Geek's guide to subverting Valentine's Day
Don't drown in candy hearts this year. Instead, raise your geek shields and call on the powers of "Game of Thrones" and Etsy to protect you.
Mushy love e-mails. Giant boxes of chocolates. Teddy bears holding red satin hearts. Valentine's Day can be enough to make any self-respecting geek run screaming from society. The objections are many. Perhaps you're single. Maybe you disapprove of it as a "manufactured holiday." Maybe you don't think love can be expressed with the same greeting card that thousands of other people are giving to the objects of their affection.
It's OK to say "no." You don't have to participate in the schlocky madness. Take some suggestions from our handy guide to geeky ways to avoid dealing with the dreaded V-Day.
Browse anti-Valentine's merch on Etsy
Etsy crafters go nuts for Valentine's Day with heart-emblazoned iPhone cases and hand-embroidered banners proclaiming everlasting love. But Etsy crafters also know how to fight back. Just add an "anti" to your Valentine's search. You'll turn up gems like a blackened, broken-hearted iPhone case, an anatomical heart necklace, or a card with a quote from Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory" reading, "Are you still depressed because you're alone, and no one loves you?" Aw, how sweet.
Rewatch the Red Wedding episode of 'Game of Thrones'
Forget about happily ever after, the realm of "Game of Thrones" can be a literal death trap for characters in love. Surrender to the sheer hopelessness by subjecting yourself to the trauma of the Red Wedding scene in the third-season episode titled "The Rains of Castamere." This is the absolute opposite of the "date movie" concept. If you're a fan of the books, just open up "A Storm of Swords" and let your imagination fill in the bloody scenery.
Scrub your ex off your browser with Ex-Blocker and KillSwitch
In the Digital Age, you can't just wash that man right out of your hair. More than 18,000 users have discovered the power of the Ex-Blocker browser plug-in. Just fill in your ex's name and social-media details to start enjoying an ex-free Internet experience. The plug-in can handle up to five exes, just in case you've got a list.
The 99-cent KillSwitch app for Android and iOS comes with the tagline "Making breakups suck less." It achieves this lofty goal by removing all signs of your ex from your Facebook profile, scrubbing it clean of any kissy photos and schmarmy status updates and anything else tagged with your ex.
Celebrate Ferris Wheel Day instead
George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. was born on February 14, 1859. Ferris wheel fans celebrate February 14 as Ferris Wheel Day. This has quite a few advantages over Valentine's Day, the biggest involving actual Ferris wheels. So go find your closest amusement park and let yourself be hoisted into the sky in a big round rotating machine.
Attend the Gallifrey One 'Doctor Who' convention
Forget Valentine's Day! February 14 is the opening day of the Gallifrey One "Doctor Who" convention in Los Angeles. Everyone's favorite Time Lord managed to make it through most of his many hundreds of years without snogging his companions (with a few notable exceptions).
Instead of fretting over heart-shaped candies and cheesy cards, you can immerse yourself in 50 years' worth of "Who." There's no time to worry about the perfect Valentine's date night when you're busy ogling Daleks and straightening your bow tie. There's even a scheduled program called "Sex and the Single Time Lord." (But here's hoping you already bought your ticket, because the convention is completely sold out.)
Buy a plush venereal disease
While other people are out raiding the aisles of Walgreens for big-eyed plush beagles with "puppy love" written across their bellies, you can buy a plushie of a different kind. Pick up a giant venereal-disease microbe and spend the 14th cuddling with chlamydia, petting the pox, or hugging herpes.
Just do your normal geeky deeds
I asked Jenn Myers, a comic book artist friend, what geeks who don't enjoy Valentine's Day should do on February 14. She wisely said, "Play video games." So go play video games, hack together a new gadget with Raspberry Pi, wax your Stormtrooper costume, or put the final touches on a model of the USS Enterprise. Valentine's Day only has as much meaning as you want it to.