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Wed, July 17

10 Valentine's day tips for all the lonely, loveless lovers

Leave it to a divorce attorney to provide tips for singles on Valentine's Day. Self-described celebrity divorce attorney and author Stacy D. Phillips has provided 10 tips for those going it alone this year.

Being single myself (though never divorced) and planning to stick the holiday out by myself, I thought I'd add some commentary and a few tips of my own.

Here is Phillips' somewhat humorous Valentine's Day 10-point plan (spiced up with some of my comments):

• Create your own valentine Web site. Nothing too personal, Phillips says, because people will respond.

I personally am too lazy to create anything, much less something the world can see. I might branch out and dip some strawberries in chocolate, the likes of which Ratatouille would be jealous of (not really).

• Photoshop yourself with your favorite celebrity. Make a card out of it, send it to yourself, display it and gloat.

You could take this two ways: a photograph with a celebrity you lust after or someone who is all-around great. I'm going with the latter. Look for a card with Samuel L. Jackson and myself relaxing on the golf course placed on my desk because he is a bad ... shut your mouth!

• Visit www.classmates.com and surprise some old school pals by sending some valentines. You may get something back that you can enjoy, Phillips says.

To do that would require me to upgrade my account, and that costs money. I think I'll just poke some folks on Facebook. Quick, easy and most importantly: free.

• Hit the tattoo parlor. With a large or small tattoo, get one that says "I love you." It's a lifetime reminder of what you mean to you.

If only I could find a tattoo painful enough physically to match the emotional side. If only...

• Clip a coupon with the word love on it. Then buy and mail that item to yourself. Phillips recommends acting surprised.

You know what would surprise me? Finding a coupon with the word love in it. Hopefully she meant a magazine, in which case I'm sure I can find plenty of "Love" on the cover of Cosmopolitan - unfortunately it'll probably be followed by "... pleasing your man."

• Go to an animal shelter and hang out with a dog or cat for the day. Feel the love.

Is this like the Kwik-E-Mart? If I look too long will I have to buy one? If not, this sounds like a solid idea. What's better than raising the hope of an abandoned animal that it will finally have a home hours before it's put down?

• Customize candy. Find a candy maker that will inscribe little heart candies with your messages. Eat them and smile, Phillips says.

Another solid idea. Of course, that is the start of the vicious cycle where I eat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I eat.

• Rent bad-breakup movies. Watch and give thanks the story isn't yours.

Whatever movies float your boat for this one. I just suggest you avoid "The Break-Up" - not so much for the actual end of the relationship, rather the horrendous quality of dialogue, acting and plot. I'll probably pop "High Fidelity" in the DVD player.

• Go to Disneyland. Not on the gondola or The Matterhorn, she says. Try "It's a Small World" because it's about universal love.

Universal love is the first thing I think of when you say Disneyland. Oh, wait. It isn't. It's the evil empire, which utilizes the hook 'em-while-they're-young approach to make a profit.

• For the ladies: call your dad. For the gentlemen, call your mom. Ask them to be your valentine because they'll never say no, Phillips assures.

I guess if you don't talk to your mother, as I do, Valentine's Day would be the perfect opportunity to reconnect. That or her birthday or Mother's Day. On second thought, forget about it.

Here are my Valentine's Day tips:

• