Eaten By the Monster of Love

There’s nothing worse than pink and purple heart decorations and things covered with glitter. Paying obscene amounts of money for fancy underwear and overpriced restaurants is stupid. I hate flowers and I think conversation hearts are gross, but I’m going to come right out and say it:

I like Valentine’s Day.

I really do. Every other day of the year it’s uncool to tell the people you appreciate, even platonically, how much you like them. Try telling someone you think they’re awesome on Arbor Day– it won’t go over well. Confess your undying love on Rosh Hashanah and you’ll see what I mean. People are weird and standoffish every other day of the year, but on Valentine’s Day it’s totally cool to walk up to your friends and family members and say, “Hey, here’s some candy that tastes like chalk! Please don’t take the flavor personally, because it means I like you. Isn’t that cool?!”

“Thnx 4 Eating Gross Candy to Prove Ur Luv” is too big to fit on a candy heart.

Unfortunately, unlike Earth Day or President’s Day, Valentine’s Day can be a little hard to navigate. Don’t you worry your pretty little head. I’ve got your back.

Possible Methods for Asking that Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair on a Date:

1) Hide behind a corner and jump out at them when they walk by, roaring something like “DATE ME!” as loud as you possibly can. It’s endearing, and you get to see how they react in life-or-death situations. You also might be able to see how hard they can punch.

2) Rent space on a billboard and write something like, “Dear Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair [You should probably use their name, actually], Dinner? Sincerely, Another Interesting Person with OK Hair [That’s where your name goes].” Put your phone number beneath it. The best part of this plan is that you’ll probably get A LOT of blind dates even if that particular date doesn’t work out. Sure, some of them may try to rob and kill you, but they could also be your soul mate. Your thieving, murderous soul mate.

3) Make a sign and stand outside the Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair’s window with it. It’s very important to try to do this at the least-scary time possible. For example, a good time would be when they’re starring in a movie and staring wistfully out a window. A bad time would be in the night, after you’ve been breathing heavily on the glass for some time.

You may want to have a sign ready in case of rejection.

4) Maybe, and this is entirely theoretical, if the Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair works in a bookstore, you could go in and be all, “I’m just casually looking at this book… but since you’re here, would you like to go out?” Sometimes this strategy works, but it may cause you to lose all muscle control so that you repeatedly slam the book into a shelf when you’re trying to put it back. You also might start shaking a lot trying to put their number in your phone. If you have a forehead vein that appears when you’re embarrassed, it will be horribly, horribly apparent even if your bangs normally hide it. I know this sounds very specific, but again, it’s completely theoretical and is in no way something I did. (I did that. Luckily, he was cool about it.)

Possible Ways to Get that Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair to Kiss You:

1) Shame them into it: “There’s something on your lip, so I think I should probably lick it off before anyone sees and makes fun of you.”

2)  Creep them out: “Are you chewing gum right now? What flavor is it? I’ve never tried that kind before! No, I don’t need my own piece. We can share.”

3) Guilt them into it: “My brother’s getting part of his toe amputated today, and I’m… I’m just really upset about it. I’d probably feel better if we made out!”

4) Science them into it: “Wanna help me with a science experiment? I can’t tell you what it is because it will skew the results. You just sit really still for five seconds… Uh oh. Looks like further experimentation is required.”

4) Hemingway them into it: “Your face. My face. Let’s do this.”

Roses are red, these plums are purple. If you want to make out, I’ll try not to slurple.

Possible Gifts for that Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair:

1) Puppies! People love puppies!

2) Potatoes. No, really.

3) …I don’t know. I’m not the one dating them. Do I have to do everything around here?

Possible Ways to Get over that Super Interesting Person with the Cool Hair Because They Already Have a Date:

1) Get another, more interesting date with even cooler hair. Forget about the first person. Their hair wasn’t cool enough for you and you know it.

2) Realize that Valentine’s Day is a silly holiday. Everyone knows Columbus Day dates are much more romantic, which means you have nothing to worry about until October.

3) I made you a valentine.


  1. AK

    For years I have racked my brain to find a way to figure out at the very start of a relationship how the person reacts in life-or-death situations and how hard they can punch. Brilliant.

