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How to have an epic Broke-Ass Valentine’s Day

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This awesome card is from here.

They say that Valentine’s Day started to celebrate Saint Valentine of Rome, martyred in 269 AD, then became a sensation in 1797 when a British publisher issued romantic verses for young lovers, The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, in a time when Victorian culture forbid premarital horniness and rhymes that mentioned private parts, no matter how clever the pun.

Today we Americans know the truth; Valentine’s Day is a consumer holiday created to torture us. Singles are incessantly reminded that they are single. Couples suffer from the pressure to make a dramatic gesture of love, or else face the sudden wrath of their otherwise satisfied partners. No one actually eats the candy hearts; they taste like chalk.

And yet no matter how feminist, modern or broke a person may be, we still crave a sentimental surprise straight out of a tacky movie. For the singles, here’s a little reminder how awesome it is to be single. Despite what the cards advertise, romance isn’t everything.

Valentine: It’s Great To Be Single from Leigh C. on

For the lovesick, here’s how to woo any lover without emptying your pockets:

1. Explore the city
As Eric pointed out in his guide to ‘Dating and F*cking like a Broke-Ass Baller,’ taking a long walk through the park is a FREE classic that never goes out of style. I’d also recommend viewing the city at night. The Empire State building, with its ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ association, is only one of many places to see the city below twinkling in the dark like a landscape of fallen stars. For those in the City by the Bay, the view from Twin Peaks on a clear night is priceless. For a touch of added flair, blindfold your partner, guide him or her by the hand, and then reveal the view. Ditto for walking on the beach at sunrise.

2. Learn the art of love-letter writing
Write a letter. I mean an old school, “Dear Tootsie,” spill your guts in ink kind of contraption. Expressing your feelings is a guaranteed way to rev your partner’s engine. If spouting sonnets isn’t your way, that’s okay. You can still write a romantic letter. Close your eyes. Think of a moment you enjoyed together. Even writing: “I don’t know how to describe the way I feel about you, but when I think about you I smile,” is perfect. Candid confessions are sexy. Be real. Be personal. If you guys have an inside joke, reference it. Trust yourself.

3. Make a photo album of you two together
Not the kind you have to buy. Today there are FREE tools online to make video slideshows out of your photos. Combine photos of you two, places that mean something to you, things that your partner likes, etc. Put the photos together with a song and a few words, then ta-da! You have a custom Valentine’s gift. And if you are utterly hopeless in the creativity department, you have no clue what text to add, just cheat. Use a few lines from a poem or song.

4. Dance
In a time and place when your partner isn’t expecting it, turn on a slow and jazzy song, like Frank Sinatra’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Then ask: “May I have this dance?” Don’t say you can’t dance. If you have no skill for it, merely clutch your partner and sway. Cling, sway, repeat.

5. Shower Together
Hygienic seduction works every time.

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Leigh Cuen – Wandering Dreamer

Leigh Cuen – Wandering Dreamer

Leigh Cuen is a poet and journalist from California. She left her heart in San Francisco and followed the sun to the coast of the Mediterranean. She reads like a fiend, scribbles wild ideas and thinks too much.