The Inside Guide to Valentine's Day

A writer and actress trained at the Atlantic Theater Acting School in New York, Bronwen's critically acclaimed one-woman show The Make-Out Queen hit the stage in New York and Woods Hole in 2010. She now writes for InsideOUT and performs at Cotuit Center for the Arts.

Bronwen Prosser - A writer and actress trained at the Atlantic Theater Acting School in New York, Bronwen's critically acclaimed one-woman show The Make-Out Queen hit the stage in New York and Woods Hole in 2010. She now writes for InsideOUT and performs at Cotuit Center for the Arts.

What is up with Valentine’s Day? Roses are totally out of season, really bad chocolate abounds, and those pre-printed cards with love messages my lover didn’t write offend me. So why am I still a fanatic about this holiday?

Let me start by saying it should absolutely be a national holiday: National Love Observation day. Everyone pin their hearts on their sleeves and show their support for that unspeakably voracious emotion, love for humankind.

The truth is that Valentine’s Day is not for the faint of heart. Every year I find myself in the position of Valentine vigilante, a self-appointed advocate and defender of this entirely underrated, over-candied holiday. 

I LOVE V-DAY. I think Necco Hearts are the most spectacular invention ever made by humankind. I can’t wait to see what simple, gut-wrenching statements printed on those tiny, almost inedible hearts I’ll get this year!

Hallmark has tried to rope Valentine’s day into a romance category, one about giving your romantic partner something that says “I love you” (usually something made by Hallmark or something that will put you in debt for the next year). Forget it! Defend your Valentine with scissors, construction paper, an old bulb catalogue, and a glue stick. Express your love with your own, handmade, maybe slightly imperfect impression of a heart.

There are no rules. This day is seriously an amazing opportunity to create your own personalized love vibe. Don’t shy away from creative gestures of love! Maybe you’re not a card giver? No problem, give ‘em a wooden spoon, apparently it’s an old Welsh tradition, and certainly more useful than a dozen dying roses!

Need some inspiration? Simply read on to find out what suggestion the Queen of Hearts has in store for you!

For those with available booty...

Power it Down. Sex it up. Turn off the cell phones. Unplug the land line and climb into the bubble bath with a bottle of champagne.  Then do it somewhere besides the bed. Try TEN positions. Seriously! It may end in a pile of laughter but FUN will have been had, and that’s how love stays alive.

For those who find love in all the wrong places...

Take yourself and your single friends to heartbreak heaven—that is, a bar with other wretched, lonely Valentines. Relish the existential crisis of loves lost, and share some lonely, stop-the-pain-in-my heart type kissing with someone whose heart is even more damaged—hopefully their sorrow will surpass your own, therefore drowning it momentarily.

For those in need of a love purge...

Some of you seriously can’t stand this holiday, and who can blame you? The hype is pretty gross. I mean, the average price of roses quadruples for one day! If you freakin’ hate the day, embrace it FULLY! Throw an “I hate Valentine’s Day” Party. Make black hearts and write revenge Valentines to those who have broken your heart or treated you badly. Write letters to everyone you ever loved, and don’t hold anything back. Express everything! Tell them what could have, what should have, and what sometimes you imagine might still be… Then throw them in the fire and burn the sh*t outta them!  If you’re feeling anti social you can have the party and just invite yourself… locked in your room…

For the love child...

If all else fails… children are the cure for any Valentine’s Day confusion. Their sincere, unadulterated expressions of love always touch me like a super hot pink V-DAY heart.  So let’s catch a hint from them, take it back to grade school, and give the whole class hearts.


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  • ehugus

    How 'bout "for those with no money?" Haha, great tips Bronwen! You've certainly put me in the mood!
  • bassmama

    Ok, I am gonna give Chris a wooden spoon - thanks for the hot tip, Bronnie! Great column, as ever...
  • gracesarah

    VDAY is my fav holiday!!! alll my friends are haters but I love how cheesy it is! and I love chocolate/flowers. Luke and I paint each other every year. one year he made my face blue....what an artista. great article, LOve you!
  • KileyDonovan

    So down with this. I grew up with a mother who treated Valentine's Day like it should be -- a day for writing on the mirror in lipstick and making heart shaped pancakes before school. I never even realized it was a commercialized guilt-laden holiday until very recently! I still draw a lipstick heart on my face every year and prepare foods in the shape of a heart, whether for a boyfriend, a roommate, or myself. Love abounds!
  • Ric

    I don't know whether to feel guilty that I don't have a girlfriend to Hallmark, or cheery because I can just ignore another holiday and save a bundle of money and avoid the emotional wear and tear. Maybe I'll just buy myself some ice cream and a tablet computer. And some chopped hearts for the cats. Such a romantic I've become!! Eat your hearts out, ladies!
  • drumbeat

    needed an idea for my V-day card and now I've got it. thanks Bronwen. Going to head home today to find "scissors, construction paper, an old bulb catalogue, and a glue stick". had to think a bit about the bulb catalogue -- now I get it though. Thanks again!