Your Situation: Single
It's just you all on your own, making your way by yourself in the big scary world, just like Pretty Woman. Oh wait, she found love. Well then, just like the Terminator. Actually he learned a bit about love too, didn't he? Hmm. Man, you are in a bad place, hey?
"No male companionship could ever replace my precious grueling chores."What You Should Do: Don't expect the world to come to you - "Everyone-Gets-A-Valentine-Card-Day" got left behind in elementary school for a reason, just like nap time and Dan O'Brien. You're going to have to be more proactive. If possible, try to find true love. But in the event that you have one of those regrettable haircuts that prevents you from obtaining true love, you may find it easier to redefine cultural attitudes towards Valentine's Day instead. Next year on February 14th, throw a "Happy Half-Way through Black History Month Party." Or, cause a new day of mourning to be instituted, following a daring and memorable attack on the pope.
Your Situation: Dating Someone Casually
You're in the fun, early stages of a relationship, where every thought centers on your new paramour, and you can't help but hyper-analyze every move they make. So yesterday, when they forgot to buy you flowers or return any of your calls or say "Hey" in the elevator, all of your hyper-analysis points to one conclusion: What a Colossal Fucker.
"How dare you bare your head at me, you horse's ass!"
Don't get too pissed off though. Remember that things aren't that serious yet, so overdoing things on Valentine's Day could have itself been a misstep. That may have been your counterpart's thinking, and explain why he/she stared furiously jabbing the close door buttons when you ran into the elevator lobby all teary-eyed yesterday afternoon. What You Should Do: Be your own person. If it's not a big deal to them, then it's not a big deal to you. If they don't call again, no worries, you don't need them. And if they do? Be even cooler. Casually mention that you don't mind not doing anything on Valentine's Day - you didn't even notice. You've got your own interests anyways - you were off in the hills mysteriously slaughtering livestock all of last night anyways.
Your Situation: Dating Someone Seriously
You've met their parents and they've met the television that raised you from the age of four. There's no denying it, you're in a Relationship. So the fact that they completely spaced on Valentine's Day, and are now trying to fake the symptoms of kidney failure in front of you as an excuse, is a Very Big Deal.
"I'm dating someone who doesn't know how calendars work."What You Should Do: All the classic relationship ploys come into play here, including hysterical crying, withholding sex, withholding the good type of sex, and tipping over a fridge. If you decide that the relationship is worth salvaging, and wish to correct future aberrations in your (probably-male) partner's behavior, consider teaching them responsibility by getting them a pet hamster.
Your Situation: Married
Perhaps the most romantic legal framework for a relationship (just beating out the bilateral free-trade agreement), marriage is a union binding two people into an arrangement where they'll always have at least one other person around to talk to. And now your spouse, who hasn't even been much fun to talk to lately, ruined your Valentine's Day, either by forgetting it entirely, or perhaps by spending it having sex with your neighbor Gary, because he was there.
I swear to Christ, Alice if you don't stop telling me how tired you are from all that sex with Gary, I will turn this light right off."
For other couples this could be bad news, but there's a certain momentum that marriages have which prevents little things like this from throwing them off track, like an avalanche obliterating a mountain village. The fact that your husband is scrambling around the kitchen right now, trying to make a heart shaped quesadilla at 8:30am on February 15th, is actually kind of sweet and hilarious. What You Should Do: Just file this incident away as another case of life, drunken and angry, firing bullets at your feet to make you dance. You could also maybe talk about it with your spouse. We'd probably lose our advice column license if we don't recommend communication at least once. So yeah. Let your mouths do the talking. That's basically all we got, as far as communication skills goes.
Your Situation: Stalking Someone Casually
You've been orchestrating 'accidental' encounters with that special someone for the better part of a month now, on the bus, in the coffee shop, and a dozen other places besides that.
"Come on. Come on! Uncross them just once. Just one time you god damned tease."
And yet here we are, the day after Valentine's, and you still haven't received so much as a peck on the cheek from your soulmate, much less the edible underpants which you specifically asked for during your last conversation. What You Should Do: First, remain calm. Following through on your gut instincts right now is a sure way to end up in front of a judge. Besides which, it's possible your love has ordered you an incredibly romantic gift, which simply hasn't arrived yet. Something with a long lead time. Maybe an out of stock item from Amazon, or a set of custom kitchen cabinets or an aircraft carrier or something. So sit quietly at home and wait. If an aircraft carrier operated entirely by adorable teddy bear sailors doesn't arrive at your front door within the next 16-24 months, you can safely assume that this relationship is just not to be. Go back to your previous hobby - arguing about edged weapons on the internet - and maybe next time around, consider falling insanely in love with someone who likes you back?
Your Situation: Stalking Someone Seriously
Right from the start you knew the casual encounters would never have worked - you're far too hideous. Knowing this, you stayed well back, and over the past eight months have observed your love from the safety of the large, leafy tree across the street from their house. Yesterday, they arrived home late in the evening, in the arms of a new lover, while you, shaking, shat your tree in rage.
It didn't look much different from shitting a tree in relaxation, but it sure felt different.
Now that you've switched trees, and can observe the excited dogs examining the mess you made under your last one, you should be having what alcoholics call a moment of clarity. This person you're so obsessed with either doesn't know you exist, or wants nothing to do with you if they do. If you had friends, right now they'd be telling you that there's more to life than cataloging Tony Danza's every movement. What You Should Do: No! There is nothing more important than Tony Danza's movements! WHY DO YOU TELL ME THESE LIES CRACKED!? Ok then. In that case, double down on your efforts, and use this opportunity to recreate one of those romantic comedies that Tony Danza probably loves so much. This can be that moment, at the start of the movie, where Tony Danza takes a lover who doesn't truly deserve him, while the hero/heroine, waits idly by, with the funny sidekick, the big leafy tree. Over the next 96 minutes, Tony Danza will learn that his new girlfriend is actually just interested in him for his money, thanks to a series of wacky events you orchestrate, and that you, the unconventionally attractive hero/heroine, with your eyes just a bit too close together, are the true love of his life, thanks to a series of wacky barbiturate dosings you orchestrate. The climax of the film, where a comatose Danza is sexually assaulted in the upper limbs of a tree while cop cars circle below, will have to be trimmed back heavily to mollify the censors, but when he wakens, Tony is sure to make some pithy joke like "That's show business for you!" You'll both share a laugh as the credits roll. _______________