The Best Unromantic Traditions for February 14

Every year for Valentine's Day, Sam and Jeremy Little throw a scary movie night with more than a dozen of their friends, decorating their house with embellishments that poke fun at the holiday. Those who show up have to follow two rules: Your attire must include sweatpants, and you can't sit next to your significant other if you have one.

The Best Unromantic Traditions for February 14


Wearing her best sweatpants, Sam Little, 36, washed the buffalo sauce off her hands after a chicken wing and chili dinner before plopping down on the couch in front of the TV.she waited for stephen king it spread over its 65-inch screen. Little’s husband, Jeremy, sits on the other end of the sofa, and if the evil clown Pennywise has any fear, he can’t hug. But Little isn’t worried. Her friends huddled close on either side, and a dozen other companions took over the three-tier stadium-style seating arrangement set up in Little’s living room.

For the Bensalems, it’s been Valentine’s Day for the past decade: sharing a spooky movie night with many of their favorites, plus “non-romantic and easy-to-prep” fare. Chicken wings are Little’s specialty.

“There are two rules — you have to wear sweatpants, and if you have sweatpants, you can’t sit next to your significant other,” Little said.

For Littles, the tradition stems from a love of throwing parties and watching movies. They show two films a year.The first is a “B-list” movie (think Attack of the Killer Donuts or zombie beaver), with wings and homemade heartbreak cookies in the background as guests arrive.The headliner lights are out, always a popular horror movie like a quiet place and final destination. It should provoke fear, but contain enough clichés to encourage constant commentary — fueled by plenty of beer.

“It’s not like we’re anti-love, but Valentine’s Day has become a stressful day where you use cards, gifts or dinners in some way to prove your love to an individual, and anti-Valentine’s Day parties are the opposite,” Leigh said. Tell said. “There’s no pressure when you’re relaxing with all your friends.”

Whether you’re in a relationship, single forever, or ready to throw your ex out the window, there are plenty of ways to celebrate February 14 that don’t involve crowded restaurants, shopping for fancy gifts, or sitting alone at home.

Casey Alrich, 39, of South Philadelphia, agrees. All of Alrich’s fondest memories of celebrating Cupid include singing his favorite Vietnamese love song, Yugi From my tan, to a room full of friends.

“Valentine’s Day sucked, so I turned to karaoke,” says Alrich, who started the tradition back in 2010. If you don’t do something. “

Filled with cheesy dollar store decorations, bourbon and candy hearts, Alridge has gathered around 30 people to fill a private room inside the Chinatown BYOB, which rotates every year. He’s now working on a family-friendly version as more of his friends have kids.

Public karaoke sessions are also a good option if you don’t want to play the role of a party planner.Walk into Yakitori Boy or Tango and you’re sure to find plenty of other people singing their hearts out to Beyoncé single lady.

Then there’s the annual Ex-Files storyslam of first-person art, which brings another, even bolder, opportunity to pick up the mic. Here, random audience members share their best and worst true stories about their exes.

Fishtown’s John Derie, 33, used his moment on stage to recount the time he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him.

“We went to a drive-in movie theater with a group of friends and there was a man sitting behind us I didn’t know she was cheating on me all the time,” Dirie said as he told his first ex-file story. “He started crying because he saw us and I don’t know what happened. I was driving home making fun of him crying while watching a movie, only to find out later that I was the subject of the joke.”

The event is usually sold out. If you want to participate, be prepared to throw your name in the bucket when you arrive. Ten people are chosen for each performance to shine on stage. The winner will receive a $100 prize and a chance to enter GrandSlam, the finale of the first-person art season. Dirie, who co-hosted this year’s Ex-Files, said one of the best parts of the whole event was the instant connection it created.

“It’s a 50-50 mix between comedy and honest storytelling,” he said. “These stories are a good reminder that you’re not alone in having an unfortunate romantic situation.”

For the past 30 years, Rittenhouse’s Irish pub has hosted a more casual version of Ex-Files. Events, desperation and no dates, each Valentine’s Day draws in as many as 100 customers, most of them single. At its center is Date From Hell, where you can write about your worst dating experience ever and have it read aloud by a DJ. The story with the loudest applause wins prizes such as gift certificates and Eagles gear. It was followed by the dating game.

“We had some success the time people went home together,” said general manager Lauren Kim.

A female contestant asks questions, quizzes four male contestants, and decides who is best worth a date. While it doesn’t always lead to love, it almost always elicits plenty of laughter from the audience.

But what if you just want candy? Whether you’re single or married, you don’t need to ditch all the classic traditions to celebrate Anti-Valentine’s Day. If you’re a chocoholic, make sure you eat chocolate. Just consider building a little extra anticipation.

“My favorite holiday of the year? Drugstore candy sales on February 15,” said Alison Cornell, 32, of Kensington.

Beginning in college, Cornell began delaying her Valentine’s Day celebrations until the next day, using the opportunity to stock up on discounted heart lollies, pink Hershey’s Kisses and fluffy heart-trimmed slippers.

“If I found a little heart plush, I’d buy it, cut it with catnip, sew it up, and give it to my cat, my true love,” she said.

Drugstore Candy Sale Day is also how Danielle Lazaroff and her bargaining boyfriend celebrate. As she watched one girlfriend post Valentine’s Day bouquets one by one on Facebook, Lazarov said she was patiently waiting for her boyfriend’s annual trip to CVS on February 15.

“It’s a bit insulting, but it’s funny. On the 15th, I got sweet revenge when I showed off my massive gift of love.” Lazarov embraced the decade-long tradition with ease. “We’re talking about bags after bags of candy, stuffed animals, and lots of stuff.”

“Because he wanted it too,” she added with a smile.

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