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Those guys who show up at your door offering to paint house numbers on your curb.

People who hand out flyers on street corners.

Reality TV programming.

Valentine’s Day.

What do all these things have in common?

All of these creep up on you and get in your face and won’t go away until you mace them. Or pull the plug. Or both.

It’s February and, as I write this, happens to be Valentine’s Day. Seems like a good chance to tackle at least one of these scourges petty annoyances of daily life elements of popular culture that makes life great. The truth is, though, that Valentine’s Day can be rough. it can reinforce for single people how lonely they are or, at least, how lonely everyone else thinks single people should be. Even people with valentines can be stressed out by the pressure of living up to someone’s V-Day expectations. I hear you. (Really. I do. Stop making that noise. It’s annoying.) I know you have post-traumatic-valentine-disorder right now, but we’ll get through this.

Since it’s impossible to pull the plug on Valentine’s Day without destroying the greeting card economy, thereby necessitating a White House- lead bailout involving Joe Biden dressed as Cupid, we need another approach. Here, then, is my seven-day valentine recovery plan:


(Supplies: Trench coat with deep pockets. A couple dozen live mice. If they look unwell, all the better.)

Drive by that restaurant you couldn’t afford/that lost your reservation/where you got stood up. Wearing the trenchcoat, casually stroll into the dining room and even more casually (you may need to practice this at home – what else do you have to do, my valentine-less friend?) dump the couple dozen mice out of your coat pockets, then scream, “This place is infested with vermin!” Sure, you’ll never be able to eat at Wendy’s again, but its a small price to pay for revenge against an establishment that really never did anything to you.


(Supplies: A phone. A credit card. A voice.)

You know how all your friends got flowers delivered to them at the office an every time the dude walked in with another bouquet, you got all excited? For nothing? Because it wasn’t for you. Again. Well, here’s how you get the thing almost as good as love: revenge. Just call up your local florist and order forty-nine bouquets to be delivered. An even fifty is even better. Here’s the best part: when the delivery van rolls up, don’t answer the door! Ha! Zing!


(Supplies: a pen)

Go to the greeting card shop and draw wee-wee’s and pee-pees in as many cards as you have ink.


Go somewhere there are lots of couples, like a bar or skating rink, or jail or porn shop. The typical places. Then heckle them, they should feel bad for being happy relationship people. It’s only right.


(Supplies: lots of free time)
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Shiny happy people holding hands. Turning lead into gold. It’s all about the bling, am I right?

I assume there’s statistics on it if I wasn’t too lazy to look, but I suspect jewelry stores rake in a ton of money at Valentine’s Day. But not from you, single person. Yet there they are, all shiny and elegant. If you just buy the perfect pendant or watch you’re beloved will be yours forever. That’s ruby-encrusted baloney, my friend. Hurts, doesn’t it? So, all you do is go to every jewelry store in the mall and browse. That’s it. Just shop. Because….inevitably, some helpful salesperson will offer to take something out of the display case for you. So you let them. Then you ask to see something else. And something after that. Keep it up until you’ve gotten every item of inventory right down to the salesperson’s Doctor Who cuff links. Then you say, “Thanks, but I’m gonna shop around a bit.” And walk out. Go to the next jewelry store and repeat. Feel better? Stop at the kiosk with the dippin dots on the way. It’ll help.


(Supplies: guitar, piano, mandolin, spoons, armpit, anything musical)

What’s the most romantic thing you can do for someone you love?

No, the other thing, sicko.

Right. You can write them a song! Something sweet and funny – or epic or gushy – from the heart.

And what kind of song should you write of your single and jilted? Well, I’ll leave that to you. But I do think somewhere the lyrics should include the words crap-weasel and doody-face.


(Supplies: the price of admission)

Your true love loved opera, right? Or theatre? Or films featuring some combination of hot tubs, time machines, killer robots, or period dress?

But then there was that one Valentine’s Day your one and only left you stranded in the lobby with a jumbo popcorn and two unused tickets. Want to get over that? Here’s how: go to the next show, find a seat in the front row and…

Just enjoy. It’s a pretty good show. Have a little “me” time. Just be in the moment. Take a second to enjoy how your ex couldn’t get a ticket. Then move on. Life is too short for regret and revenge.

Maybe get some Junior Mints too.


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