Doing the traditional Valentine’s Day thing can get as tired as roses and heart-shaped boxes, whether you’re single or not. This year, change things up a little by ditching the lovey-dovey expectations in favor of — well, just about anything else. If you’re still scratching your head, here are some places to start:

1. Rent “Oldboy”

Revenge is the only tune in this South Korean cult film, and yes, it’s sweet. It’s also just violent and thrilling enough to wash away any thoughts of the L-word. As Wikipedia will tell you, the film follows the 15-year imprisonment of a drunk who is then released and given the chance to avenge himself. The original 2003 film is available on Hulu Plus and can be rented on Google Play for $2.99.

2. Get outdoors

The forecast for Saturday is unreasonably warm and sunny, and in February, that’s a sign. There are plenty of natural wonders in nearby regions of the Gem and Evergreen states. A simple search on will show you the way.

3. Take a cue from “Parks & Recreation” and celebrate Galentine’s Day

Any holiday created by power protagonist Leslie Knope means lots of presents and snacks that fit the theme. Galentine’s Day is all about celebrating friendships, so gather your friends for a covered-dish meal fit to rebel by and ask each person to bring a food associated with their favorite holiday. Brownie points go to anyone who dresses up to match their dish. At the end of the night, have a circle of compliments — one person stands in the middle, and everyone in the circle says one thing they like about that individual. Repeat until everyone has been showered with affection.

4. Make friends with the booze aisle

It might be necessary. Treat yourself to the nice bottle of wine or whiskey, and don’t share if you don’t want to. If the Internet is also looking friendly to your rebel ways, spend an embarrassing amount of time on Imgur or Tumblr and don’t feel bad about it.

5. Take your affair with adult beverages to the next level

Head to your favorite bar and get a fancy drink because you deserve it. Your favorite bartender will probably be there, ready to bemoan the very existence of Valentine’s Day. WARNING: This activity may come with attention from potential suitors. Proceed with caution.

6. Take yourself out on the town

Human beings are complex, so of course you can take yourself out on an anti-date. See the movie that looks interesting to you but none of your friends. Cozy up in a coffee shop with a dramatic war novel or a fashion magazine. Go dancing. I’m willing to wager you’ll find yourself feeling less worried about what other people think and more empowered by your independence.

7. Catch up on your to-do list

Restaurants will be swarmed with stressed couples trying to have a good time, so while they’re doing that, pick up those toiletries you’ve been meaning to restock or do your grocery shopping for the week. Getting a few small things knocked out means rest and relaxation just in time for Sunday Fun Day.

8. Catch up on your self-care

It’s too easy to forget to address our own needs in the midst of stressful work weeks and busy social lives. So take the time to do what makes you feel good — whether it’s lavender candles and a bubble bath or an outdoor run and weight lifting at the gym. I’ll be at home painting my nails.

9. Go see some art

There are tons of cool exhibits — ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to endangered birds — in Pullman, Colfax, Uniontown, Moscow, Palouse, Lewiston and Clarkston. Check out the back of this issue for a detailed listing.


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