Love doesn't have to be romantic

    Valentine’s Day – otherwise known as the holiday of unnecessarily expensive roses, cheesy rom-coms, and gushing couples galore – can seem like an impending, abysmal pit of doom to singles, but why should couples get all the fun? After all, Valentine’s Day celebrates all types of love, and even though singlehood may feel love-less, maybe all of us single folk need to take another look at what we’ve got. So before turning to rituals of ex-boyfriend bonfires à la Phoebe, Rachel, and Monica, consider celebrating with these other types of love:

    Love thyself
    Valentine’s Day has appropriately arrived just as midterms are finally winding down (well at least for some of us), and some self-love is well deserved. Take advantage of the quiet of your dorm room while your roommate’s out with his/her significant other and have a little R&R. Sure, going out on the town is fun too, but after a grueling half-quarter’s worth of Northwestern workload, sometimes all you need to do is give yourself a break and a little love.

    Gals: Light that (dorm-banned) aromatherapy candle, give yourself a mani, and turn NUTV onto some sappy but still much-loved romance that’s sure to be playing on V-day night.

    Guys: Give your ego a bit of a boost and hit up the gym. No doubt midterms have cut into workout time, and hey, it’s definitely better than sitting in your dorm room watching that sappy, but still much-loved, V-day chick flick with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s (which, let’s face it, is probably exactly what you’d be doing). Call it a night with a hot shower and some video game time.

    Love thy neighbor/stranger
    Downtown Evanston is bound to be infested with roaming couples executing their V-day plans, but not everyone in the 60201 zip code is hooked up. Every bar in Evanston is sure to have Valentine’s night events for those singles looking for a Valentine’s-night-only other. Make a trip down to the Keg with some of your other single friends, and even though you started the day without a Valentine, maybe you’ll leave with one — although it’s Sunday, so be warned.

    Love thy family
    Send love letters to your fam-bam. Whether they live half an hour away or across the country, they’ll appreciate the thoughtfulness that comes with handwritten letters, regardless of belatedness. Barnes&Noble’s have some fitting lovey-dovey Valentine’s cards, or if you’re really feelin’ the love (and ambitious) head to Tom Thumb’s where you’ll find all the materials you need to make your own personal love letters.

    Postscript: If you’re not interested in making the effort mentioned above, then at least a simple phone call or e-mail should suffice. It’s your family – they’ll still love you (right?).

    Love thy friends
    With so many great prix-fix meals and events going on at countless Evanston restaurants, who says you need boyfriends and girlfriends to enjoy them? Grab your other lovers and make it an intimate affair with a bestie, a rendezvous with a few close girlfriends/bros, or a grand blowout with all of your friends here at Northwestern – the people you eat, sleep, study, not study, gripe, laugh, and live with.

    Just a few V-day spots to consider:
    The Celtic Knot: While they normally serve pub grub, the Celtic Knot is offering a sweet Valentine’s Day tea from 2-4 p.m. at $16.99 per person. Their “Valendine at the Knot” is from 4-10 p.m., $24.99 per person, and includes homemade scones for breakfast in their fixed price meal (which may be cuter with real couples, but what other prix-fix meal gives you breakfast too?).

    Koi: For the sophisticates and sushi lovers, Koi is offering three courses with a glass of house sake or wine at $25 per person.

    Flat Top Grill: Economical and very, very good. Although they won’t be doing their annual Lights Out Valentine’s dinner (which is a pretty cool experience, not gonna lie), it’ll still be candlelit with endless bowls of piping hot stir fry and roti bread.

    Limiting Valentine’s Day celebrations to couples-only is old-fashioned and out-dated. I say, as long as there’s love in the air, Valentine’s Day success!


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    Esther Han, May 15, 2011