It’s no secret that February 14 is a day reserved for lovers. But if you’re not in a relationship, you may have noticed that the days before and after this romantic holiday have been commandeered by alternative celebrations. theCITYSCENE has the scoop on everything you need to know in order to celebrate your friends, to celebrate yourself, and to think a little differently about love this year.
GALENTINE’S DAY, February 13th
This made-up holiday originated on NBC’s Parks and Rec in 2010 and has spent over a decade rising in popularity. It’s now so widely celebrated (and commercialized) that many restaurants and bars run Galentine’s Day specials and host fun events for celebrants. Whether you’re gleefully single or happily coupled, anyone can enjoy this cheerful holiday that focuses on “ladies celebrating ladies.”
There’s no wrong way to observe this holiday. You could honor Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler’s phenomenal character and mother of Galentine’s Day) by hosting a waffle-centric brunch and doting on your gal pals with over-the-top compliments. Or you could gather your closest confidants for a spa day complete with manis and pedis. Hoping for a more gender-neutral way to celebrate both the women AND men in your life whose friendships mean so much? Throw a PALentine’s dinner for those extra-special VIPs.
SINGLES AWARENESS DAY, February 15thWhat’s better than chocolates and candies? Half-off chocolates and candies, of course. That’s part of the beauty of SAD (Single Awareness Day); it falls the day after Valentine’s Day, so you can score huge deals on all the sweets your heart desires. There are few better reasons to celebrate than that.
It’s true that SAD is an unfortunate acronym, not to mention that the idea of proclaiming your single status to the world may give some of you hives. But in recent years, this holiday has transformed itself from a day of self-loathing and misery to a celebration of empowerment and self-love.
Nowadays singles of all ages enjoy February 15 by treating themselves to something special – whether a lovely dinner, a massage, or even a solo day trip. The possibilities are truly endless and as unique as you are. And one of the best things about being single? You’re a grown adult not having to answer to anyone else about how you spend your money. So if your SAD celebration includes splurging on a 7-foot tall teddy bear for no other reason than it makes you smile, then (in the words of Tabitha Brown) “honey, that’s your business.” Raise a glass and toast your uncoupled status.
MARDI GRAS, February 21st
If you need to forget love and romance altogether this year, you’re in luck. Mardi Gras just happens to fall one week later on the 21st, so you can focus your celebrations on King Cake and feasts. Food is, of course, at the center of Fat Tuesday – and if you happen to be bitter about Valentine’s Day, this is the perfect opportunity to eat your feelings.
Pittsburgh has an abundance of places to get your fill, but for Mardi Gras, you’d be remiss not to check out Muddy Waters Oyster Bar on South Highland Avenue. They’re serving up “the best Cajun food this side of the Mississippi,” with shrimp & grits, boudin, gumbo, and jambalaya all featured prominently on the menu. If you ask me, a bowl of gumbo accompanied by some hushpuppies and a Creole-inspired cocktail is the ideal distraction from a disappointing Valentine’s Day.
(Muddy Waters is located at 130 South Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh. Open 6 days a week, Monday – Sunday and featuring brunch on Sundays 10:30 – 3pm)
THE GENTLMEN’S CLUB, Anytime You Want
If none of these alternative celebrations is a fit, consider the tried-and-true venue for singles everywhere: the Gentlemen’s Club. Trade in love for lust this year and eschew romance altogether. For about the price you’d pay for Valentine’s gifts and dinner, you could be surrounded by lovely ladies working sturdy poles.
Be sure to check out Cheerleaders if this is the route you take – and thank us later. 3100 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15201