St. Hallmark day is fast approaching and I have yet to come up with a game plan. Even on the (admittedly rare) occasions that I have been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day I’ve found this a difficult challenge. I don’t really go in for $150 “Romantic Tasting Menus” or jewelry in poor taste (for goodness sakes gentlemen- what were you thinking?). The truly romantic gestures (moonlight, rose petals, home cooked meals, a signed copy of ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’) seem forced when they’re being performed on such a commercialized occasion. I am simply too cynical to suspend my disbelief, even when I am in love.
This year I am not in love, which means my options break down into the following four categories:
The Angry Event
These are events somehow based around a cynical dislike of romance, love, couples, the jewelry industry, the flower industry, the chocolate industry and especially Hallmark. In general these become anti-consumerist more than anything else. Beware of people drinking themselves into a stupor and/or trying to bitch about their ex’s to anyone within shouting range. Here are a few to consider:
- The Personal Media Mixer & Confessional Culture Variety Show @ Housing Works Bookstore- the memoirs are only 6 minutes long, some of them will be sung and the $ goes to a great cause. Housing Works is really a fantastic organization and if you’re going to be angry this Feb. 14th, this is a productive place for it!
- For a pre-Vday burst of anger head to Desert Island in Williamsburg Friday night to hear Koren Shadmi read from her new book ‘In the Flesh,’ a collection of macabre short stories about the perils of dating in Brooklyn.
- Ex-orcism Anti-Valentine’s Day Party @ Pourhouse– bring a photo of your ex and put it on the dart board; if you hit a bullseye your drinks are on the house!
The Singles Event
This is often some form of speed dating designed to help you find someone to be “romantic” with by the end of the night. Most of the people present are desperate, lonely and horny so attendance is really only advisable if you are also all three of those things. If you’re lucky there will be that one person who is attractive and dorky in the right way and miraculously feels the same way about you, in which case all you have to worry about is how to tell your friends you met at a singles event without sounding lame. In general however you’re more likely to end up in a room full of unattractive women trying not to look desperate and skeevy men trying to look classy. However, if you are feeling optimistic, check these out:
- Valentine’s Day @ Dewey’s Flatiron- you receive half a playing card at the door and if you can find the person with the other half you both get a free drink.
- Pull on some “formal attire” and head over to the posh Hudson Terrace for a Single’s Ball.
A bunch of friends hitting the town and trying to pretend it’s not Valentine’s Day! This can go splendidly, just as any night on the town can go splendidly. It can also devolve into a group therapy session in which you all cry about being alone and how hard it is to meet people and how you’re afraid you’ll never manage to sustain a relationship (do you really want to?). Judge your group carefully to determine if your outcome is likely to be positive and be careful not to end up at a bar that’s having some kind of “romantic special”. Some safe spots to get down with your girls:
- The Sounds Like Brooklyn Music Festival at BAM continues with Japanther and Ninjasonik, who are both likely to “shake the stage prodigiously.”
- Valentine’s Death Prom @ Studio B- the name is enough of a reason!
Stay home, eat grilled cheese, watch an action movie and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Ok, try not to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t think about your ex’s (or who they’re with now) and please please don’t think about that guy you’re sort of seeing (and don’t call him). To make this option a bit more positive try turning it into a romantic solo evening- think a long hot bath with marvelous bath products from Lee-lai (available at Sustainable NYC and Greenhouse Essentials and on their website) and some exquisite chocolate from Vosges.
Please try your best to enjoy St. Hallmark day! Let me know what you end up doing and be sure to add any events you hear about in advance!