    I’m suddenly hungry for hash browns.

    • Stephanie

      This is one of the most effective methods for discovering that information. Other ways include hiring someone to “mug” you two and actually getting mugged. Hash browns sound AWESOME.

  2. poundofoldham

    Love it. I am so grateful that I am no longer on the dating circuit (married 25+ years, but I certainly remember how gut wrenching and all consuming it can be.
    Good luck with the ‘cool hair guy,’
    Here’s a tactic that that can work – and save face, but only on Valentines day: March up to him with your most seductive eyes and say “do you want a kiss?” If he wretches a little in his mouth or starts backing away – whip out a Hershey’s kiss and hurl it at him, laughing incredulously. “Good god! You really thought I meant that I wanted to swap spit with you?! Seriously dude, I mean, you have nice hair and all – but when is the last time you brushed your teeth?!!!”

    • Stephanie

      Let’s start that tradition. We’ll buy the people we’re fond of trees on Arbor Day and small planets on Earth Day. I think we’re onto something here.

    • Stephanie

      I WOULD LOVE A PUPPY. I will hide it in my apartment and no one will ever know and I will feed it and take it on walks and be so, so, so, so nice to it.

      …I apologize. Apparently I’m a four-year-old.

    • Stephanie

      Thanks! I’m thinking of starting a love advice column. I’ll call it “EVERYONE DIES ALONE” and it will be incredibly depressing. Of course no one will publish it, so I’ll just read it aloud to my 30 cats.

  3. thejoblesswonder

    I love the creepiness that the “…” adds to the “in case of rejection” sign. As if to say, “OK, I’ll leave you alone forever now… or will I?”

    Oh! And love your infograph! So much that I linked to it from my recent post. Write on!

  4. Random

    Very informative (and hilarious) as usual.

    Potatoes may be the perfect gift! Don’t like baked? Try mashed. No? Have a french fry.

    And your ways to get someone to kiss you are genius. Which one have you found to be the most successful?

    • Stephanie

      I actually chickened out before trying any of them. Instead I just went for it.
      He said, “That was cool.”
      I said, “I’m pretty cool” and walked away. It was embarrassingly ’80s movie-esque.

  5. shenanitim

    We had to pull a Valentine’s card off the shelves this year that said, “Some people say ‘STALKER…,’ and inside, “but I prefer Valentine.”

    Your list made me think of that.

    • Stephanie

      That is wonderful, and I would give that to so many people. (I’m currently stalking, like, 30.) I hope there’s a card store somewhere that just sells socially unacceptable cards for people like me.

  6. claire

    You mind works in very weird, yet strangely compelling, ways! Love the jumping out and getting puched! Luckily I am married, unluckily, he doesn’t have cool hair (although don’t tell him that – he thinks long, unstyled hair at 50 is cool!).

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’m glad that if I had to have a weird brain, it’s at least strangely compelling. Long, unstyled hair at 50 can be cool… depending on his profession. Is he an aging rock star? Then it’s totally cool.

  7. gabrielgarbowota

    I’ve never been a big fan of the holiday, but you may have just converted me with this blog! Besides, V-day is a great time for artists and illustrators (like me?) to show off with a hand-made card.

    • Stephanie

      I like the question mark in that parenthetical statement, like maybe you’re not sure if you’re an artist or illustrator. Hand-made cards are THE BEST. I think you could have the whole holiday on lock.

  8. lhnathan

    Stephany, I read your valentine attachment and was amazed & impressed by your analysis of “love.” You’re like me in the way you analyze and deconstruct the behavioral reality of human emotions.
    The hormones and neurotransmitters you mention are part of Behavioral Neuroscience, which must be something you’re studying in college. There was a related article about the same idea, “The Sciene of Love,” in the Feb 12th edition of Parade magazine.
    Finally, based on what I’ve read, you may have a career in journalism, ala a Dave Barry. You’ve certaintly got a growing audience for your blog!!

    • Stephanie

      Thank you! I’m going to read that Parade article! I’m actually not studying any behavioral science in school… I just really like science. I am, however, studying communications, which means I get to make a lot of infographics like that one. I’d love to work in journalism someday, a la anyone who gets paid to write things. Here’s hoping!

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