You know that scene in “The Little Mermaid” where Ursula sings about the poor, unfortunate souls coming to her for spells and potions to make their lives better? That’s kind of how I feel when everyone and their cousin asks me what they should do for Valentine's Day.
My answer remains the same: they should show up naked under a trench coat at their boo’s door step, but I guess that’s intimidating for some people —- and chilly this time of year.
In all honesty, I love Valentine's Day despite the commercialism and the fact that this is the third year of me being accompanied only by alcohol and “Sex and the City” reruns. Sadly, this year poses a particular challenge due to the viral apocalypse.
Gone are the days where couples could traipse into an overpriced steakhouse and get seated back-to-back with every other sweaty couple in the tri-state area. In a pandemic, there aren’t any events; most restaurants are at less than half capacity, which makes getting a reservation a feat only accomplished by the most forthright and dedicated individuals.
Never fear though, because this day was originally a Roman fertility celebration where men would strip naked and whip women with goat hides. Coronavirus or not, there are plenty of ways to maintain the integrity of this holy day.
First off, if you are planning on having a romantic dinner like everyone else on the planet, my advice is to surprise your partner with something racey before dinner. Then, enjoy the food after the celebratory lovemaking.
Since Valentine’s Day lands on a Sunday this year, I recommend planning something over the weekend instead of a dinner on a school night.
For those lucky few with money to burn, the price of hotel rooms are at an all-time low, and a brief stay presents minimal risk of plague contraction. Order room service at a local spot — post coitus — and enjoy a little staycation with your partner.
If adventure fuels the flames of your relationship, go on a weekend road trip somewhere quaint and homey. My personal favorite spot is a little Victorian town about five hours away in the Ozarks called Eureka Springs. It’s the perfect place to relax with a loved one next to a fireplace at a dirt cheap Airbnb.
I was going to recommend camping for the bravest of couples, but the forecast predicts below-zero temperatures, and I don’t even think sex in an insulated tent will keep the chills away in those conditions.
For those of us with minimal funds to blow on a commercial holiday, there are two routes available for a weekend of love: the sultry route and the cute Instagram-worthy route.
The latter could involve a homemade meal at either party’s humble abode, finished off with a warmer alternative to the aforementioned camping idea. Set up a tent or a fort with fairy lights and hot chocolate and enjoy a not-so-quiet night indoor camping with some fun games. For those who want to maintain a seductive tone, Jenga, poker and Pictionary can all be modified into Valentine-appropriate versions to suit any romantic tone.
If you’re feeling extra sultry, and the name of the Valentine's Day activity rhymes with FX, the classic cliche ideas actually have a lot of quality inspiration behind the overdone veneer. Lingerie and getting outside of one’s comfort zone goes a very long way. I can’t really get into the nitty gritty details here, but spontaneity, some Dutch courage and a visit to Savage Fenty can go a very long way for a spicy Valentine’s Day.
If you are finding yourself sans a partner for Valentine's Day, I recommend a borderline extravagant gift of self care. Whether it be a four course meal, a useless gift to yourself, a manicure or a quiet evening with wine and rom-coms, do something fun and relaxing to show yourself the love you deserve.
Regardless of relationship status or social distancing protocols, Valentine’s Day can be an incredibly fun holiday. Despite the hate it receives, the right mindset and proper planning can ensure that no one finds themselves a poor, unfortunate soul without a plan on this day of all things lovey dovey.