Bro*, I cannot remember the last time I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a partner. For years, I have heralded this holiday as a capitalist scam, refusing to play along, and opting instead to celebrate Galentine’s Day with my friends. Seriously, V-Day is the biggest scam. Sticking this stupid holiday smack in the middle of the slump between New Year and Easter ensures corporations make decent sales in Q1 of every year.
(*Yeah, I started using Bro as a joke but it fucking stuck, and I can’t get rid of it. I have also now mutated the word Bro to “Brotato” and “Broseph,” so… can I even still claim that I am an arbiter of taste? *goes back to googling $900 rugs*)
Having said all that, this season of my life is truly all about honesty, and I just have to come clean: I love love, y’all. I talk a lot of shit about Valentine’s Day, but I am actually the sappiest motherfucker in Brooklyn. I love making combined grocery lists, participating in gross PDA over candlelit dinners, using my bottomless charm to impress the fuck out of someone else’s friends, leaving cute little notes on my personalized stationery, and just all around pampering the fuck out of a sig oth.
(Not to be dramatic but… personalized stationery has actually changed my entire life. Get @ me if you want my help designing and printing it, fam.)
But alas, V-Day 2019 finds me single with an exorbitant amount of affection kept in my back pocket, and instead of sitting here wishing I had someone cute and cuddly to shower with it, I’m using all this romantic energy on myself.
Romancing Myself is the name of a newly adopted Friday night ritual, which usually includes a lot of weed, candlelit baths, a delicious dinner of chicken nuggets or any other worthy comfort food, and staring each of my dildos straight in the eye and daring each of them to fucking break me.
While I’m sure your own version of Romancing Yourself won’t be the same as mine, I decided to put together a playlist in the very spirit of the holiday. Instead of crying into the pregnancy pillow you claim you bought to soothe “back pain” but actually bought to cuddle with when you’re lonely, you’re going to sing along to every song in this playlist while looking at yourself in the fucking mirror, and you’re going to mean it.
Scroll through to see my humble offerings for this holiday I’m ashamed to claim:
The Closer I Get To You by Luther Vandross feat. Beyonce Knowles
Is any Valentine’s Day mixtape complete without Luther Vandross? I admit, the words “By giving me all you got, your love has captured me” 100% don’t make sense when you read the line from your phone, but when you’re singing it to yourself in the mirror, this shit really SLAPS.
Whenever Wherever Whatever by Maxwell
Once, while writing a list of affirmations I found myself writing, “If there’s a thing that you need, I’ll give you the breath that I breathe” and realized I was simply writing a Maxwell lyric. Think of every sentence in this song as a pact to take care of yourself whenever, wherever, whatever, baby.
Crazy for You by Adele
Crazy for You by Madonna
Have you ever stared intensely at a photo of yourself in the bathtub and thought, “Damn, I’m really crazy for this lil girl, she’s fine as hell.” First, you should probably stop using the word “crazy” because it is ableist as fuck. Second, you should definitely sing along to either of the aptly named bops while staring at your body. You’re hot AS FUCK and if you don’t advertise as such, how will the rest of the world know how to look at your godly frame?
Cater 2 U by Destiny’s Child
This should be a no-brainer. I still do not understand why Jay-Z can’t untie his own goddamn shoestrings and take off his own cufflinks, but in the context of singing this song to yourself, it cannot be any more perfect to get yourself in the mood for self-play.
Shea Butter Baby by Ari Lennox feat J. Cole
Ari Lennox could probably sing pages out of a septic tank repair manual and make it sound sensual. In this jam, she sings about finding someone so irresistible that you’re willing to fuck them next to a trash can and fuck up your sheets with layers upon layers of shea butter. Come correct with that same energy when you approach your own reflection because YOU. ARE. THAT. BITCH!!!!!
You Da One by Rihanna
Admitting to yourself that you do nothing but think about yourself all day *might* sound narcissistic, but unless you’re a cishet white man, you honestly probably don’t spend enough time thinking about yourself. TAKE. UP. ALL. DAT. SPACE. Just admit that you’re da one you’ve been looking for all your life.
Elian’s Revenge Leikeli47
See, what typically happens to me is I start out slow with some self-play-encouraging bops, pick it up a little bit in the middle because I’ll shower afterward, then end it with some upbeat catwalk anthems for when I’m ready to take on the mean sidewalks of gentrified “Stuyvesant Heights.” Leikeli47 pretty much ONLY makes catwalk anthems, and this one in particular is dedicated to any and all idiots who have slept on you.
Shawty is Da Shit by The-Dream, Fabolous
“Shawty rock the beat for ya boooooiiiiyyyy, SHAWWWTY!!” Surprise! You’re both the shawty and the boi/y and you only have to worry about pleasing your goddamn self!!!
I’m Dope by Tobe Nwigwe and David Michael Wyatt
If your momma has told you you’re ridiculous for having unorthodox desires — I better see every Asian-American reading this post perk up a little, because y’all know I’m talking about you — remind yourself of all these haters that are feeding on every felt-cute-won’t-delete-later selfie. A double tap from your lil romantic or professional crush is nice, but YOU’RE DOPE REGARDLESS.
Happy Valentine’s Day, you beautiful, extraordinary humans.