This Again? How To Survive Valentine’s Day

This post comes from Jan, our second floor inventory manager and professional cynic.

So you made it through another holiday season. You endured seemingly immeasurable hours under the same roof as people of questionable shared genetics (during a campaign season, no less). You fulfilled your obligatory expressions of love and gratitude–in varying degrees of sincerity (I won’t judge). You thought the seasonal sappiness was put away with the gaudy decorations.

In short, you thought you were safe.

But here they come: the heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, the gleaming jewelry commercials, the wall-to-wall bouquets of roses, and that diaper-wearing, voyeuristic angel-baby-thing. The soul-crushing celebration of Valentine’s Day. The uncoupled can hardly be more aware of the exclusion that their singlehood ignites. The partnered are burdened with unrealistic expectations of public expressions of devotion. Nothing says “everlasting love” quite like trying to mind-murder your deskmate for receiving that bouquet from her husband at the office.

It’s not love or the expression of love that makes us cynics practice our “I’m not gagging” face in the mirror every February. It’s the obligation to publicly display that love, as well as the materialism and one-ups-manship that goes along with it that we hate. So we temper the ostentatious practices by celebrating Galentine’s Day on February 13th (the One True Holiday, in my opinion) and we lock our doors until the chocolate goes on sale on the 15th.

In order to help you through those harrowing 24 hours in between, we present to you this hand-picked list:

A Reading List for Surviving Valentine’s Day for Singles, Cynics (and Others Within Blast Range)


Newly Single and Forever Alone

How To Be Alone by Sara Maitland

It’s Not You: 22 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel

It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt

Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation by Jamye Waxman

F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s  Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Dr. Michael Bennett and Sarah Bennett

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have With People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight


Bitchin’ in the Kitchen

Alone In The Kitchen With An Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Cooking Solo: The Joy of Cooking For Yourself by Klancy Miller

How To Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto by Eric Asimov


Dating Disasters

A Million First Dates: Solving the Puzzle of Online Dating by Dan Slater

Crap Dates: Disastrous Encounters From Single Life by Rhodri Marsden


Happy Galentine’s Day!

Yes Please by (Our Lady) Amy Poehler

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart

You Don’t Have To Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism by Alida Nugent


Fierce Fiction

How To Be Single: A Novel by Liz Tuccillo

Dietland by Sarai Walker


The Creative Loner

Knit Your Own Boyfriend: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 13 Men by Carol Meldrum

Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts To Make With Your Cat by Kaori Tsutaya and Amy Hirschman

Cat Lady Chic by Diane Lovejoy


Social Aspects of Solo Habitation

Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone by Eric Klineberg

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick



A Field Guide To Awkward Silences by Alexandra Petri

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without A Date by Kate Heany

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir by Kristin Newman

Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation by Adam Resnick

If you still feel bad about being alone this Valentine’s Day, remind yourself where it leads: Born to Be Awkward: Celebrating Those Imperfect Moments of Babyhood by Mike Bender and Doug Chernak.

Solidarity, cynics and singles. And never share the day-old chocolate.

4 thoughts on “This Again? How To Survive Valentine’s Day

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