By JENELLE CLEARY
Scanning the classifieds is done but once a year for me - Valentine's Day.
It has become a habit that involves streaming up and down columns of mushy ads trying to find out if my name is there. Then checking the variations to my name and then the nicknames that my name may equate to.
Quite tragic yes, but surely I'm not the only one with my head floating in the clouds among one too many helium love heart balloons!
Yes, that day is upon us again where Hallmark up their sales of red envelopes and we all check our e-mail and snail mail for the hope of one message of undying love.
We leave our desk at lunchtime hoping for some miraculous bunch of roses to appear instantaneously and think about making a restaurant reservation "for two" just in case. Valentine's Day has turned into one of emotional torture. And every year it seems the same!
Well, Val Day 2001 doesn't have to be one that leaves you in bed at 7.30 exhausted from checking your letterbox 2,874 times.
Find love, get love, show love and 'love' love on the 14th.
It isn't about the Mr Big/Carrie relationships and nor is it for those that have just attended schoolies' week. We can all get into the spirit of the day - and without succumbing to the marketers' dream!
The history of Valentine's Day is a fascinating one and slowly it has emerged into a day that is celebrated right around the world. So how will you pass the day if you are checking out Singledom?
If you are against the whole Valentines rigmarole then one webpage that can satisfy all your defiant thoughts and ideas regarding Valentines Day is the Say No to V-D : Anti Valentines Central. Then there is the Desperate and Dateless Ball coming up where you can have a right old laugh with your pals and help charity at the same time.
If all that would leave your batteries drained then what about a simple night out with your other single friends? Nothing spiteful. No voodoo dolls. No T-shirts emblazoned with "Valentines Sux". Just a good old night out.
If you prefer the very popular stay-at-home option, then curling up with a good book and/or watching the movies that guys or girls totally dislike! Watch the sales of Dirty Dancing and the Die Hard trilogy boom.
What about couples? Since Perfect Match ended long ago and Dexter was committed to the Television Museum, there has been no way for couples to determine their compatibility. This is where the Love Calculator comes in. Your whole destiny as a couple can be determined from just your name!
Mydearvalentine.com also has the best mix of love compatibility games and matching horoscopes to keep you entertained. They also have Valentine wallpaper for your PC and enough mushy quotations to give any would-be poet inspiration.
Romantic ideas for Valentine's Day needn't be expensive or something that leaves you so stressed out you can't enjoy yourself! Some ideas to get your started include:
• Renting out the first movie you both saw together.
• Making a CD of "your"' songs.
• Hide romantic messages in his/her wallet, pockets or lunch!
• If your partner is just as romantic with their computer as they are you, then try making a mousepad for them. Include photos, poetry and even things that you mutally enjoy!
Also you can celebrate your Valentine's Day by celebrating your love for your family. Make it an excuse to catch up and spend time with those you love. Plan a big Valentine's get-together, with a simple theme such as 'dress in red' - why should Christmas be the only time where we put in some effort? Make it informal and use it as a post-Christmas catch-up. Any excuse for a party!
Whatever your 'status', have some fun with the day and be inventive. If this is going to be the day you become the secret admirer then good luck. Remember the melodic throws of the The Beatles singing All You Need Is Love... even if you are reading the classifieds and waiting at the mailbox!