We all know what people who don’t like Valentine’s Day say. It’s a greeting-card holiday. It’s a money-making ploy. It’s an occasion to be disappointed — disappointed by an under delivering spouse, an overpriced and -hyped meal, a high-pressure date. Or maybe you’re alone this year and that bums you out, too.
Here’s how I like to look at it. Love is a many-splendored thing, right? I love my partner but I also love my cat. I love binge-watching TV. I love playing “Stardew Valley,” and I love Indian food.
So if you’re irritated by this most saccharine of holidays, change your perspective. Because even if we are talking about regular partner/spousal love, love is actually really hard and gross and inconsistent and weird and temperamental. If we’re going to celebrate, let’s do it realistically.
Watch movies about real love
“Blue Valentine” follows a couple as they struggle to stay in love. It’s gritty and hard. It’s not pretty. There’s a Ryan Gosling sex scene in this movie and it’s STILL not pretty. Loveless this year? “Blue Valentine” will bring you back to earth and maybe just be grateful you’re single.
Feed yourself the foods you love
I’m just going to assume the food you love is pasta, because it’s a food a lot of us love. It’s also a food that has the unfortunate labeling of “carbohydrate” so a lot of us are taught to avoid it. Forget that.
Making your own pasta is actually super easy and super fun. And the result is unbelievably flavor, too. Plus, it’s cheap. It’s just egg and flour, for the most part, and this pasta roller machine is so cheap.
Make yourself a delicious meal because you love to eat delicious meals and you love yourself. Give yourself what you want.
Listen to your fave records
A bottle of wine and a stack of your favorite records (on this player) will do plenty for your happiness quotient. Turn up the volume. Dance. Sing the lyrics at the top of your lungs. Who needs a bunch of votive candles strewn about a dark bedroom when you have wine and your favorite songs?
A new blanket
Take a long, warm bath. Get very clean and rosy and warm. Put your PJs on. Snuggle in on the couch with a brand-new super-soft blanket. It doesn’t matter what you do after this point. This is what love should actually feel like.
Get yourself a gift
One thing I love but also take for granted is ice. I know that sounds stupid, but I get ice-tray anxiety. I’ve got one of those bowls in my freezer to catch my ice backlog so I’m always stocked up. But still I envy people with ice-makers so much. YOU CAN BUY A COUNTERTOP ICE-MAKER. And you should. Because it’s Valentine’s Day and you deserve to have as much ice as you want.
Because this is what Valentine’s Day is actually about: Loving yourself enough to get yourself the things you want. Enjoy it.