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a guide to valentine’s day: the dos and don’ts for single girls

I don’t need to remind anyone that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Thanks to social media, card companies and just society in general, we are all reminded well in advance that Feb 14th marks the day for grand romantic gestures to and from our lovers. In Japan, women give their Valentine chocolates and the gesture is returned a month later (seems a little late, no?). In South Africa, tradition has shown girls to pin the name of their Valentine on their sleeve (another meaning to wearing your heart on your sleeve, perhaps?). Apparently, a popular tradition in Scottish culture is “The Search of the Valentine Date,” where the first man or woman the person sees on the street becomes their Valentine (this seems rather convenient if you ask me). Unfortunately, I don’t live in Scotland hence cannot partake in “The Search of the Valentine Date” by taking a stroll down my street. But that’s OK.  I have come up with a list of Dos and Don’ts for single girls like myself for getting through Valentine’s Day.

Do bake heart shaped goodies and share them with your family, friends and colleagues.
Don’t cry into the batter, or eat them all yourself.

Don’t daydream about having flowers and a cute-yet-cheeky note being delivered to your desk at work from a secret admirer (like that cute guy you always see at the cafe on the way to work). It won’t happen.  He doesn’t know your name or where you work. But if he does manage to find out your name, your workplace and the floor you’re on, then let’s face it – he may be a stalker.
Do send chocolates and a cute-yet-cheeky note to the cute guy you always bump into at the cafe on the way to work (you know you want to). Let’s be honest, you already know his name, where he works, his favourite chocolate, and what team he’s backing in the NBA.  Ah, the perks of social media.

Don’t send yourself flowers and chocolates. The flowers will die, and the chocolates will make you fat.  Plus you’re not fooling anyone and you’re better than that!
Do treat yourself. Get your hair did and a massage (if that’s your thing). Preferably by a hunky masseuse named Sven. Who doesn’t want to be oiled up by a Sven, right!

Do order yourself a Boyfriend Pillow. (If you don’t know what they are, then I suggest you Google it. You can thank me later.)
Don’t get too comfortable with it.

Don’t vow to join a nunnery, practice celibacy, and/or become a crazy cat lady with unkempt hair.
Do buy a nun’s costume (always handy for a last minute dress up party), a vibrator (who doesn’t want some lady-love) and get yourself a cat (but remember to still keep your regular hair appointments).

Don’t spontaneously decide to freeze your eggs, start an adoption savings account, or Google nearest sperm banks. Don’t discuss this with your other single girlfriends either in the hope of them reassuring you that you’re just being silly. They too will probably agree with you.
Do watch Knocked Up, Baby Mama, Big Daddy and have a good giggle.

Don’t Instagram a photo of a wilted rose, and tag it #broken, #lonely, #ValentinesDaySucks. Don’t take to the Twitterverse to tweet about how Cupid needs better aim. Don’t update your Facebook status about how Valentine’s Day is total BS and is just an overrated, commercialised holiday. This will only make you look bitter. Bitter as a bitter gourd (I’m really trying to coin this phrase, here’s hoping it catches on!).
Do “like” your friends’ status updates about their partner’s over-the-top romantic gestures as they show up on all your social media feeds every two seconds.  Don’t be a bitter gourd about it.

Don’t listen to sad, mopey Drake songs. Don’t belt out to Adele’s heartbreaks. Don’t listen to Whitney, Mariah or Celine (I know, no one listens to Celine). It will only end in tears.
Do listen to your favourite old-school R&B tunes (or rock, indie, country…)  and have a dance off with yourself on your own DF (dance floor, aka living room).

Do the Macarena.
Don’t not do the Macarena.

Still not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Never fear. As the ever-so-gracious and wise Liz Lemon put it, mark Feb 14th as Anna Howard Shaw Day, which sees you celebrate the real February 14th birthday of Woman’s Civil Rights leader, Anna Howard Shaw. Ha, take that St Valentine! Girl power, sistas.

Now excuse me while I put on my leotard and prance around to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ on my DF.

By Shamima Afroz

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