OK, I’ll admit it- I have it easy on Valentine’s Day. I’ve got a standing date with the cutest boy in town who just so happens to share my vigorous love of original Hershey’s kisses, single white Calla Lillies, the edge pieces on a home-made lasagna, and those terrible conversation heart candies. It sounds too convenient to be true, right?!
Well, dear friends, this fairy tale doesn’t have such a happy ending. There is one glaring glitch in my near-perfect Valentine’s Day celebration-my beloved sweetheart’s soul-crushing job! Being an architect sounds more glamorous than it really is; the job has its setbacks and more often than not those side-effects come in the form of forgone weekday evenings. The clock strikes five and Chris is gearing up for another six hours spent at his desk, far removed from the normalcy of family dinners for two. Much to my dismay the “but it’s Valentine’s Day” line just doesn’t cut it in the big scary world of designing skyscrapers.
This Valentine’s Day I would be dining solo, save for a box of heart-shaped chocolates and a lonesome flower in the vase on my table, if it weren’t for this genius solution: The Valentine’s Day Dinner Party for the Dateless
In protest of my unfortunate and unfair solace, I vow to gather my closest girlfriends, be they dateless, or single, or in an “it’s complicated” stage. We will play a game of “save face” in order to keep from that just-as cliched Valentine’s Day depression.
What: A Couples Valentine’s Dinner (minus the dates)
For: Five to seven of your closest sisters in any state of relationship from single to engaged who have found themselves dateless on the evening of the 14th
When: February 14th at the eight o’clock hour
Attire: No need for heels, tight jeans, and a low-cut tops so revealing you find yourself on permanent stomach suck-in. Ditch the constriction for some comfortable loafers, a pair of worn-in sweats, and your college hoodie. Revel in the slouchiness.
What to eat: With no significant other to impress, no fancy outfit to preserve, and no restaurant ambiance to honor, let’s eat what we’ve really been craving this winter, no holding back: garlic, garlic, and more garlic, please! A simple spaghetti parmesan with garlic marinara served alongside a loaf of buttered garlic bread and a traditional side Caesar should be the ticket. Make extra for those missing dates, because you never know….(read: you all go back for seconds!) Kindly ask your guests to bring any Valentine’s Day goodies they may have received and end the evening with a trading sweets potluck.
What to drink: Red wine keeps it classy, and who cares if you spill, you’re obviously not dressed to impress (see attire above)! Peppermint Patty shots will make the party a little more wild.
How to set the scene: Turn your party space into a mock Italian restaurant complete with candle-lit tables, red and white linens, and soft opera music playing in the background. Using an old chalkboard, display the “Couples Menu” for your guests to see, but cross out the word couples. Just for kicks, print out a picture of your guests’ absent love interest or a photo of a surrogate celebrity crush for your guests on the dating circuit. Fold the pictures so that they rest upright, and set these photos on the tables next to their respective female partners to serve as place cards and comic relief.
Sarah Buchanan is a senior at NYU where she studies history and creative writing. When she is not planning her upcoming June wedding or daydreaming about her Antigua honeymoon, she is searching for the city’s best pickles!