A Theme Song for
Every Valentine

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen—it’s Valentine’s Day. Inescapable and smothering, like a warm, quivering wall of heart-flavored gelatin, this lovey-dovey Hallmark holiday will infiltrate your Friday without mercy.

Despair not, though, dear Internetter: perhaps V-Day resistance is futile, but at least you can still celebrate (or lament) it as you please.

So, whether you plan on spending the day flaunting your romantic prowess or scuttling back and forth between your PS4 and the fridge, this wholly comprehensive and scientifically validated list of personalized Valentine’s Day songs is sure to provide you with anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes of Valentine’s catharsis.*
(*Catharsis not guaranteed.)

The Hater | You’ve got a chip on your shoulder in the shape of the hole in your heart. You’ve got a bone to pick and you don’t care how many clichés you have to employ to convey to the world how justified your indignation is. Life’s a bitch, love’s a joke, everyone dies alone, and the rest of us just don’t get it, do we?

If it wasn’t for your piss-poor attitude and self-important perspective on the world, people might suffer the delusion that relationships can actually succeed. So thanks, Hater, for reminding the world how empty life really is. Fill your Angry Dome with some karaoke-style Conor Oberst and rage-wallow away.

The Child | For you, Valentine’s Day is about  fun-sized Snickers and gluing cotton balls onto red construction paper. You’re oblivious to the swollen profits of florists and greeting card companies, unaffected by the agonizing echoes of failed relationships, unscathed by the judgmental gaze of a mother who doesn’t understand why you can’t just settle down like your successful cousin Jared.

Nope. You are ten years old and Valentine’s means little more to you than pink frosted cupcakes and choosing which of your two least favorite holographic dinosaur cards you’re going to give to the weird booger-eating kid who spends every recess putting gravel in the bottom of the curly slide, because Mrs. Taylor said if you bring valentines you have to bring one for everyone. Enjoy it while you can, human pupae, for the thundering hooves of the Four Horsemen of the Pubertypocalypse are drawing nigh. In the meantime: CANDY’TILYOUPUKE!

The Moper | On any other day, you’re a ray of opalescent sunshine. But not today. Like a dejected Cinderella (or Cinderellington), the stroke of midnight transformed you into the bipedal equivalent of a partially deflated basketball abandoned in the damp parking lot of a boarded up Chuck E. Cheese. Let’s be honest: you have nothing to offer anyone today except despair, gloom, and a never-ending supply of heavy sighs.

The good news is that Valentine’s is only one day and, with enough ice cream sandwiches, cat .gifs and Netflix, you’ll get through it. So close the blinds, don’t worry about brushing your teeth, and try to make the most of your holiday hermitage by kicking off your sad-sack soundtrack with some Elliott Smith.

The Fanatic | You. Fucking. Love. Valentine’s Day. You slather your home and possessions with reds and pinks, illuminate the interior of your VW Bug (because, obviously) with battery-powered heart-shaped LEDs, and populate every surface of your work environment with figurines of naked baby archers and bowls of colorful talcum powder chunks stamped with abbreviated platitudes. Valentine’s Day? More like Flirtmas. More like Romantadan. More like Loveoween.

The very notion of a life form not embracing this festival of love is a sacrilege to you—the mangled and mutilated corpses of V-Day heretics litter your basement, leftovers of Valentine’s Inquisitions past. Some might doubt your taste in color schemes and certainly all will doubt your sanity, but your enthusiasm and dedication will never be called into question. Holiday on, Fanatic.

The Anti-Consumer | Kudos, Anti-Consumer. You stand proud and inflexible, staring boldly into the face of candy-coated temptation and social norms, and bellow a resounding “No thanks, bro.” You are single-handedly bringing Hallmark, 1-800-FLOWERS, and Tiffany’s to their greedy, Armani-clad knees. If it weren’t for your acute socioeconomic awareness and unrelenting boycott of this holiday farce, the cultural integrity of this fine nation would collapse inward like a chubby, dying star.

Nary a Hershey Kiss™ nor a Dark Chocolate M&M™ shall pass your lips today as you nobly battle the malignant forces of consumerism and mylar balloons—truly the only war that’s ever been worth fighting. We salute you and your sacrifices, Anti-Consumer—may you never give up the ghost. Godspeed.

The Romantic | No snarky remarks or hyperbolic similes here. I have much too much respect and admiration for the concept of romance and its devoted disciples.

For The Romantic, on this, the most amorous of days, I offer the most heartfelt song ever written, included in the soundtrack of the most poetically moving film ever made.

The Closet Case | On the outside, you’re all Valentineezer Scrooge. You swap cutting remarks about the historical ignorance of the corn-syrup hypnotized masses over beers with your friends, The Anti-Consumer, The Hater, and The Single Friend, and glower at every pair of hand-holding consenting adults you cross paths with. But on the inside? You’re wearing red satin underwear and counting down the minutes until you can casually make an excuse to head home early and kneel before your brightly lit closet shrine devoted to Cupid. The blood sacrifices have gotten more difficult to complete with each passing year, as your unattached friends grow old and more desperate to seem unaffected by the holiday, and your coupled friends feel increasingly inspired to set you up with the perfect someone.

But your zealous reverence of the Mighty Cherubic One keeps you strong, and His perfect and pure Love flows through your veins like liquid stardust. Fortunately, you no longer need limit your faithfulness to your closet and the basement at the neighborhood Grange you and your fellow cultists meet at once a month. Just throw David Bowie’s “Valentine’s Day” in every playlist and if anyone asks, you can just shrug and say “I just like Bowie, man.”

The Happy Couple | Your “two bodies, one soul” thing is bad enough on a normal day, but on Valentine’s? You two and the rest of your kind are the scum of the Earth come February 14. Oblivious to the envy and revulsion your mutual bottomless devotion inspires in those around you, you nuzzle and snuggle and canoodle and huggle and kissle until everyone else in the room reaches a level of contempt so severe they forge a telepathic connection and share murder dreams about you for an entire week.

This makes Lana del Rey’s “Born to Die” your perfect V-Day song—it’s drippy and romantic, but the title will keep the Moper, the Hater, and your Single Friend happy.

The Single Friend of the Happy Couple | You stride into Taco and Movie Night the same way you stride out—stoic and alone. You love your friends and their significant others, and you’re happy for them. At least in the way that no-name hero gunslingers are happy for the content and quaint families they leave behind when they ride off into the sunset. It’s not that you don’t want to be in a relationship, it’s just that some people are meant to journey through life on their own, unbridled by the demands of an LTR.

Maybe one day you’ll meet that special someone who’s special enough to be special to you, but until then, you’ll keep strolling from Movie Night to Movie Night, poncho of solitude flapping in the breeze. I’d tell you to stay cool, Single Friend, but everyone knows you always do. Take it away, Eagles (and painted eagle hand puppet thing.)

The Last Minute Reservation Maker | Oh god. It’s 4:15pm and you just remembered what day it is. You’ve already paid an extra $50 and 1/32 of your soul for one-hour flower delivery and now you’re desperately scanning OpenTable and Yelp, like a shipwreck victim scanning the horizon for rescue. And sharks.

The world as you know it is coming to an end and if you can’t get a rez, you’re going to snap like a high-strung, sociopathic ’80s CEO. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and don’t give up hope—at best you’ll get a fantastic last-minute reservation and sweep your S.O. off his/her feet; at worst, you’ll be laughed off the phone by one cruel maître d’ after another until your mask of sanity finally slips and you murder a prostitute with a strategically dropped chainsaw. Good luck, American Procrastinator—maybe this upbeat and bouncy classic will help you get your shit together.

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