I would like to start off this article by stating I understand that some people may be bitter towards February 14th’s rapid approach.  I used to be one of you.  The truth is at some point all of us have felt enraged, betrayed or even perplexed by Valentine’s Day.  How could you not?

Commercials oozing with over-romanticized destinations, restaurants offering amorous couple dinners and stores advertising gifts for, “that special someone,” it’s easy to understand how some people might feel slighted by a holiday that celebrates romantic relations.

So how does a “single” person celebrate Valentine’s Day?  Simple.  Grab some of your closest friends, the ones without significant others, and celebrate your freedom!  Think about it; you don’t have to worry about expensive chocolates, or wilting flowers.  All you need is your good companions and some imagination. 

One of my favorite past Valentine’s Day was spent with some of my best friends at the “I’m Not Bitter V-Day Bash.”

What can you and your “significant others” do?  To start, you can actually go out and enjoy those amorous couple dinners. 

Throw on the glitz, pull out your best suit and head out. 

Most restaurants don’t specify that the party be two people only.  So if you have an even group of single people you can easily couple up and enjoy the offers presented.  The bonus?  If you split the bill you can easily save a few bucks and put that money towards your next endeavor together.

If you’re feeling like more of a homebody this Valentine’s Day, why not have a small get together and watch some of your favorite movies.  One of my favorite past Valentine’s Day was spent with some of my best friends at the “I’m Not Bitter V-Day Bash.”  Yes, that really was the name of the event.  It was hosted by two of my favorite girlfriends, Sarah Eikmeier and Brittany Proudfoot, who believed no one should be alone on Valentines Day. 

Everyone brought something delicious to share and drinks were a plenty.  We spent the evening watching Spice World: The Movie and playing video games.  I cannot remember laughing harder or smiling more on any other Valentine’s Day.  The bonus here was that I didn’t have to stress over which size teddy bear would be an appropriate gift and there was no obligation to be romantic.

You could also choose to enjoy the day with your family.  Valentine’s Day isn’t just celebrating your romantic partners.  It’s also a day to spoil those you love dearly.  My Mom has made it a point each Valentine’s Day to give myself and my siblings something small to remind us we are loved.  The gifts have ranged in form; everything from chocolate, to stuffed toys, even personalized trinkets. 

No you don’t have to send your parents flowers or take your siblings out to dinner but if you’re like me and you want an excuse to spoil your loved ones what better excuse than Valentine’s Day?

Again, I understand that some of you may feel bitter towards this impending date.  One final piece of advice I have to offer is something that I admit is a bit corny but it works for me:  You are not the only person “alone” this Valentine’s Day, if you put yourself out there chances are you will have someone asking, “Will you be my Valentine?”  

Marty Hoegg choreographs and performs in Rent opening April 7 at the Inscape Theatre, Stevenson University.  Tickets are available to preorder.

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Lynda Dee, Esquire