Having been on my lonesome for many years, I know that Valentine's Day to the not-by-choice single is like Mother's and Father's Days to the not-by-choice childless: a day in which commercial hype contrives with the smug majority to rub salt in our wounds faster than we can lick them.
So singletons, it seems to me that there are four choices this Valentine's Day:
A. Adopt a 'poor me' attitude. "Why can't I have someone who loves me? I'm going to cuddle up in my doona and let my tears fill a teacup."
B: Adopt a 'phooey' attitude. 'I'm not going to let marketers tell me what to do and how to think. Let other people waste their money on mooning around and lovey-dovey treats."
C. Adopt a 'woo me' attitude. "There must be someone out there for me. I won't meet anyone unless I put myself out there and pray that Mr/Ms Right will notice me at last."
D. Adopt a 'whoopee!!' attitude. "I can make myself a Valentine's Day I'll never forget."
My vote goes to number four and here are four suggestions for doing just that.
1. Put a Valentine's Day Ad in the Paper
Write a message about everything like and admire about yourself. Think about how your best friends would describe you if you don't know where to start. Pay for the ad to be inserted in your favourite paper, then cut it out and pin it on your desk or your fridge, somewhere you'll see it regularly.
Image from Nevit Dilmen and wordle.net via Wikimedia Commons
2. Make Your Dream Date Happen (in Your Imagination)..
This strategy has got me through many a downhearted moment. The secret is imagining that you're in a movie. You are one of the leads and writing the script at the same time.
Ryan Gosling at Cannes 2011, photo by Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons
If you fancy a date with Ryan Gosling making wild, passionate love, I suggest you stay home for the evening (which you'd probably do anyway). But if you fancy being squired by Chris Hemsworth for example, and hearing his deep voice express endearments to you over a dinner date, book yourself the finest restaurant you can afford. Ask for a table for two. Then proceed to dine as if your date is there with you, with the conversation flowing in your head. Engage your imagination fully and everyone will want what you're having, Of course if you find yourself talking out loud they'll think you're crazy. Admirably crazy.
Aussie Chris Hemsworth. Photo by By Mingle MediaTV via Wikimedia Commons via Wikimedia Commons
3.Spend a Night with your Favourite Movie Star
This is a variant on the last idea, if you need some visual stimulus to go with your evening of romance.
Choose your favorite dreamboat actor or actress. Do some searching on IMBD to review all the the films they have made. Choose the ones at which they are their very most scrumptious, whether physically, cerebrally or whatever appeals to you. Then get yourself down to your local DVD store to hire or buy the movies of your choice.
For example, if you're old enough to remember Brad Pitt in the 'sexiest man alive' era and he still floats your boat, here are some film selections to consider.
Brad Pitt in 2012. Photo by Georges Biard via Wikimedia Commons
Grab your favourite takeaway and a decent bottle of wine, fire up the DVD player and enjoy your evening.
4.Take the Day Off
True to Australia's reputation as the land of the long weekend, I've noticed many people awarding themselves a 'public holiday' on their birthday. I've always preferred to go to work in the hope of a free morning tea, but I understand the sentiment.
Why not take yourself a day of freedom on Valentine's Day to do whatever you like as a special treat? Adopt an air of mystery at work about why you're taking the day off to add to the enjoyment. If you're super-keen, why not take the next day off as well? Chances are you never spoil yourself quite as much as you deserve, even if it's just by a delicious sleep-in on a work day.
Everything I know I learnt from my cat. Photo by By Umberto Salvagnin via Wikimedia Commons
Overall, if you're single on Valentine's Day and it gets you down, take heart. February 20 is the United Nations Day of Social Justice. Only six days to go until the world acknowledges the injustice of Valentine's Day to single people who aren't single by choice.
Now there's a potential movie script. I wonder if I could sign up Chris Hemsworth or Ryan Gosling as my co-star.