Your Lower East Side Valentine’s Day Guide
BY REV. JEN MILLER rev-jen.com | A lot of people think Valentine’s Day is the worst holiday on earth — but it’s not. The worst holiday is actually Christmas, wherein you are expected to travel miles to see family and spend loads of money buying them presents that they likely do not want — only to realize a week later that it’s a new year and you are still as broken financially, mentally and physically as you were the previous year.
At least on Valentine’s Day, you are only expected to see your significant other and do something nice for them (even though you should be doing something nice for them every day, all year long). If you are single, you get to enjoy the extra bonus of the company of millions of other single people who might want to “de-pants” you simply because it’s Valentine’s Day and they are lonely.
Despite this, some readers might still feel despondent. In that case, here are a few suggestions on how to make this extremely stupid holiday suck less!
CELEBRATE “CHER DAY” INSTEAD
A few years ago, I was talking to a friend and said, “I don’t even know who Saint Valentine was or what he did. Why don’t we celebrate someone whose work we are familiar with?” We thought for a moment and I said, “Cher! We should celebrate Cher because we like her movies and music and hers was the only Barbie doll I did not damage as a child because I have always had that much respect for Cher.”
So just as Valentine’s Day is a make believe, not nationally recognized holiday, so is Cher Day. To celebrate, one should start their day by listening to Sonny & Cher classics, watching at least one Cher “vehicle” and then dressing up as either Cher or one of her former lovers and hitting the town. A few Valentine’s ago we had a “flash mob” Cher Day party at a pub where we all showed up dressed as Cher, Sonny, Greg Allman, Chaz, etc. and it was quite fun. Better to spend one’s money on wigs and outfits than candy and roses. They last longer.
PRETEND TO PROPOSE TO EACH OTHER IN STUPID PLACES
What’s better than getting married and having to spend your life with someone who you will eventually hate and probably divorce? Pretending to propose on Valentine’s Day at the least romantic places possible! Most local check cashing places could use some livening up, as could the laundromat, McDonald’s and the local bodega.
This Valentine’s Day, acquire a few cocktails and a fake ring — then make others happy by performing “proposals” around town. Even more fun: Dramatically reject your suitor’s proposal.
GET YOUR LOVE A TATTOO
Courtney Fathom Sell, my boyfriend of several years (I can’t remember how many since we first met, played scratch-off, spent our earnings at Lucky Jack’s on beer and decided to start a motion picture studio), is fond of getting silly tattoos. This is cool by me, as long as he never gets my name tattooed on his body — because the last thing I want to see is a man walking around NYC with “Rev.” crossed out on his arm. That said, getting your lover a tattoo is quite romantic in that anytime they look at it, even after they’ve broken your heart and left you for someone much hotter and younger than you, they will immediately think of you.
When it comes to getting tattoos, one rule applies (other than the aforementioned “no names” rule.) Think of something you love and get that inked on your skin, be it pizza, ice cream, a butterfly or some nekkid lady. Courtney wisely chose an image of a sketch he did of my Chihuahua, Rev. Jen Junior, because even if someday he hates me, he will always love Jen Junior. Luckily my extremely lovely Art Star friend, Jasmin Cruz, just opened a tattoo shop in Williamsburg called Lions of Brooklyn (164 Havemeyer St.).
Getting a tat from Jasmin is sort of like therapy. Her voice is so calming and her eyes are so pretty that you actually want her to poke your with needles repeatedly until you have an indelible image on your person. In fact, when we went back to take pictures of the place, I asked Jasmin to give me a tiny “Art Star” tattoo on my neck. Because my mane of hair conceals it, only you readers are aware of this tidbit.
EAT A BURRITO
If you are lovelorn, food helps. Even if you’re not, food helps. A couple doors away from Jasmin’s tattoo parlor, stands the greatest burrito joint I have ever eaten at whilst on this planet. Note: I hate eggs and always have, but Stan’s Cafecito (at 172 Havemeyer) changed all that with his five-dollar breakfast burrito. It contains eggs and other magical things and I would eat it every day if possible.
Stan, the man, was there — and he pointed Courtney and I to the most remarkable shelf of hot sauces I have ever witnessed. Some people say oysters are an aphrodisiac. But I prefer El Yucateco Green Habanero Sauce (just brush your teeth after eating should you plan on “visiting” your partner’s nether regions). Note: When we went back to have dinner and take pictures at Stan’s, we found out they had closed at five, so check the hours before attending.
EAT ITALIAN FOOD
I’ve often thought it would be romantic to take my boyfriend on a vacay to Italy. Then I realize I make $218 dollars a week, have to pay the rent, Con Ed and my bar tab — so it likely won’t happen. The next best thing: Go to Rosario’s (173 Orchard St., at Stanton) and eat Italian food at this long-standing Lower East Side institution. Often, when I get a slice there, Sal, the celebutante pizza man, will hand it to me and say, “From my heart to your stomach” — making me feel less alone on this planet. If visiting with a partner, why not splurge on one of the $5.50 pasta dishes and reenact the romantic scene from “Lady and the Tramp?”
BUY A COPY OF “THE COMPLETE IDIOT’S GUIDE TO TANTRIC SEX” AND STUDY IT LIKE YOU ARE PREPARING FOR THE BAR EXAM
While I wrote about Tantric Sex extensively in my book, “Live Nude Elf,” I will be brief: There is nothing better than getting in yab yum, soul-gazing and making like Shiva and Shakti. People think because it’s mostly hippies and Sting who espouse the virtues of Tantra, it’s gonna be cheesy, but trust me: Tantric Sex gives you the freedom to behave as though you’ve never been hurt, to let your lover inside you heart and soul, and there is nothing more romantic than that.
GO PORN SHOPPING
Sometimes, like Jack Bauer, you only got an hour and Tantric Sex is simply not an option. That’s when porn comes in handy. My favorite porn dispensary is Blue Door Video (87 First Ave.).
The best thing about the 60/40 rule is that Blue Door now sells 60 percent obscure non-adult videos like “Mr. T’s Be Somebody or Be Somebody’s Fool” alongside two-dollar Kung Fu films. However, at Blue Door you can also find blowup dolls, sleazy outfits, vibrators, three-packs of porn and more! There have been unsubstantiated rumors of “Buddy Booths” in the back — but I am, journalistically, not brave enough to go further.
If these handy suggestions don’t perk up your holiday, you could always choose to celebrate Halloween instead. Or, you could do many clichéd other things like take a bath together, massage each other, acquire a Whitman’s Sampler and take a bite out of every one of them until you find one that doesn’t disgust you, get blindingly drunk alone while wondering where it all went wrong as you cry and shiver next to the space heater or, better yet, move Valentine’s Day to summer when romance is more feasible.