Maybe you don't have a Valentine today.
Maybe you've already felt like spitting on the ground or retching in jealousy when you saw yet another romantic Penn couple exchange roses and chalky-tasting little hearts that say "be mine."
Maybe it seems like every person on Penn's campus but you has received flowers, chocolates or edible undies today. And maybe tonight, you'll sit at home alone and eat Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby as you watch the Barbra Streisand concert on FOX, your only distraction your occasional thoughts of a far-fetched romantic escapade between yourself and geriatric former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. (Yes, it's gotten that desperate.)
Everyone else on campus will be in Center City tonight eating dinner at some chi-chi romantic restaurant whispering muffled and private "I love you"s into the chilling and nauseating February 14th air.
Looking to have your romantic life drastically altered through the advice of people who know nothing about you and your romantic interests? Fortunately, you can! But first, if you are a heterosexual woman, you should have mastered these rules from 1995:
"Don't stare at men or talk too much. Don't meet him halfway or go dutch on a date. Don't call him and rarely return his calls. Stop dating him if he doesn't buy you a romantic gift for your birthday or Valentine's Day. Wear makeup."
According to The Rules, a how-to-meet-Mr.-Right guide published six years ago, this is what you have to do in order to go out to dinner next year on Valentine's Day. Being interminably obnoxious to someone you're interested in dating is the small price you'll have to pay to meet your perfect match, according to the authors of The Rules.
So stop calling back the person you like, stop offering to pay, slap on some mascara and for God's sakes, break their sorry little hearts when they don't bring you the romantic gift they should simply know you want. This is the road to the fantasy Valentine's Day you've always dreamt of.
Or is it?
You're having doubts. Maybe being heartless and seemingly uncaring to your romantic interest isn't the way to get into a caring, heartfelt relationship.
There's got to be another way.
For those of you who are sick of 1995's unhelpful "time-tested secrets," it's time to find a new gimmick. Pick up 2001's answer to The Rules, the recent New York Times bestseller, The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace With a Man.
The good news: you don't have to be obnoxious to get your perfect match any longer.
The bad news: All you really have to do is be a submissive, soulless little troll.
Written by 34-year-old Laura Doyle, The Surrendered Wife offers tips to wives on how to maintain the perfect relationship and marriage, with such gripping suggestions as, "Abandon the Myth of Equality" and "Provide Sex on Demand."
Yes, this is the way to safeguard our romantic lives for the future, no doubt about it. Thank God someone has had the common sense and foresight to write it down for posterity.
The Surrendered Wife has some really valuable romantic lessons. For one, it's time to abandon our personalities. It's time to "Yes, dear" our way into romance. It's time to play the vulnerable little sheep. After all, vulnerability, according to Doyle, leads to trust, and women need to submit everything to their significant others to maintain a happy romantic stability.
If nothing else, you should learn from Doyle's book that the only way to be in a prosperous and fulfilling romantic relationship is to submit to your romantic interest and "refrain from the urge to sass." After only a month on bookstore shelves, 100,000 copies have sold spreading Doyle's valuable message.
Somewhere out there, Betty Friedan is really pissed off.
Somewhere between The Feminine Mystique and The Surrendered Wife, being who you are lost its appeal. Having a personality must be drowned out by the pressure to be generic and submissive.
Having a heart is no longer as important as appearing as if you do. It's time for that to end.
By God, it is time for us to sass.
So on this Valentine's Day, don't simply be jealous and hiss at romantic couples. Don't submit your personality to the person you're interested in. Say what you want to say. Be courageous. Call your romantic interest back. Ask them out. Be bold. Be who you are. It's the only real way to have your fantasy Valentine's Day and to change your life.
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