Monday, February 15, 2010

Romance vs. Revenge on Valentine's Day

WHEN I WAS a kid, I loved Valentine's Day, mainly because my teacher had us decorate shoeboxes with pink and red hearts, bring in Valentine cards featuring our favorite cartoon characters (mine was Little Lulu), and then collect as many cards as we could from our classmates. Plus we got chocolate.

When I first fell in love with my husband, I went to a lot of trouble picking out the perfect Valentine gifts—chocolate-covered strawberries, heart-printed boxer shorts, and homemade "I Heart You" cards. And he'd always give me dyed pink daisies from the grocery store and a heart-shaped box of drugstore chocolates.

Eventually we started showering our kids with Valentine goodies. My husband would sneak into their bedrooms early in the morning and sprinkle princess- and Star Wars-themed valentines all over the kids' beds and floor, while I made pink heart-shaped pancakes, pink scrambled eggs, and pink milk.

Now that I've got so many Valentine recipients in my family, I've decided to keep it simple and just pass out chocolate roses wrapped in pink foil, along with a humorous card from the stationery store.

When I mentioned Valentine's Day to a friend of mine who recently got dumped by her husband, I realized not everyone loves Valentine's Day like I do (mainly because of the chocolates). So I quickly created a party for my "Valentine's Day Sucks" friend to help her get through this mushy time. If you prefer to celebrate "Valentine's Day Sucks" too, here are some suggestions:

# Begin with invitations. Create your own, using the "Roses are red" formula. First cut a valentine card in half using a zigzag pattern so it looks like a broken heart. Then write a poem to invite your guests, such as, "Roses are red, Violets are blue, Butch is a pig, So let's kiss him 'Adieu!' " or "Roses are dead, Love is a lie, Bozo's a jerk, So let's roast the guy!"

# Suggest what to wear. Instead of dressing up in fancy or sexy outfits, have the guests come as slobs and be comfortable. Better yet, have T-shirts made with Bozo's face, circle it with red permanent marker and run a line through it, then pass the shirts out to guests.

# Time to decorate. Have guests create their own banners to hang on the walls, such as "Valentine's Day Sucks," "Men are Pigs," or "Love Hurts." Play lady-killer music, such as Shania Twain's "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" Place a chocolate rose at each place setting.

# Get your game on. Play some killer games to keep from actually murdering the guy, such as "Venus vs. Mars." Write down some question prompts about men, such as, "Why don't men like to shop?" "Why do men have only three bathroom products?" "Why don't men like cats?" "Why do men act like children?" "Why don't men put the toilet seat down?"

# Have the players write down funny answers and read them aloud. Then watch a marathon of chick flicks featuring strong women, such as "Thelma and Louise."

# Time to eat and drink. Serve junk food, decadent chocolate desserts, and wash it all down with champagne!

#When the party's over, send the girls home with gourmet chocolates, a poster of Tiger Woods, and a good murder mystery — in which the boyfriend gets it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the "un" Valentine's party idea. One of my friends hosted a Valentine's Day potluck, assigning pink and red dishes to each of us. The main dish was lasagna. It was a lot of fun, and didn't cost anyone very much. We all wore red, and we told stories about our worst and best valentine's gifts. It was surprising how many of us remember decorating shoe boxes and making our own cards to give to our classmates. I guess that dates us, but so what? Kids nowadays miss out on a lot of stuff.

I'm looking forward to beginning your party-planning series. I love themed mysteries, and I have really expanded the number of books I read weekly since I retired from teaching.

Enjoyed reading your blog.

February 16, 2010 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Have you seen the new movie, Valentine's Day? In it one of the characters hosts a Valentine's Sucks kind of party. Fun idea for those who are disenchanted with romance (at least for the time being).

Your book, by the way, looks fantastic. I love culinary-themed mysteries, and yours looks like it's lots of fun. I'll have to look for it. And if you have any chocolate recipes you'd be willing to share, please send them my way! I have a recipe blog and like to feature other authors when I can -- a recipe and then a link to their book :)

February 17, 2010 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for your comments.
Love your party tips!
What fun!
If you'd like a complimentary Mini-Party Album, email my your address and I'll send it along.

February 20, 2010 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

For your chocolate addiction, check out my blog on Dying For Chocolate blog that Janet Rudolph hosts...

February 20, 2010 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Julaina Kleist-Corwin said...

Love the Roses are Red poems for the invitations!

It was great to see you at the S.F. Writers Conference, and I enjoyed your workshop, especially your humor.


February 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Hey, Julaina,
Never knew I was such a poet, did you?

February 25, 2010 at 8:54 AM  

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