After several weeks of suffering from the all-too-nauseating smell of long-stemmed roses and gourmet chocolates wafting past my nose, I was full of enough repressed rage to power a Bailey family reunion, and I am talking after Aunt Beverly has finished off a box (yes, a box) of wine.
Once again, it was Valentine’s Day. It came out of freaking nowhere!
The worst part of all was that it fell on a Friday night, so all of us singles had to sit at home, playing Kylie Minogue songs, throwing back White Russians and drunken dialing our TAs at 3 a.m.
About four pants into a call to my art history TA, it hit me: Valentine’s Day is no different from any other day. Why get all down on yourself for not having a special someone on February 14th of every year when there are 364 other days to feel like a loser too? I know, it seems obvious enough now, but at that moment, my veins ran hot with Kahlua.
If I wanted to survive this world as a single person, I was going to have to get up, wipe the tears and chocolate from my face and go ruin everyone else’s night!
Of course, there are many ways to torpedo the romantic soirees of others, so, in the interest of time and paper, I’ll only touch on the ones that won’t land you in the slammer. Believe me, it’s really not worth it. When they told me I was heading to “cellblock H” I thought it was this really hip new nightspot in the West Village. Once we got there, I found that there was nary a drink or disco ball in sight. It was, however, the only night in recent memory I didn’t spend alone.
First and foremost, there are the psychological attacks, specifically snide comments and bitchy away messages. Even if you’re sitting there looking at the American Kennel Club website, lie! Lie like the used car salesman I’ll one day have to be to afford food and soap (Did I mention that I’m an Art History major?)! The best fallacious away messages, of course, are the ones that glamorize inane activities.
For instance, when I want to the Kathy Ireland K-Mart maternity line trunk show at the Long Island Holiday Inn, my away message read something like: “I’m having drinks backstage with Donna Karan and the Hilton Sisters! I just LOOOOOOOVE cashmere and cosmos, don’t you?” Later, when people ask you questions like “I was at Donna Karan. Where were you?” or “Why do you smell like a seafood buffet?” you can make vague-yet-rash generalizations about the fashion show that can’t possibly be proven false. My own personal standby is as follows: “It was brilliant! This year is all about being sexy, being thin and being rich! Revolutionary!” If that doesn’t work, follow it up with an Ace of Base song lyric. They won’t know what hit ’em.
A more in-your-face manifestation of your angst and bitterness may be necessary to let other people know that you are single and you LOVE it.
If this is the case, I would recommend a trip to a local restaurant. A favorite of mine is Samurai. Just keep asking to be moved to a different table until you are right next to the cutest-looking couple in the joint, then order round after round of sake bombs.
It has been my experience that your fear of saying something like “I could be on a date if I wanted to!” or “Oh God! We hooked up last weekend! Be careful, bro, she’s like a petri dish!” dissolves to almost nothing in your little white ceramic cup. Inversely, however, the urge to race your friends to the bathroom, knocking over every chair on the way increases tremendously. This assault is probably best executed with a large group of people, not only because you can get louder, but also because you may need your “posse” to back you up when you start ripping into a rugby player’s girl. Trust me on this one. If you don’t have a “posse,” get one. Hella.
If all of these fail, you can do one of two things: go to a feminist pornography showing in the Women’s Center (I’ve been, and I’ll never come clean, plus the plot was really, really complicated), or just remember the immortal words of the 1970s oracle of relationship advice and wisdom, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” “Love is all around, no need to waste it/You could have the town, why don’t you take it?” Just head over to Chapel Street and hurl your little knit beret up into the air.
There’s nothing wrong with you, it’s all the other stupid people who aren’t asking you out! Mary was single and look where she is now! She’s a sassy vegetarian full of botox. One day, we should all be so lucky.
I give you all my ironclad guarantee: after ruining everyone else’s night, you might not feel better, you might not be allowed back into Samurai, you might even get the crap kicked out of you, but somewhere deep inside, you’ll know: they had a terrible date. And if that doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will.
If you don’t agree, then my only response can be “Listen up! It works! I’ve totally done all of this like, three hundred times!”
And if you still don’t agree, then to you I would just like to say “Don’t you ever consider giving up/You will find, oh oh oh/It’s a beautiful life.”
All that Bradley Bailey wants is another baby.