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I’m just going to come out and say it: Valentine’s Day is the worst. If you’re single: duh, it sucks. Even the most confident, well-adjusted singleton is bound to get a little cranky after they see 50 couples publicly making out in one day. If you’re in a committed relationship: I hate to break it to you, but chances are you’re either going to disappoint or be disappointed with your or your partner’s romantic efforts. If you’re somewhere in between single and mutually in love, you may have it the worst of all: the day is a veritable minefield of commercially manufactured expectations, poised to ruin your casual arrangement.

Even for a closet-romantic like myself, this holiday is so crammed full of tacky crap and problematic messages about romance that it’s pretty damn hard to enjoy. The best case scenario would be to ignore the day altogether, and save your mushy-gushy feelings for a day when they might actually come across as sincere; but society seems so intent upon shoving this holiday in our faces that this is nigh impossible.

The next best option? Indulge your inner cranky-pants and express your heartfelt distaste for the holiday in whatever way suits you best. This is the day where you can finally justify unleashing your most bitter, cynical inner-self, so revel in it! Here are ten ways to protest, ignore, or otherwise express disdain towards Valentine’s Day this year.

1.) If you really just want to pretend this holiday doesn’t exist, then there’s no shame in hiding from it. Liz Lemon may have had the right idea when she scheduled a root canal on Valentine’s day, even if it didn’t pan out too well in the end. Learn from her mistake and simply call in sick; then, I recommend a lazy day in bed with mimosas and violent movies.

Personal favorite movie choices for Valentine’s Day: Battle Royale, Kill Bill (either volume), or Death Proof. What can I say; Tarantino does strong, violent women well.

2.) Send any one/all of these valentines to people:

3.) Inevitably, people are going to ask you if you have plans for Valentine’s Day. This is particularly true for those of you with significant others, but with all of today’s events for singles, no one is safe. So, every time someone asks you if you have any special plans for the day, describe in elaborate, uncomfortable detail a romantic evening that you will be spending with… your favorite sex toy. For example:

Nosey Person: So, any plans for Valentine’s Day?

You: Yeah! I’ve bought a ton of scented candles and stuff for a romantic bubble bath with wine and music.

NP: Who’s the special guy?

You: That would be my vibrator, Steve! He’s waterproof.

Note: This works for most sex toy preferences! (“Well, my butt plug and I are going to the movies…”)

4.) Pretend it’s April Fools Day instead. Just play pranks on people all day, and give them strange looks when they mention this “Valentine’s” thing that you know nothing about.

5.) Alternately, invent your own significance for the day. Liz Lemon coined this one too with Anna Howard Shaw Day, the holiday honoring suffragette Anna Howard Shaw on her birthday, February 14th. A happy Anna Howard Shaw day
to us all!

6.) When in doubt, revert to pyromania. Dig a fire pit in your backyard, add a season’s worth of Valentine’s paraphernalia, and gather ‘round the flames with friends, booze, and S’mores… or, ya know, host a pagan orgy around it.
Whatever floats your boat.

Note: As awful as they may be, I do not recommend trying to burn those stuffed animals that have plush hearts mysteriously sewn on to their paws – I have a feeling the synthetic fur would release toxic fumes when ignited.

7.) Stage a live performance art piece expressing your feelings about Valentine’s Day. This should obviously reflect your own creative vision, but here’s my own ode to performance artist Carolee Schneemann as an example:

Strip naked and slather yourself in red paint. Proceed to extract individual candy hearts one by one out of your vagina (If you don’t have a vagina, other *ahem* orifices may be substituted). Each candy heart would feature a unique message to an ex-lover. Read each message aloud, eat the candy heart, and proceed to the next one. Repeat until you run out of exes.


8.) If you have a (tolerant, understanding) significant other, simply boycott Valentine’s Day altogether by refusing to see them for 24 hours.

9.) Carry candy hearts around all day and use them as anti-PDA devices: whenever a couple gets too cozy in your presence, chuck a candy heart at them. Bonus points if you get candy custom-made with “GET A ROOM” printed on them for this purpose.

10.) Ok, I’ll tone down my snark for a moment to point out there are several legitimate anti-Valentine’s Day events happening in D.C. On Wednesday, Mothertongue will be holding their annual “Anti-Valentine’s Day” slam.  Washingtonian magazine is hosting a Singles Soiree on Thursday at Penn Social that they’re claiming is “The Anti-Valentine’s Day Party.” If you would rather avoid anything with the word “Single” in it, Black Tassel Boolesque will be performing “Black Heart Burlesque: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Show” at The Bier Baron that night as well. And as always, check out the BYT Agenda for tons of other events that don’t reinforce the patriarchy.