Thursday, February 14, 2013

Romanconomics: VALENTINE'S DAY!

So it's Valentine's Day. As nerdy as it is, I think Valentine's Day is the greatest.

Fine. I surrender.
Why? You get to dress up, support the chocolate-producing segment of the economy, and consider all the romanconomics issues in your life for an entire day. Additionally, the internet produces some exceptionally snarky humor around Valentine's Day, and little kids give each other cards and sugar, which is the equivalent of an international ceasefire in the Second Grade. If that isn't utterly fantastic, I don't know what is.

Now, some people, Valentine's Day Grinches, as it were, dispute the above contentions loudly. Here are some of my favorite gripes:

Obviously, this guy is the devil
  • "Just another 'Single's Awareness Day - or SAD, as I call it.'" -The bitterly single 
  • "Saint Valentine was martyred, you know. That's awful." - The church-history snobs
  • "Valentine's Day is just another overly-commercialized holiday, tragically distant from anything resembling real, unconditional love." -The anti-capitalist hipster singles
  • "Valentine's Day is an evil conspiracy between Hershey's, Hallmark, and ProFlowers." - The anti-capitalist conspiracy-theory singles with impressive name brand specificity 
  • "My significant other and I like to be romantic ALL the time, not just one day a year" - The "Our love is saccharine, and it's giving everyone an artificial sweetener headache" couples
  • "Valentine's Day is a great day for watching plays about the feminist struggle, with names not appropriate for searchable blogs." - The artistically avant-garde and nauseatingly politically correct, who are neither single nor in a relationship, because they're beyond definitions
  • "[Insert holiday/event name here] is another example of masculine oppression and patriarchy ..."- The feminists (who have started just using a form letter to express their outrage over life)
  • "But we haven't been dating that long" - The reluctant gift-buyers
  • "Bummer - it's not Friday yet" - Everyone else

To overcome the weeping and gnashing of teeth, not to mention the siphon on the wallet, here are my Top 10 Cheap and Easy Things To Do this Valentine's Day!*

On the other hand, some
pieces deserve to die. 
1. Wear red/pink/white/hearts. Chances are good that you're underutilizing your wardrobe, so pull out something festive and get a great return on investment for that red sparkly sweater.

2. Actually give paper valentines. Give them to your coworkers, your family, your significant other. Buy some cheesy ones, or make something Pinterest-worthy. You can't go wrong here.

Also, you should buy
a cookie sheet.
3. Bake up something delicious. If you're a normal human, you can probably do this with what's in your pantry. If you're a college student in NYC, well, good luck finding baking soda at Trader Joe's.

4. Make dinner. "Eating in" is romantic and involves no crowds. Plus, if you live in Austin, it's 72 degrees and you could totally picnic. Self-conscious about cooking? Here are 37 people way worse than you.

5. Rent a movie. Considering Netflix, Hulu, and Redbox, this should be free/ridiculously cheap and provide hours of entertainment.

6. Buy a plant. Instead of sending flowers, which tend to be expensive and die a week later, try planting your own, or bringing a bit of life to your living room. I'm partial to windowsill basil.

7. Go dancing. Lots of gyms and rec centers have free or cheap classes that rarely require a partner. If you're in Texas, I've heard that two-stepping is manageable, even for the very rhythmically-challenged.
Yes. These actually exist.

8. Go star-gazing. Unless you live in the middle of the city, you can probably see a few twinklers. For bonus points, drive out to the middle of nowhere, pull off to the side of the road, spread out a blanket, and look at the night sky. The iPhone has a variety of free apps so you can impress your friends and neighbors with your knowledge of constellations.

9. Play board games. Or cards, or charades, or Pictionary, or whatever. There's something about trying to take over the world, or take over New Jersey real estate, or drawing a spaceship that more closely resembles a frisbee, that really brings people together.

10. Host a party, and do any combination of 1-9. Everyone is secretly sitting at home waiting for an invitation to do something this Valentine's Day.

But oh, I can hear it now. "Why didn't you post this BEFORE Valentine's Day?" Well, because earlier, you were too busy griping or making plans to listen to all my fantastic ideas. Plus, now it's the weekend, so you can make a few excuses and extend the fun. After all, don't you like doing these things more than once a year?

Someone else pulled a #10, so I got to celebrate #1-4 in:
Magenta sheath dress, black blazer with rolled sleeves, black and clear chunky necklace, pink rhinestone heart earrings, pink geometric ring, and gray patent pumps.

* No, Snooki doesn't count