your fortune read! A fun strategy is to tell them a fake name first, so you can tell if they're legit; only listen to the one who guesses you gave them a fake name. Sit down. See what the ancient art of tarot has to say about that weird sext you got from your old coworker. Ask her if you should get your real estate license. The only soulmate we have is our sense of self-worth!
You heard me. There's chocolate and wine in there, and beautiful heart decorations that you are allowed to get. There's no law that says you can't. Get them and decorate your house for yourself. Or your feminist book club. Or your dog who will appreciate it subconsciously. Part of the fun things about holidays is that the world looks different for a day and you don't have to be included, or even practicing whatever the holiday is about, to experience that. Christmas lights? There's no gene where Jewish people can't see those. Those are for everyone. So, get some sparkly red and pink hearts, hang them up, and be happy you're alive! Put on Missy Elliot and dance while you drink an entire bottle of red wine. It's heart healthy.
CVS, Various Locations, cvs.com
Why not? Check it out; it's where we're all going anyway. (Unless you want to be cremated or turned into a tree or "never found.") There is something poetically balanced about doing Halloween stuff on Valentine's Day when you're single, which is why I highly recommend a horror movie marathon with lots of candy and only the friends you like. Happy Valentine's Day!
New Orleans Cemeteries, Various Locations, saveourcemeteries.org