Valentine’s Day: Worth or North?


We’ve all heard about Valentine’s Day :the time of the year where everyone and everywhere gets decked out in red and pink, the day where you show your love for the people around you, and the time when Amy Schumer comes out of whatever dark and scary lair where she resides to tell horrible jokes and probably make a movie that no one will watch.

Sure, there are good aspects of the holiday to go with the bad. The important question here is: is it really worth it? Let’s break it down.

Why would we have a holiday about something only a percentage of the population can enjoy?

Let’s look at the data. Almost 30% of adults in America are not married, and 7% are single. If you look at kids, the figures are much starker: at least 60% of teens are single. That’s a lot of people who cannot partake in the main spirit of Valentine’s Day, which is based around romance. (An even more alarming statistic is that 3% of people find Amy Schumer funny.) I feel that this is unfairly discriminatory against single or unattached people. Why would we have a holiday that only a percentage of people can enjoy?

What do people do on that day?

Well, usually people use this day to show their love for a person that they are romantically attracted to or in a relationship with. Displays of affection include gifts (stereotypically including teddy bears and chocolate) as well as dinner dates, walks in the park, and other things. Of course, if you’re not currently in a relationship, or are among the recently rejected, then you get to enjoy a night of loneliness, which can include watching half-baked rom-coms, eating a tub or two (or three, no judgment here) of the best ice cream available to you, and sitting in the corner of your room on your phone seeing all of your friends celebrate the day with their partners. Do not recommend, to say the least.

What if you are currently dating (or married)?

Even though I am single (currently), I do love helping other people not be single, and through my years of advice and experience, here are some tips for those of you lucky enough to be lovebirds.

Best places for dinner/lunch dates in Rochester:

  • The Lamplighter. A personal favorite of mine, the Lamplighter is a nice little Italian restaurant with a great menu, yummy desserts, and the best garlic bread in the county. If you go, say Izzy sent you. Price range: $10-30. Expect most meals in the $20 range.
  • Phillips European: Do you want a cozy romantic restaurant to have fancy cheese and great chocolate desserts? Go to Phillips European. Great food, especially the baked goods, and a beautiful restaurant. Price range: $10-20, but expect most entrees to cost around $10.
  • Dinosaur BBQ: The classic. If you (and your date) prefer to indulge in good ol’ barbecue—ribs, brisket, pulled pork, etc.—get to Dino for some of the best stuff in the city. They bring you wet wipes, so don’t be afraid to get messy. Price range: $20-30.

What should I bring on a date?

If you’re going on a date with someone (lucky you!), here are some things you can bring or do to make a good impression and have a great night.

  • Deodorant/antiperspirant, aftershave, perfume, and other olfactory things. You don’t want to smell like the Philadelphia Phillies locker room—or, really, any other locker room—when you’re on a date with that special someone, so wear some good deodorant. I recommend Old Spice. If you really want to make an impression, go out and get you some extra fragrances. If you want to smell old-fashioned, buy some Old Spice aftershave, and Drakkar Noir is one of my favorite colognes that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I also recommend Dr. Squatch, which has a brand-new cologne out as well as a great selection of soaps and other products made from real ingredients.
  • Chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate? Insufferable people, that’s who. [Ed. Note—and people who had their nerves scrambled by COVID, but y’know.] In all honesty, though, chocolate is a great way to win someone over, and make someone’s day. I personally love Godiva chocolates, but make sure to ask your special person what type of chocolate they like so you don’t accidentally get them dark chocolate. Unless they like that, I guess.
  • A card. Cards, even though they’re quite simple, are some of the best ways to convey a quick emotional message, whether it’s sad, happy, angry, romantic, or containing-a-$100-check-from-the-grandparents. Go and get your loved one a card and write something nice in it to show them you love them.

What if I’m single on the 14th?

Don’t worry, I got you covered. Here’s some things to do:

  • Get some screen time. I personally love watching movies and TV, like most people do, so here’s my personal recommendations.
    • Just Go With It: You can’t go wrong with Adam Sandler, and this movie is one of my favorites. A funny rom-com with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston? What more could you want? (Personally, a girlfriend to watch it with might be nice.)
    • Deadpool: Seriously? Might as well watch Cast Away on Christmas. But seriously, this movie has strong undertones of love and slo-mo killing.
    • The Last of Us: New show with hours of content, and so far I’m loving it. Although not very romantic, the show is brand-new and coming out with episodes every Sunday.
  • One stereotype that doesn’t hurt. Butterscotch ice cream is the best ice cream, and I could down a truck full of these things like Tallahassee and Twinkies. (Oh, yeah, watch Zombieland, too.)
  • Roll up your sleeves. I’ve racked up hours on Stardew Valley and it is available on every platform. You are free to make a farm, go mining, and have a romance with almost any character. You can sit back on acres of farmland with a dog by your side. Great game and excellent distraction.

So, to all my fellow helpless romantics, cuddle up with a pet or stuffed animal, put on some TV, and don’t cry yourself to sleep.

Either way, I leave you now to spend your Valentine’s Day with loved ones, pets, or ice cream. Be safe, stay warm, and have fun.