Playlist: Boycott Valentine’s Day

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Practice self-love instead.

This is the anti-Valentine’s Day playlist. The I-mistook-my-last-relationship-for-a-relationship playlist. The I-don’t-settle-for-half-assed-love playlist. The I-will-remain-joyful-on-a-commercial-holiday playlist. (There’s some reggaetón to help with that.)

Bollywood and Kanye West cemented my realization that I’ve never had a down ass Valentine for the last five years, despite always being involved with someone.

Remember when Kim Kardashian-West was gifted a flower wall?

Yeah, that is what we all deserve from ourselves and others. Especially ourselves.

Yet, The Secret Machines’ “Nowhere Again” opens with what seems like a more shared sentiment among the rest of us: cellophane flowers never happened for me. It’s true. I think Aladdin was the last guy to gift anyone an artificial orchid, and it was a glass one. I can’t even garner the cheap kind of knock-off floral arrangements.

Back to the undying love we deserve from ourselves. The kind that says, “You are the one and only person I follow on Twitter.” (Thanks again, Kimye.)

What if we took a radical plunge for self-love? How would our love culture change?

This playlist starts with a dismissal. Kitty says, I don’t even miss you and Tegan and Sara defiantly declare, Go if you want to.

The rock vibes continue until we hit some Middle Eastern music I discovered on an Emirates flight. They might sound familiar to anyone who’s ever taken that flight to India because Emirates has not changed their playlists for years. The Middle Eastern collection ecstatically calls lovers to stay a bit longer (I’ve looked up the translations). Can we ask this of ourselves, too? To stay a bit longer. How many of us can really sit with ourselves longer than a few seconds? For the duration of the entire song?

OK, that’s enough existential crises for one day. Rishi Rich’s “City Guy” and Kapoor & Sons’ “Kar Gayi Chull” ignite the lusty passion that makes us human. How many of us have flown across a few states or countries to show up at a lover’s door, unannounced? Turns out…quite a lot.

And there are the soul connections we make along the way. The kind that words cannot serve justice to without an inner melody. It’s something you feel, something you know. Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill, and Pharoahe Monch have those feels handled.

I want to boycott Valentine’s Day by experiencing my joy, moving through my bitterness, and un-apologetically thinking of partners I have forgiven and have yet to forgive; all the while, remaining true to my ever-churning love for myself. Seems criminal, doesn’t it?

Here’s an experiment: dedicate every single tune on this eclectic playlist to yourself. What happens?

And to any exes and almost-lovers: I don’t even miss you.

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