11 February 2007

Remember we're all in this alone

No plans for Valentine's Day? Don't worry! I can help you plan your entire evening. All you need to do is follow my simple three step process. If you do, by the end of the evening you will successfully be as despondent as possible. You have a few days to put this lofty goal into practice.

Step 1: Feel Sorry for Yourself

- Look your worst. There's no point fixing up. If you look nice, you'll feel okay about your life. You're alone on Valentine's Day--you're supposed to be miserable. Let it show.

- Eat lots of candy. Chocolate is especially good; plus, the sugar will help keep you awake til the end of the night. Unfortunately, I think it's past the deadline to personalize your chocolates with depressing and lonely messages.

- Listen to depressing music. You need the right song set to lower your spirits. To assist you, I have created a series of potential playlists. I packed as many depressing and minor key songs as I could onto a series of CD-length playlists (in case any of you still use that ancient technology). It was easy--just a classic knapsack problem... which, incidentally, is also useful when you're trying to spend all that last-minute foreign currency just before you board your flight home.

I digress. Here are my sample playlists:

- My personal Valentine's Day playlist. It's so long I had to divide it into Part 1 and Part 2.
- I also offer a darker, more depressing playlist option.
- You may also want a playlist with a cheesier angle. One might argue that some of the songs on the other playlists are also cheesy. That's nice.
- Still expecting to get a date in time for Valentine's Day? "Songs for the Optimist" is clearly the playlist for you. Have no fear, your hopes will be dashed in time for the glorious holiday.
- Just got out of a relationship? Here are some good end of relationship songs.
- Depressing classical music. These happen to be some of my favorite songs.
- Country Music, Part 1
- Country Music, Part 2 - With this disclaimer.

Step 2: Make Others Feel Sorry for You

It's not enough to feel sorry for yourself. To make the day truly miserable, you need to know that others pity you as well. To do this, you have to go out... alone. My recommendation is that you take a comfort food tour of the local area. Plan on visiting at least 5 restaurants--order only one or two items from each.

By the end you'll be even more depressed: you'll feel ten pounds heavier, you'll be at least ten pounds poorer, and you'll have seen all those happy couples out for their romantic dates... and they'll have seen you there all by your lonesome. You'll be that much closer to accomplishing your lofty goal of sadness.

So, what fits into a comfort food tour? Comfort food is very subjective. Ultimately I'll have to defer to your personal tastes, but here are some ideas to get you thinking:

- Fried mac & cheese - TGI Friday's. Always good.
- Meatloaf - Cracker Barrel. Who knew meatloaf could be so fancy?
- Mashed Potato Bowl - KFC. Mmm, fried chicken...
- Chicken pot pie - Boston Market

Seeking something more exotic? Try one of these:
- Taco Bell - Though this may be too exotic for some, there are people who consider it to be comfort food.
- Thai - Unless you have peanut allergies. I'm trying to depress you, not kill you.
- Chinese - Alternatively, you can go to a Chinese restaurant to sign up for their hockey team.
- Middle Eastern food
- Afghan food - Seriously, it's great.

Naturally, you can't skip dessert. Go for a few rounds of the sweet stuff. You might have cheesecake, apple pie, donuts, ice cream, or frozen custard... so many options!

Step 3: Feel Better by Comparing Your Life to Someone Else's Life

Forget being in love like the movies; this is the point of the evening where you come home and watch a really depressing movie. You'll feel more depressed overall, but ultimately will realize that your life could be a whole lot worse. Books could work too, but it would be easier to finish a movie in one evening than a book.

How do you select a movie? You may want to choose one that features some relationship that works out in the end; however, if you want to succeed in depressing yourself, it's better to pick one that has a depressing beginning, middle, and end.


- Anything by Thomas Hardy is a great choice--characters' lives always go from bad to worse to worst. Even the ones that "work out in the end" still don't seem happy. Far From the Madding Crowd is one option. Not depressing enough? Try Tess (based on Tess of the D'Urbervilles). It still has the lead for the most depressing movie I've ever seen. I don't think I could handle the book.
- Cyrano de Bergerac is good, too. No one ends up happy.
- If you chose the "Cheesy Depressing" song playlist, City of Angels might be a good movie choice for you. It's supposed to be a deep and depressing movie, but for some reason we ended up laughing hysterically through most of it.
- White Oleander. Her life is really, really messed up.
- Citizen Kane. Fall in love with Rosebud. But if you watch this, you must watch the equivalent Simpson's episode immediately afterwards.
- If you're a traditionalist, there's always Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet or another movie version of a Shakespearean play in which everyone dies in the end.
- The Day I Became a Woman - Um, no, it's probably not what you're thinking. It's a very ironic Persian film about the lives of a girl, a young woman, and an old woman.
- If you're into British crime drama, there's always Midsomer Murders. This episode is appropriate for creating further Valentine's Day depression.

So there you go--you now have Valentine's Day plans. There's no need to thank me. After all, I'm just here to help.

1 comment:

Mystery-Dark Glamour said...

amazing ...

im gonna try all of them!