How to Survive Valentines Day When You’re Single
So the holiday was made up by Hallmark to sell cards, so what? They win, ok. Everyone has to deal with this bullshit. But we don’t have to deal with it in the same way. We can fight back. We can win this thing. We just have to not fall into the echoing void of seeking loneliness that threatens to swallow our identities and accomplishments in a deluge of thwartment and despair. And not buy each other cards.
Remember Love is Just Some Word We made Up
Our concept of Romantic love, the kind from Romantic Comedies that star nonthreatening but pretty enough women, was invented about 800 years ago. You see, marriage was a contract and often had little to do with the people getting married. Your family would make the arrangements and you were expected to consent. There really wasn’t any apparatus to live with another person outside of marriage so that was pretty much the whole show. Courtly Love, the kind Guinevere had for Lancelot, started out as subversive rebellion against the the church’s spiritual definition of marriage. “Fuck you Pope NeverNude! I’ll wrap my “favors” around any knights “lance” I want to!” This idea, love for loves sake, was innovative. Today, marriage is no longer a contract to secure ourselves financial or crank out some kids, it’s a journey of self-actualization we take with another person. Oh, and it’s less successful than the Chinese space program. Look, all I’m saying is that these people with their sweets and their paper hearts and chocolate and their eyes locking in fleeting moments of intimacy hinting at lifelong love and understanding are just fooling themselves. They are puppets dancing on Nicholas Sparks‘s strings, and they are not fooling anyone.
Distract yourself with old movies.
You might think TV is a good option to distract yourself. Bad idea. This weekend will be wall-to-wall romance movies. TV is tempting, I mean, it’s right there and it’s oh so comforting. This is all TV is really: the repetition of familiar tropes and the visitation of broadly drawn characters. The reason we have favorite filmmakers is because we can depend on their style to trigger our memories. I mean, Seth Macfarlane’s whole career is nothing but a series of references to trigger a nostalgia response. Perhaps you’re above all that. Perhaps not. Here is Audrey Hepburn singing moon river.
How did that make you feel? Safe? Good. We are just getting started. Here are over 600 movie classics you can watch for free online. Be careful though, some of these films have two people who, initially encountering friction in their relationship, come to the conclusion they are in love by the stories end and share some large portion of their lives together. Fuck that noise! We avoid theaters this weened just to stay away from that crap. Here are some safe bets that won’t make you feel feelings:
Tim Burton’s first animated film and a autobiographical tale about a young boy who wants to be Vincent Price. Narrated by Vincent Price. No, really.
Dziga Vertov made this experiential film in an attempt to capture “real life.” No story, no characters, no dialogue. Just like your last two relationships! The difference with this is the editing makes it interesting to watch.
The infamous cult classic considered by many to be the worst film ever made. Even if you’ve reached the point of exhausted cynicism where you don’t laugh at bad movies anymore, this masterpiece will fascinate you be the overwhelming power of its sheer incompetence. Staring Bella Lugosi. All better? Did it work? Good, great, wonderful. Ducky. Ok, maybe it didn’t. Maybe you still look in the mirror and see a person with features society does not consider valuable. Maybe you are a person of above average intelligence dwelling in a world made by people of average intelligence for people of low intelligence. Maybe light hearted hipster hi-jinks are not enough to get you through these dark times. Very well. That leaves us just one option.
Read Outboard Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair by Edwin Sherman.
Sure, your highschool friend just got engaged, and look, they are taking couples pictures already. This one in from of house makes them look like American gothic, and that one is them kissing on the beach as they waves roll over their pressed bodies in the sun. Sure, you could flip through those. Hell, they have a album of them. Or, alternatively, you could learn the ins and outs of outboard motor maintenance.
Yes sir, no meaningful relationships to depress you inside one of those diesel powered puppies. Why spend another hour browsing engagement rings you’re never going to get online when you could be learning how to check your stator winding so the charging system is in good working order? Sure, your friend, the one that;s the same age as you,maybe younger, knows what she is going to name her second child, but does she know how to perform a trim tab adjustment? I didn’t think so. Ok, fine. I get it. Everyone already knows everything there is to know about outboard engines and this is just a waste of time. Let’s just go ahead and do it. let’s just go ahead and…
Give-in and Wallow in Self-loathing and Despair.
Never let it be said you don’t have options. You could, if it is your pleasure, scan the social media of your attached friends and see the messages they have crafted for one another, gawking at their bejeweled fingers and mewing at the contrived images of frolicking they have posted. Or you could read this letter by some dead guy. Or you could, if you have a mind to, partake of the romantic stories and music your corporate masters have prepared for your consumption. You could start by watching this:
Nobody loves no one.