By AUDRIE FORD
Too often, Valentine’s Day becomes a chance for singles to bemoan their relationship status. “Bitter about Valentine’s Day” pulls up well over a million hits on Google and anti-Valentine’s Day cards are starting to become mainstream.
Rather than being bitter this month, those who find themselves without a partner should celebrate. Being cranky and eating all the ice cream in the freezer won’t make the day any better. People who are in a relationship can’t have all the fun.
Here are five suggestions for how singles can make Valentine’s Day end on a good note:
1. Give back to the community.
Sure, it can be hard to be single when everyone else is celebrating their love life. But there are many people that, on a day all about love, find themselves alone.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2008 that there are more than 11 million widows in the United States. Roughly half of that number involved the elderly.
Tucson is known as a retirement destination because of the warm weather. Rather than dwell on what is hurting you, go out and give back to the community. Do something special for someone that you know will be alone.
Mother Teresa put it best when she said, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
2. Get out and be active.
Tucson boasts many beautiful hiking trails that offer a wonderful opportunity to produce happiness inducing enzymes.
Take a selfie stick if you’re a social media junkie and photograph yourself having a great time in the great outdoors.
Wasson Peak, at 4,687 feet, is the highest point in Saguaro National Park’s west district. It offers scenic views of some of the mountain ranges in Tucson.
If you’re not up for a hike to the peak, stroll a short segment of the park’s many trails.
King Canyon Trail winds through a canyon past petroglyphs and abandoned mines. To reach the trailhead, take Speedway Boulevard west over Gates Pass to Kinney Road.
Turn north (right) and continue to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. The trail parking area is on the right, .1 miles past the museum entrance.
Sweetwater Trail begins at the western end of El Camino del Cerro, and guides hikers along switchbacks deep into the Tucson Mountains. From Interstate 10, take the Ruthrauff Road/El Camino del Cerro exit 252 and drive 5.7 miles to the trailhead.
Both the King Canyon and Sweetwater trails eventually meet up with other trails that take hikers to Wasson Peak.
For more information about Saguaro National Park, visit nps.gov/sagu.
3. Put on your dancing shoes.
Or, rather, dancing skates. Roller rink Skate Country on East 22nd Street is a local attraction that offers all the fun of dancing without the requirement of any good moves.
Sunday admission is $7 from 1-6 p.m. and $6 for groups from 6-9 p.m.
All skate rentals are $3 and the atmosphere lends itself to a good time for a group of single friends to get out and have fun.
The DJ at the skating rink will be taking song requests and dedications.
For more information, call 298-4409 or visit skatecountry.com.
4. Get your superhero fix.
The good news for those who prefer a more stationary form of entertainment is that one of the most unconventional superheroes of all time is finally getting his movie.
Tickets for Marvel’s “Deadpool”, rated R, went on sale on Jan. 29 to prepare for the Feb. 12 release. By the time Valentine’s Day comes, the mid
ight premiere rush will be over. The movie is sure to please, too.
“The humor, while aptly shown in the trailers, was still somehow surprising,” wrote Lucas Siegel, managing editor for ComcBook.com, in his early screening review.
“I was expecting this movie to be funny, but I wasn’t really expecting to laugh that much, that hard, and that often,” he added. “The movie is hilarious – it’s one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in the last couple of years, and that helps you digest the violence, too.”
5. Consume good foods.
No single person wants to shell out the big money that those in a relationship are often expected to on Valentine’s Day.
Thankfully, there are plenty of options for a frugal picnic.
Gather up your friends and surprise them with a day of laughter and bonding. After all, it’s always better to spend a day dedicated to love with the people that you love.
Sabino Canyon, Mount Lemmon, Reid Park, Gates Pass and many local parks all offer scenic views that are well worth the visit.
Thanks to the dark skies laws in Tucson, the stars will be visible from many places around the county.
Don’t forget an extra picnic blanket for the desert nights.
Many singles want to talk about how terrible Valentine’s Day is and tear down happy couples because they can’t partake in the festivities.
While you may not have someone to smooch on this heart-covered day, you can certainly still have a good time.