What I love about Valentine’s Day is that it is a “create-your-own holiday” in some sense. Traditions are few and far between. Valentines easily turn into “Galentines,” V-Day can transform into “Me Day”, and there’s nothing wrong with the “Hallmark Hypothesis” that the day only exists to sell cards.

Now that we’ve moved past our prime years of exchanging valentine’s with our grade school classes, we have the freedom to choose exactly what we want to do when the 14th rolls around.

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Personally, I like to joke that I am always single on Christmas and Valentine’s Day so I never have to partake in any schmaltzy couple activities. However, this past Valentine’s Day, I craved something only Cupid could supply: free tacos.

I quickly tapped the blazing fire icon and changed my Tinder biography to the simple, yet effective, “buy me tacos” in order to accomplish this goal. The matches came flowing in. Before long, I found a suitor who agreed to quench my taco cravings. He even sweetened up the deal with the promise of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownies and a fluffy dog.

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We set the date for Tuesday, oblivious to the fact it was Feb. 14 until we arrived at the taco joint. Our tacos raised in a toast (fried avocado for me) we mockingly called each other “valentine” despite the obvious lack of attraction between us.

In the end, I remember how delicious the brownie tasted, more than any aspect of my sweetheart, leaving a satisfying V-Day without clingy repercussions.

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Society’s V-Day Expectations

Despite my crazy adventures, some prefer to go the traditional route on this day. According to 2015 data from OpenTable, a dining reservation app, 2 million diners were seated on Valentine’s day, with 85 percent of those reservations involving tables for two.

Though the date is super close, about 10 percent of those reservations were made on Valentine’s Day, so last-minute planners fear not! By the time this is published, 29 local restaurants still have tables available, ranging from signature steakhouses like Ruth’s Chris, local favorites like Tutto Pasta, and extremely romantic settings like TGI Friday’s.

If you’re on the single end of the spectrum like myself, a restaurant is still a great place to have “Galentine’s Day” or a “Bromantic” dinner. You might have to actually pay for your tacos with this one, but the comradery of singleness makes the date more fun for everyone.

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A Fresh Look at V-Day

Valentine’s Day doesn’t always turn out to be the romantic ideal we see in movies, even if that fancy dinner reservation is secured. While I was munching on my tacos, my best friend treated his girlfriend to an hour of chocolate and chatting.

They’d decided to go on a break about a week earlier and during that time, my friend realized how toxic this relationship was for him. He felt exponentially happier being apart from her and ultimately decided on Valentine’s Day to end the relationship.

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Even with the customizable nature of the holiday, this part of the decade has gained its own valentine’s tradition: The release of a new “Fifty Shades” movie.

After all, what’s more romantic than bondage, loosely constructed plots and butt plugs? While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day by binging the first two parts before heading out to the theatre to see “Fifty Shades Freed.”

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It’s exactly what my roommates did last year when I left to get the tacos and with an added year comes an added movie to marathon. I would definitely recommend this as a gal pal activity over a couple’s activity, lest anyone get any crazy, not well thought out ideas for Valentine’s Night.

Besides, regardless of which movie you choose, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates are readily available Walgreen’s to indulge as the perfect cuddly movie snack.

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Alright, you may think, these ideas seem nice and all but I’m a busy badger and I have three lectures, a lab, and an essay to write on Wednesday; there’s no way I can do anything remotely Valentine’s related.  

While it certainly would be practical to set this holiday permanently on the weekend, Unfortunately, due to the way the Roman Catholic Feast calendar works, that’s not possible. Just remember if you’re stuck at the library writing a speech on lightning strikes while society expects you to be romantic, you’re not alone.

So what’s in my plans this Valentine’s Day? With six classes and a late shift at work, I’m not too sure about it yet. That said, if you’d like to be my valentine and buy me tacos, you’ll have my heart forever (or a day).