Lady Macbeth is a badass. While watching her make weird faces and do her best to break glass using only her voice during the Italian opera version of “Macbeth”, I couldn’t help but admire the way she peer-pressured her husband into committing multiple homicides. As a member of a Highly Selective and Prestigious Liberal Arts College located in the Heart of the Hudson Valley, I recognize that Valentine’s Day sucks. Hard. Until a few years ago, my most romantic Valentine’s Day experience had been something along the lines of the time that the little girl (demon) I babysat started stroking my cheek, which I thought was very sweet until she whispered in my ear that she was putting crumbs on my face so that ants would eat me in my sleep. This kind of occurrence made me both re-evaluate how I spend February 14th, and also whether or not I should be around small children without battle armor and a taser.
Now, regardless of my relationship status, I’ve started a new tradition of using Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to eat every piece of chocolate that the Heart of the Hudson Valley has to offer and pretend it’s socially acceptable. So, now I kind of like it. But most people still think it sucks. You know, because it is heteronormative, a social construct, and also perpetuates the eternal question of what to do with stuffed animals holding hearts that say “I Love You” that your ex-boyfriend gave you when you were in 9th grade and only talked on AIM. So, around February 14th, while I am doing stretches and prepping for the incredible and other-worldly amounts of cocoa I am about to intake, considerations about how to make Valentine’s Day not suck might be on your mind. Here is where Lady Macbeth comes back in. Moral ambiguity aside, the woman knew how to get what she wanted. I mean, until she went off the deep end and ran around in her pajamas yelling about personal hygiene. Which, when it comes down to it, actually might be a good place to start. Romantic partners are often attracted to cleanliness.
To give yourself a particularly memorable Valentine’s Day (“memorable” being the key word), you could:
1. Start up a conversation with a random stranger on the subject of how Nelson Mandela watches “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Spend some time wondering if the man who spent over 25 years enduring prison to fight for the liberty of his people is also a fan of Honey Boo Boo. Does a dollar make Nelson Mandela holla’?
2. Find an empty room in Joss late at night, go in, lock the door, and then start making as much noise as possible. When someone comes to knock on the door and tell you to stop, refuse to unlock it and insist that you are the reincarnated ghost of Oliva Josselyn and will only leave in exchange for some lensless glasses and something called “an ironic turkey sandwich.”
3. Stand outside a movie theater before a screening of Les Mis and scream at the people who walk in that if they didn’t fight in the 1832 Paris Revolution they are not real fans.
4. Grab a stranger, hug them, and refuse to let go until they agree to be your friend. If you’re feeling extra ambitious and have a lot of time on your hands, commit and demand they be your significant other.
5. Go to any class of your choosing, raise your hand, and emphatically and passionately defend your stance on why “Clique” is actually a really sweet ballad about how Big Sean, Jay-Z and Kanye all really love their friends.
6. Wake your roommate up every 10 minutes the night before Valentine’s Day with questions such as: “Are tectonic plates dishwasher safe?”
7. Understand that in Russia they have juice boxes but instead of juice boxes they are vodka boxes that are 37.5% and comes with a straw (really) and that in Canada they have a $100 bill that smells like maple syrup when you scratch the leaf (really) and that no matter how you try to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the US you will have neither of those things and so competing is futile and be content with the Nildas Brownie you are demolishing.
8. Spice things up by going on a date! A real live date! Preferably to Billy Bobs on a Tuesday night, so that you can prove how spontaneous you are by standing on the table and performing a stirring rendition, complete with interpretive dance, of the Spongebob Squarepants theme song.
If all of this doesn’t work out for you and you still have had no fun on Valentine’s Day, there is the solid alternative plan of pulling a Boo Radley and not leaving your house for a solid 30 years. (Hint: That’s my plan.)