Valentines 2024

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Corbin the Crabby Cupid's Valentimes Valentines!

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Dear Editor,

I’m excited for the opportunity to contribute to the Portland Mercury’s Valentine’s Day issue! I have a ton of incredible article ideas, and you can totally trust what I have to say, as I am something of an “expert” on love. You remember those rock trolls from Frozen? Yeah, those mossy fuckers have nothing on me. That’s why they call me Dr. Jones—I’m a PhD in love, and that stands for PASSION, HEARTS, and DATES. Prepare to be dazzled by this cupid’s quiver of fanciful February frolics!

Or whatever! I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. I have been in my current relationship far too long to care, and there are plenty of other days to feel romantic when restaurants won’t be so crowded. So honestly, I’m kind of over this cash grab of a holiday.

However, I’m never one to pass up a cash grab of a writing opportunity. And so here are some stupid pitches for your dumb Valentine’s Day issue:

1) Okay, you know how Portland hipsters love their tattoos? What about a whole piece on unconventional love tattoo ideas? People will eat this up. Like, what better way to tell your sweetheart you’re “head over heels” than with a tattoo depicting Oregon’s own record-breaking high jumper, Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized the sport by being the first person to jump over the bar backwards!? “Head over heels,” get it? Valentine’s Day romance should never be subtle. Or remember in Forrest Gump, when young Forrest couldn’t find a seat on the bus because all the other kids kept saying “seat’s taken”? Why not get that quote tattooed across your buttcheek? Your lover will love admiring your rear and your commitment to a 30-year-old movie reference.

2) Continuing with this idea of unique gifts—because lord knows buying stuff is the direction The Man wants us to go here—I could write a round-up of gifts for your partner based on their love language. Say your cutie’s love language is “time.” Easy. Get ‘em a CLOCK. It doesn’t matter that everyone just uses their phones to tell time nowadays—needs and wants don’t factor into the equation on Valentine’s Day. Or, if you want to be more practical, and if their love language is “acts of service,” and if they grew up in Oregon and are still intimidated by gas pumps, simply take them to a service station (AKA gas station) and flex your muscles while filling their tank. Carbon emissions may be killing the planet, but they can’t kill your relationship, right?

3) Or what about a piece on easy Valentine’s décor? I can phone this one in without even breaking a chocolate-induced sweat. You can easily find rocks that are kinda shaped like hearts; simply collect some, and then place them on your bed in the shape of a heart. They’ll forget rose petals even exist! Easier yet, say you drop your socks onto the floor into an arrangement that resembles a heart. Leave them there, and boom, you’ve decorated. This one is also great for if a reader has a piece on the side: They can take a picture of the dirty socks and send it to the slice in lieu of a dick pic. Now you’re a multi-tasking romantic!

4) If this issue needs something about “non-romantic” love, Galentine’s Day from Parks and Rec is now a legit thing, and an article about ideas for that would have a variety of options, since platonic girl-to-girl gifts are wildly different than the romantic type. If a girl’s bestie played with her hair for 20 minutes, she’d love her forever. (That she would already is beside the point.) If any man offered to braid a woman’s hair, she’d change her phone number. Same with how women can lovingly re-gift a candle they got for Christmas that was expensive, but not in her preferred scent family; a gal pal would cherish that partially-used candle from a friend, but would throw it straight into the garbage if it came from a romantic partner. (I almost said she’d set it on fire, but candles—that’s what they do. It wouldn’t work.) Note: This article could come across as problematic, because it does take a regressive position on the existence of the gender binary. Also, a lazy reader could mistake these ideas for something to try in their hetero relationship, which would be a one-way trip to singledom. Not that I care, but I don’t need any negative feedback on my work.

5) Nobody makes mix-tapes anymore, but Spotify playlists are a great alternative, and I could round up some lazy options for love songs. Send your boo a link? That’s romance. Who needs something tangible when you could have a gorgeous QR code? I’ll work on this playlist regardless; I think I’ve got a great point of view.

6) I suppose I could also write up a list of restaurants that would allegedly make great date spots—although doing so would require going places, or at the very least, learning about places I could go, which is far too much effort for whatever freelance payment I’m getting out of this. So, nope, not doing that one.

Reminder: None of these ideas can possibly be any worse than the sincere stuff people are actually putting together, and “not the worst” is about the best you’ll get out of me for this dumb holiday. If any of our readers object, we can always remind them that this paper is free.