February 2010

Chris Lane’s Survival Guide: The Single’s Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day

Author: Chris Lane | Photographer: Photography By Anne

Winter can be a difficult time of year for single people. First, we have to deal with the holiday season alone, and then, just to rub it in our noses, we have to deal with a holiday that celebrates the exact circumstance that is lacking in our lives: love.

Fear not, legions of island singles! I am going to tell you how to survive the gauntlet of paper-shaped hearts and diaper-clad, winged infants in this, my first “How to Survive” column.

Some critics might say hateful things like, “Chris, you can barely survive a Tuesday,” or “Chris, you cried all eight times you watched Free Willy, so how can you tell others how to survive complex life situations like holidays?”

The simple response to criticism like this is that I am qualified because I have a column and my critics do not. History has shown that this is more than enough to justify giving self-righteous advice that was never asked for in the first place. Consider the curious case of Dr. Phil. He has a TV show and doles out psychiatric advice. What qualifies him to do so? A hypnotic mustache, a penchant for Texas similes, and, yes, the fact that he has his own show and his critics do not.

Now that we have established my limitless qualifications, let’s discuss a survival strategy for the commercial piece of crap that Hallmark calls, “Valentine’s Day.”

If you are anything like me, most of your Valentine’s Day evenings are spent in a Snuggie in your boxers eating Lean Cuisine microwavable dinners while watching reruns of The Office.

However glorious my ritual may sound to the average person, many singles feel pressure to have a date that particular evening. In fact, weeks before Cupid’s cattle call, millions of young men and women scramble for a date to ensure that they are not alone on Valentine’s Day (and yet I still can’t get a date…I feel a session with Dr. Phil coming on…but I digress). This is unnecessary stress. There are several reasons why my Valentine’s Day rituals are better than a traditional date.

1. Wearing A Snuggy is like getting a never-ending hug from a friend who is made of fleece. Blazers and dress shirts are as comfortable as a sandpaper pillow.

2. Most Restaurants require pants. Most living rooms do not. Game. Set. Match.

3. Lean Cuisine = a) Delicious, b) Nutritious, c) Cheap. And these little $2 miracles can be prepared in the comfort of your own home. Why go anywhere else? Unless your date will agree to dine at a place with a dollar menu, then score another point for the Lane Plan. (If she DOES agree to go to a place with a dollar menu, go buy a ring, propose, and pay no mind to the remainder of this life lesson.)

4. Steve Carell is probably funnier than your date. Plus, when there’s an awkward moment, you can just turn off a TV. Your date will just sit there. Staring at you. Judging you. In terrible, terrible silence.

Still not a believer in the Lane Plan? Then consider this: Your Valentine’s tryst may end up in a long term committed relationship. I have watched enough sitcoms to know that this can have disastrous consequences. The scenario plays out like this: Husband/boyfriend engages in lighthearted shenanigans, perhaps playing golf instead of mowing the lawn, or maybe he’s trying to juggle the Super Bowl party with the guys and a dinner with the in-laws. One thing leads to another; our lovable protagonist gets caught red-handed and then proceeds to get a tongue-lashing by the hyper-dominant wife/girlfriend.

Ladies, do you want to have to deal with sitcom-style shenanigans all your life?

Guys, do you want to get yelled at a la Everybody Loves Raymond every time you want to slip in a round of golf and blow off your in-laws?

Of course not. So don’t buy in to the pressures of this commercial holiday. Be confident in who you are alone, and understand that Valentine’s Day is the same as any other day of the year; it just happens to be the one that Big Greeting Card and Big Candy have designated as Profit Day.

I know that this advice may sound cynical, but I really do know what true love is. Her name is Snuggie. And we almost never have awkward moments.

  1. Chris, i agree one hundred percent. I am single and it is very difficult when you have no one to spend the holiday with and you become your best date ever.

    — Sandy Hughett    Feb 2, 04:31 pm   

  2. Chris….what can I say? I have taught you well. Don’t give in to the “Hallmark Holiday!” Hand written cards cost just a few pennies and a postage stamp and they are by far the card of choice. I look forward to getting mine. You do remember my address don’t you? Love, mom

    — Julie Lane    Feb 7, 10:52 pm   

  3. You hit the nail on the head! My friend is also dating Snuggie and they are very happy.

    — Amy swezey    Feb 10, 07:56 am   

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