Valentine’s Day survival strategies

Salt Lake Tribune

Valentine’s Day. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Stupid or Cupid? For singles, it can seem like an unbearable holiday that can’t end early enough. For marrieds, it may seem like yet another ultra-romantic set-up by the greeting card, candy, and jewelry industries — and to think you just barely got through Christmas!

What’s hailed as the “most romantic night” of the year puts high expectations and heavy pressures on everyone, especially husbands. Once, again, men, it’s up to you to perform. Your job, wives? To be grateful.

Now, my real concern is for the uninvolved single; a person near and dear to my heart. Of the 180 million Valentine’s Day cards and 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that will be sold to celebrate this day, not one will be for us!

What’s your vision for Valentine’s Day? Feel like treating yourself or just retreating until it’s over? If you choose the latter, relax, you have less than 24 hours left. Should you desire to honor the occasion but you’re feeling a bit melancholy, consider making it a date night with yourself. Pick up some take-out, and cuddle up with a great movie or new book.

Valentine’s Day celebrates love, not couple. The lack of a significant other doesn’t mean that you lack love or significance. If you have a bit more energy, deliver chocolate and make phone calls to close friends and family. Be a substitute Valentine to someone who has experienced a recent loss.

Comforting others is the surest way to find peace of mind.

Never underestimate the power of gratitude. Focus on the positive aspects of your life throughout the past week, year, or lifetime. Don’t forget that likes attract likes. Wouldn’t you rather draw someone who sees the brighter side of life . . . and you? If you’re feeling especially giving, live vicariously through others, and offer to baby-sit for one of your favorite married couples. At least they can celebrate. This could prove to be your best Valentine’ Day yet as you make cookies and build forts with the little ones.

If you’ve been invited to a Valentine’s Day party, go. You never know who you might meet, but go with the intention of bringing light and fun to the setting. If by chance your party invite got lost in the mail (right along with your missing valentines) throw the party yourself. Consider drawing names among the partygoers and trade pink elephant gifts. Embrace the moment (and each other) as you solidify those dear friendships.

Let’s face it: This time of year you can’t get away from the theme of love. We may as well join ’em.

Even commercials have a red-and-white theme; oh wait, now that I think about it that was just an ad for Target.

Of course, you can always hit the hay early tonight . . . and dream of what could be on Feb. 14, 2007