Countless commercials, a relentless wave of promotions, and holiday-themed casual conversation signal the inescapable, irrefutable truth of another approaching Valentine’s Day. Present relationship status likely predicates whether the celebration is received or rebuked. Men, regardless of status, may dread the holiday for a variety of reasons. The dating or married man may ignore the positive manifestations of a loving Valentine’s Day, and consider the holiday a crass mandate of consumerism, obligation, and contrived celebration, altogether. In the same breath, the single man may revere Valentine’s Day, long for loving validation, and view the lonely holiday as a missed opportunity to share affection with a significant other. Ultimately, assembling a personal ‘Man-Plan’ is essential for the single man’s Valentine’s Day survival.
Creating a schedule specifically catered to the single-man will hopefully lead to a fulfilling, enjoyable Valentine’s Day. Guaranteed to work better than the alternative scenario: wake up at noon, eat cold soup and crackers, mope around the apartment all day, eat a pint of Rocky Road while watching You’ve Got Mail, drinking in the dark, and listening to Eric Carmen all day.
Wake up and jumpstart the day with a manly, but healthfully balanced breakfast.
Great choices: A fresh-fruit protein shake or smoothie, hardboiled eggs, FiberOne pancakes with cranberries and almonds (amazing!), rye toast, nitrate-free bacon, fresh-fruit and nut parfait or with cottage cheese, or breakfast salad.
Post-breakfast: Digest and de-stress with a healthy dose of Sportscenter or The Sports Reporters on ESPN, depending on time zone and station schedule. (Or attend church if inclined)
After digesting a great meal and food for thought for the fan, release a natural rush of endorphins with an infusion of interval training, in the form of running or a total body weightlifting workout. Exercise is an unbelievably healthy diversion for the mind, body, and spirit. Sweat out any sources of stress and feel great the rest of the day. Afterwards, take a warm shower, shave, and dress for success!
Quick and healthy lunch suggestion: Homemade pizza! Brown a whole grain tortilla on the stove, then top with a low-sugar sauce, a favorite lean meat, fresh vegetables (green peppers, onions, or tomatoes), garlic and crushed red peppers, and add fresh provolone or mozzarella cheese. Stick it in the oven and voila! A great-tasting, healthier version of the classic pie!
The rest of the afternoon is an open canvas. For the college basketball fan, Syracuse hosts Louisville on CBS and Illinois hosts Ohio State on ESPN at noon. Otherwise, relax, read, watch television or start a man’s movie marathon (cinematic series such as: Rocky, The Godfather, Die Hard, Terminator, or testosterone-soaked television classics, Entourage, Mad Men, or Band of Brothers), wash the car, walk the dog, catch up on email, call friends and family, or include any local flavor to enhance afternoon enjoyment.
Dinner suggestions: Search for the perfect recipe ahead of time and fix it to perfection. Blackened shrimp or salmon are personal suggestions, but the choice is left up to each and every single-man to maximize their dining experience.
Night moves: Choose to cozy up on the couch and enjoy the NBA All-Star Game (Allen Iverson starting! C’mon Man!), or head out to the bar with “single-guy or single-girl friends.” Wash down the laughs with a well-deserved drink.
Congratulations, the “Man-Plan” was a success! (Mention of Valentine’s Day was purposely omitted throughout the “Man-Plan,” no need to dwell!)