Hey, fellow single people! If you've been whining about Valentine's Day and how you have no valentine, or crying out in disdain over the commercialization of holidays (c'mon, candy hearts said, "fax me" for years and it was hilarious), I have news for you. We've got plans on Tuesday. Think about, in reality, we have it best. We don't have to buy gifts, we don't have to pay our way into reservations and we don't have to read a bunch of sappy cards. We can do whatever we want, and I motion that we take back February 14 in the name of Singles Awareness.
How does one celebrate Singles Awareness? The same way you celebrate any other holiday: tailored activities, presents (if you choose), food, and a whole lot of fun. Certainly, this new holiday brings up plenty of questions. So I've prepared a Singles Awareness FAQ to ensure your first S-Day goes off without a hitch.
For your gathering, you can choose to have a movie night, dinner, or just a light mixer, but take time to consider the state of singleness your invited friends are in. While some people love being single, others despise it. Just because it's a singles party doesn't mean you can't watch romantic movies or play love songs. However, if you don't play Beyonce's "Single Ladies" or the Village People's "Macho Man," you might have a missed opportunity on your hands. Be sure to round up a list of mood appropriate songs and if you plan to play them directly from your computer, consider reading a few laptop speaker reviews. There's nothing worse than blowing out your speakers during one of the Village People's songs.
Restaurants have been planning their "For Two" menus for weeks, which you'll want to counterbalance with a "For You" menu. Pier 1 Imports has a line of individual dishes which they've dubbed Tasting Party. They offer suggestions on how to set your table and even a few recipes. The main idea is to create single servings of several tasty dishes. To make this work, make your favorite recipe and ladle it into the appropriate, single-serve vessel. Guests will get lots of delicious samples and no awkward Lady and the Tramp moments. For more themes and party ideas, check out Party411.com's Celebrate the Single Life Party Plan.
First, check your favorite local restaurants to see who they're aligned with on February 14. If their menu is all about splitting things two ways, it's probably the last place you'll want to be. If they're catering to the singles and you already like the place, gather your friends and go.
Another option is to look into restaurants that have reserved rooms. If they haven't filled those rooms with tables for two, host a public Singles Awareness bash that will leave all the couples jealous. Remember to check review sites like Yelp and Citysearch before making any solid plans -- this might save you from hopping to a new bar to forget the memory of the last.
Creative and crafty gifts are another way to get in the spirit without overdoing it. Check out TipJunkie.com for organized ideas and step-by-step instructions. Best of all, there's no Valentine's Day category (they totally get us). If you're going the gathering route, a surefire way to have fun is with an anonymous gift exchange. A singles themed gift exchange promises to deliver stories that are great candidates for best man/maid of honor speeches down the road.
If you want to take a casual approach (read skeptical), try speed dating. Though the events and available websites that aggregate them will vary based on your city, there are bound to be more than a few venues looking to create love for lonely. If you're a little more serious about tracking down one of Cupid's arrows, why not sign up for a dating service? Online dating may not be the most traditional solution, but if the traditional solutions were working, you wouldn't be eying up gallon tubs of Rocky Road for your big V-Day plans. Sites like Match.com and okcupid.com have garnered quite a bit of respect over the last few years.
If next February you find yourself in a loving (or convenient) relationship, note that your former Singles Awareness friends will support you (to your face) and carry on the tradition until the end of their own Singledom. If you can't get over the bitter taste of being single on a commercialized couples' holiday, you could always point out that the acronym for Singles Awareness Day inconveniently spells SAD. But I won't do it. Happy SAD to all my fellow singles! It's time to stick it to the party stores and greeting card companies.