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How To Celebrate Valentine's Day (During A Recession)

If you're like me, Valentine's Day’s approach means one thing: Your bank account is about to take a hit and several lucky ladies are about to know the joy of a 15 minute bump and grind session from the greatest lover the city bus system has to offer. Okay, so I guess it means two things.

But the fact remains, in these troubled economic times, I'm no longer able to lavish Valentine's Day gifts upon my gaggle of female companions. It's a lose-lose-lose situation: They miss the oils, diamonds and wine-soaked furs to which they've become accustomed, I'm out a series of increasingly brief lovemaking sessions and the city has been cheated of the substantial revenue that would be generated by the court fees involved in the ensuing paternity suits.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide. Here are the secret ingredients to the perfect recession-proof Valentine’s Day date. Learn how to sweep her off her feetwithoutliving on the street! How to get your guy primedwithoutspending a dime! How to romance and do the no-pants dancewhilemanaging a refinance!

It’s a simple system I call:

Fuck For A Buck (or “Rhyming is Fun!”)*

Is This Guide For You?

First of all, we must determine whether the strategies in this guide are suited to you and your lifestyle. Of the following sets of items, use a sharpie to circle which most applies to you. Please refrain from scrolling the page while taking the test, as that may invalidate your selections.

A. You wear patches on your elbows out of necessity rather than stodgy affectation.

B. You once delivered a Valentine’s Day gift with a helicopter and a modified horse-harness.

A. You’re reading this on a gas-powered computer by lamplight.

B. You can watch Lexus commercials where people put bows on new cars and park them in front of their date’s house without saying “oh yeah, right, sure, good.”

A. You consider love more precious than any earthly possession.

B. You consider every day Valentine’s Day, in the sense that you use money to get sex all the time.

If you selected mostly A’s, then a mixed congratulations is in order! This is the perfect guide for you, and you’ve probably eaten out of a dumpster for non-dare related reasons in the last month.

If you selected mostly B’s, I’m sorry. You and your virile stock portfolio should look elsewhere for sex. May I suggest any bar, coffee shop or Internet dating website in the world?

My Patented SystemMany so-called “love gurus” will try and tell you that the secret to finding lasting happiness in your relationship is communication and mutual respect and admiration. These people are lying to you, all in order to line the pockets of the greeting card corporations that sponsor them.

Think about it: Who is the world’s most admirable person? Most would agree Marie Curie. And who is known as an impressive and powerful communicator? Adolf Hitler. Yet their brief romance in 1928 ended in tragedy, heartbreak and the devising of a powerful Nazi super-weapon.

The true index of a relationship’s stability is a healthy flow of money and gifts, which I will collectively abbreviate as “love” for the remainder of this guide. But what if a sagging economy has deprived you of most, or all of your “love,” or even the stockpiles of mild affection you had squirreled away in offshore accounts? Then you’ve got to focus on a big, showy expression of your devotion once a year, and that annual bank transaction is fast approaching.

But don’t panic. By thinking creatively, and practicing what I call “lossless replacement,” you can wow your date without having to then sell their organs to pay rent.

Simply take a traditional Valentine’s Day date scenario (for example, a candlelit dinner at a French restaurant) and replace it with a more cost-effective, but equally romantic substitute (for example, a handful of complimentary mints and some road flares).

This will give your date the impression of an adventurous, thoughtful Valentine’s Day experience while simultaneously projecting an air of craftiness, resourcefulness and financial prudence.

Here are some more examples to get you started:

  • Instead of strewing flower petals all over the bed, try saving up those bagged leaves from autumn raking. To think you used to just throw them away!
  • Instead of giving her a store-bought greeting card, try Xeroxing a favorite love poem out of a book at the library! The library is a little utilized, but quite potent money-saving device. Bonus: If you wait around until someone else uses the copy machine, you can sometimes get a free copy.
  • Instead of buying her a box of chocolates, try calling her fat until she develops an eating disorder!
  • Instead of a tasteful (and expensive!) bouquet of roses, try taking advantage of the wildflowers growing on virtually every highway median in the country! Or, as I call it “the flower library.”
  • Instead of getting him a wallet, jacket, watch or anything else, try putting his junk in your mouth.
  • And so forth. By the time you’ve exhausted even half of these possibilities, you’ll be several years into marriage and it will be too late for your significant other to rethink their decision.

    Now, all you need to do is sink your claws into them and hang on as you slide towards a miserly retirement and lonely death.

    But at least you’ll have your precious money! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    *NOTE: This guide is not to be confused with “Fuck For A Buck: Becoming A Bargain Prostitute” or “Fuck For A Buck: Seducing Ten-Point Elks,” neither of which I endorse or condone.


    When not getting you lucky, Michael serves as head writer for and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!

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