I hate Valentine’s Day. I just want to be able to leave the house without my own singledom slapping me in the face six billion times as the whole world celebrates what I don’t have.
How can I make it through the day without crying on the couch watching ‘She’s All That,’ or going on a jealous rampage, flipping candlelit tables and stuffing red roses into the drooling, lovesick faces of happy couples?
Grumpy and Lonely in Karratha
Dear Grumpy and Lonely of Karratha,
First up, I am truly sorry that you happen to live in K-Hole. I’m quite sure it’s the only reason you are single. Secondly, Grumps mate, I feel ya! I’ve been there buddy. You might be very Happily Single for 50 weeks of the year but the fortnight leading up to V-Day you become Pretty Uncharacteristically Desperate. That entire aisle of red love heart themed merchandise at Woolies, the ‘for someone special’ tagline added to every ad on telly, the overheard plans of people in couples, the romance novels on decorative display at the local library – all this noise can test even the toughest of lonely hearts.
Despite the fact that Karratha is now a city and not a shire (controversial!) there’s still no cinema for you to see ’50 Shades of Grey’ at, there’s no cool anti-capitalist hipster bands playing anywhere and you probably don’t have any single mates to hang out with either. They’re probably on the east coast being each other’s Valentines, going dancing and having a great time.
Soz to add to your (probably constant state of) FOMO but it looks like you’re gunna have to get yourself through this one. Don’t let small town syndrome strike you down!
Just avoid the Centro Mall. Avoid restaurants. Don’t attempt to circumnavigate the CBD solo and unassisted. It’s not the day for self-dates reading a book in a cosy café corner, that’s if the café has any tables for one. You’ll cringe at so many cute couples you’ll end up a cranky cynic hell bent on preaching anti-consumerism to waiters who aren’t flirting with you, they’re just giving you good customer service.
In fact, don’t just avoid the ‘CBD’ avoid Karratha. The only way you can truly escape is to get outta town. Here are some simple steps:
Step 1: Ask some old people where to go and head bush for the day. Tell someone where you’re going and pack plenty of water, fuel, swimmers, good shoes, hat, suncream and the unhealthiest snacks you can find.
Step 2: Crank your favourite tunes and podcasts in the car. Call up those east coast single friends with your hands free headphone set thing. Stop whenever you damn well feel like it. Take some photos. Pick those flowers. Get as many Cornettos and boxes of Pizza Shapes from shitty roadhouses that you want.
Step 3: Drive for at least an hour. See that country changing. Pull over and stand on top of your car to get a good view. Walk over to that tree over there. Sit on that nice rock in the shade then close your eyes and do some breathing in and out for a bit.
Take off your shoes and feel the sand. Call out to the country if you want. Step into that waterhole slowly. Keep going. Slow though, so you can feel it tingling up your body. Let that freezing cold water cover you all the way up to your shoulders. Stand there shivering for a while. Look up at those cliffs and how those trees just seem to grow out of the rock.
See those little clouds in that big blue sky above you.
Listen to those birds and that silence.
Take a deep breath in.
Close your eyes.
Duck dive down.
Go on! Put your head under the water, I dare ya! I can 100% guarantee it will feel amazing.
Lie on your back for a while, faff around in the water for a while, then repeat Step 2 in the reverse direction and sleep happy in the knowledge that tomorrow your photos will win the internet and chocolate prices will be slashed.
You’ll be right, Grumps, you right.