Forks and Spoons: Wait ’til Feb. 15 for romantic notions of love

Tuesday is the day that makes couples everywhere convulse with dread: Valentine’s Day.

Single people have got Love Day made – no presents to buy, no dinner reservations at an overpriced restaurant to justify drinking whole bottles of wine, the opportunity to eat a metric ton of chocolate and the possibility of a booty call.

Couples, on the other hand, have to drop bank for a mediocre dinner at the Top of the Hub or the like.

Poor guys have to scour jewelry stores because “diamonds are forever” and poor girls have to scour Victoria’s Secret because nothing is hotter than a garter belt and thigh-highs.

Then there is this lingering pressure to have sex. The handcuffs you buy your boyfriend or girlfriend for Love Day should not be a metaphor for your valentine’s erotic endeavors. I mean, it’s Valentine’s Day, and, in the name of all things lovey-dovey, you should probably have sex, because there are horny people on campus who haven’t been laid in a while.

But sex is much more fun when you just do it because you want to, not because of a feeling of social obligation.

I have been at odds with Valentine’s Day since the fourth grade. The chubbiest kid in my class gave me a valentine with a “Sealed With a Kiss” (SWAK, if you will) sticker on it, and let everyone know that they actually SWAK-ed it. Nothing is more embarrassing in fourth grade. Very Lisa and Ralph: “I ch-ch-choose you.”

One of the many people I burned through in high school waited until February 15th to “officially” ask me out, so they didn’t have to actually buy me anything. Yet another year of walking through the halls without a red carnation.

Last year, I told the person I was dating that I “didn’t want anything for Valentine’s Day.” They thought I was serious.


This was a lie. I wanted to be “surprised.” Single red rose. Candlelit dinner. I know. I’m such an evil creature. I blame it on the media.

Actually, my two best Valentine’s Days to date had nothing to do with relationships at all. In high school, I cranked Alanis Morrissette’s “Jagged Little Pill,” ate the truffles my mom gave me and burned all the crap from the kid who, a couples weeks before the elusive Valentine’s Day, had destroyed what little faith in relationships I had left. Two years ago, my roommate and I decided spontaneously to drive to Manhattan. We stayed in the Hilton and drank a case of wine, danced on bars and shopped until our Visas almost cracked into pieces.

I am not a cynic of love; I have been in love a couple times. I am currently madly in love. Love is fantastic. Feeling like someone actually gets you and knows you and doesn’t run away screaming is a relief.

I am a cynic, however, of any day that demands I prove my love by spending tons of money on stuff that in the end might be worthless.

All the stuffed animals and mementos from the disaster I call my last relationship are sitting in giant shopping bags in my closet at my parents’ house.

Last summer I pawned the presents my ex got me for Valentine’s Day 2001 because I needed money for books for the fall.

I don’t think that was exactly what St. Valentine had in mind.

So, all those couples trying to get through Feb. 14 with minimal damage: Just be yourselves. Don’t try and deny what kind of couple you are. Since you’re supposedly celebrating mutual love for each other (that’s the whole point of this stupidity, right?) and celebrating yourselves as a couple, do something signifying that.

My Valentine and I are a Thai-or-Mexican-restaurant type, not an expensive-restaurant-for-the-sake-of-spending money type. Because we know and respect each other, there are no CVS teddy bears or hearts full of weird chocolates we wouldn’t eat anyway.

I know dressing up and going all out is fabulous, but save it for a day that actually matters to both of you, not the arbitrary holiday that doesn’t even get us out of class.

I mean, at least you get to start drinking heinous amounts of Guinness at 8 a.m. on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Saint Patrick. Now there’s a stand-up guy. He kept it real.

To all my dear singles: Celebrate no red carnations! I beg you not to mope around because you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

We’re not 14 anymore. Those whines are ineffective. Be happy that you are in a 20-something-saturated college town dripping with gorgeous men and women who just want to have fun. If you can’t do that, for God’s sake, call me and I’ll do it for you.

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