I’m a sappy romantic, generally filled with love and affection, and I’m currently planning a wedding to an equally sappy partner. And I’m telling you confidently that Valentine’s Day is a load of crap.
It’s a day filled with pressure that makes singles and couples alike feel awful more often than not. Everything is disposable and much too expensive. Everything is pink. People are either trying to take advantage of your happiness or ignore your misery. Well, I’m not gonna do that to you.
I don’t care about Valentine’s Day, but I do love love, in all its forms, so here are some ways to celebrate your loves without a prix fixe dinner or red roses.
1. Valentine’s Day
Make things for your partner. Breakfast, cards, gifts, dinner, whatever you make that they like, do that. Taking the time to make something for each other not only shows them how much you care, it also gives you a specific allotment of time to think about how much you appreciate them. If you’ve got someone you love who loves you back, you’re pretty lucky. Don’t take that for granted.
2. Galentine’s Day
Huntington Library, Art Collections, & Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, 91108
Yes, traditionally this should be spent consuming waffles with whipped cream and letting your girl friends know all of the reasons you appreciate and cherish them a la Leslie Knope. And if that’s the Galentine’s you prefer, you have my blessing. Otherwise, maybe grab a few of your finest women and spend the afternoon relaxing at the Huntington Library. Make a reservation at the Rose Garden Tea Room for immaculate and petite treats.
3. Dudenstine’s Day
T. Boyles Tavern, 37 N. Catalina Ave, Pasadena 91106
If you’re trying to avoid women, this is the place. A wide selection of beers, pool tables, darts, shuffle board, plenty of large flat screen TVs, and bar food staples make this the perfect setting for male bonding.
4. Kidenstine’s Day
The El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd, LA 90028
Though this may be the most commercial activity on the list, it may also be the most adorable. The El Capitan offers several family friendly screenings of Lady & the Tramp from the 9th to the 14th. Introduce your kids to a classic film and one of the hard truths about love: you’ll have to share your food. Yes, they offer plates of spaghetti before the show.
5. Solostine’s Day
Self love is the greatest love of all. Nobody knows you like you. So whatever it is that makes you the happiest, do that. If I were to choose my own Solostine’s, I’d likely tuck in some ear buds and go to the Norton Simon to take in the art and shut out other people’s conversations. Maybe follow that with a long run, a bath, a face mask, and something healthy but delicious delivered by a Postmate.
6. Grumpenstine’s Day
Videotheque, 1020 Mission St, South Pasadena 91030
If you’ve never had a Valentine’s Day where you just want to grump out and wallow, I don’t believe you. Embrace the wallow. Eat massive amounts of garlic, stay in your underwear, day drink, indulge in whatever treat makes you the gassiest, and revel in your little fart cave until the sun rises on February 15th. Of course you can binge on Netflix, et al, but if you want to get specific with your anti-romance, take a trip to Videotheque in South Pas. They have everything that streaming services lack. For light wallowing, try Ghost World, Saving Silverman, The First Wives Club, or High Fidelity; for a more cynical wallowing about how dark relationships can get, try Rosemary’s Baby, What Lies Beneath, or The Shining. If none of those do it for you, the documentary Crazy Love will make you feel fantastic about the single life.