Wednesday, February 6, 2008
If you've recently kicked your valentine to the curb, don't sit in front of your private bonfire burning every item that reminds you of him or her. Instead throw a "Love Stinks" anti-valentine bash. Have everyone purge their useful and gently used items that bring up remembrances of the ex from hell to offer to the greater good. Everyone gets to pick up stuff they want, then pile everything no one wants into the community bonfire and howl in concert to let it all go up in smoke.
• Dig out your fondue pot and cook up a romantic Valentine's meal for singles or couples. Copy the basic format from fondue restaurants. First course: cheese fondue with apples, carrots, celery and bread to dip. Second course: broth to cook vegetables, meats or tofu. Third course: chocolate fondue with pound cake, strawberries, bananas and marshmallows.
• Load up your Netflix queue with romantic comedies for a Valentine's snuggle-and-giggle fest, or check out a pile of horror movies for your anti-Valentine's shindig. Pile extra pillows and blankets on your living-room floor for your screening, and stock up on the popcorn and hot chocolate.
• Knit a red scarf. Make a jar of bath salts. Cook some fudge. Paint some notecards. Then wrap your gift and call your friends to participate in a homemade dirty Valentine's gift exchange. Each person brings one gift and puts it in a pile. Then everyone draws a number. Person number one unwraps a gift. Person number two can either unwrap a new gift or steal the already opened gift. The game continues until the last gift is unwrapped.
• Get the girls together for a spa night. Bring your favorite lotions, scrubs, nail polishes and beauty equipment to share. Make your own face masks with one part honey and three parts plain whole-milk yogurt. Snack on mixed nuts, berries, guacamole, orange slices and other complexion-friendly foods.
• For a Valentine's twist on truth-or-dare, get some friends together to bare the truth of their romantic past. Dare them to call an ex, kiss a stranger or stuff as many Hershey kisses into their mouth as will fit. Party at home or at a table in your favorite bar.
• Rummage through your old boxes and dig up your diaries or journals from yesteryear. Invite the girls (or guys) over, and rehash the old days over drinks and sweets. To relax the mood, make the event pajama-themed. You'll cry, you'll laugh, you'll bond.
• Dust off the cookbooks and bake some cookies, and get your loved ones to do the same for a potluck Valentine's tea party. Rock the slice-and-bake variety if you aren't a cook and poisoning your guests is not on the agenda. Whip out a white or red tablecloth, your best dishes and mugs, a teapot and a variety of tea bags.
• Find some vintage clothes, crank the oldies, dim the lights and invite your friends for a dance party. Be sure to put beer, wine or "punch" on the food table to take the edge off those inhibitions. Stir up some homemade Chex party mix for the wallflowers.
• Join up with four neighborhood friends to arrange a progressive Valentine's meal. Start the evening off at your place with light appetizers. Wander next door for drinks. Cross the street for a salad course. Mosey a few houses down for the main dish. And then cross the street again for the big dessert finale.
• You need at least seven people for a good game of running charades. Get pens and paper for everyone to make their list of 10 Valentine's-themed things: a selection of foods, songs, movies, locations and more. Each round, one person sits in a central location with their list. The remaining people divide as evenly as possible into two groups, then go to separate rooms. One person from each team gets the first item on the list from the person in the middle of the house, then they race back to act out that item for their team. As soon as the item is guessed correctly, another team member runs to find out the next item on the list. The team to get through the list first wins.
I like the bath salts idea. That's something I've been meaning to do anyway.