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Lex Erath | Sugar & Spice

Make the 14th Your B****

Published: Monday, February 10, 2014

Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 06:02

I wonder how many of us actually look forward to Valentine’s Day. As in a completely genuine, totally unadulterated longing for the 14th of February. If you really consider it, it’s got to be a pretty small percentage, don’t you think?

You’ve got the girls who are too busy dropping enormously obvious hints to their beleaguered boyfriends and gossiping with fellow hinters about the big day to actually feel real anticipation for the holiday itself. Then there’s the aforementioned beleaguered boyfriend, who spends all of February frantically trying to predict all of his girlfriend’s ever-changing wishes and, even more dangerous, trying not to fall prey to misleading comments where she’s thinking you-better-not-believe-me-when-I-tell-you, “Oh, let’s not make a big deal of it this year. I don’t need flowers to know how you feel about me.” (Get the flowers.)

Then we’ve got the lonely hearts: the single girls who aren’t sharing the 14th with anyone except their Netflix account and the chocolates they bought themselves. They’ll spend the night drinking away their sorrows with cheap wine and cursing the authors of last month’s Cosmo article “How to Snag a Guy by Valentine’s Day.” And we’ve got the intended snag-ees: the guys spending V-Day alone. You think they’d be the happiest of the lot, but the masterminds behind Valentine’s Day — Hallmark and Hershey’s — have done an excellent job of glamorizing the holiday to “sell the dream” to anyone. Their advertisements are so masterfully crafted that even a single guy might fall prey and find himself secretly wanting to curl up and snuggle in front of the latest Nicholas Sparks movie. 

So after all that, what’s a hinting girlfriend/beleaguered boyfriend/wine-drunk girl/“Notebook”-quoting boy to do? How do you beat the system? The answer is simple and sort of Matrix-esque: just flip all of society’s expectations of you and realize you’re happier doing exactly what won’t make Hallmark any money.

It’s a little-known fact (I blame the Godiva-Hallmark conspiracy) that breaking up with a significant other on Valentine’s Day isn’t actually frowned upon, but actually encouraged. The 14th is all about love, commitment, and relationships, and your now-ex (after they’re done keying your car) will eventually realize that you took this holiday seriously and truly examined your relationship, and they will probably even thank you for it. (Mark my words, in five years’ time there will be a new holiday on the 15th of February called National Rebound Day).  

Single gals, use this Friday as an excuse to kick-start your new workout regimen. Instead of eating your weight in chocolatey carbohydrates or drowning your sorrows in alcohol, hit the gym and sweat out all your frustrations (Bonus — you’ll look hot for Rebound Day!). And single guys, instead of playing beer pong with your buddies and bragging about how you can’t be tamed (you can), fulfill your real wishes and binge-watch every Ryan Gosling rom-com out there. Just don’t go get inspired and make a grand romantic gestures to a girl you usually ignore — that’s best left to Taylor Swift’s music videos or Ryan himself. Indulge your inner preteen girl just for this one night, and wake up the next morning safely single and swearing never to do it again.

There you have it: a foolproof method to avoiding V-Day tears that’s more reliable than your best waterproof mascara. If you choose to go the traditional hearts-chocolates-and-flowers route, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Love hurts!


Lex Erath is a sophomore who has not yet declared a major. She can be reached at

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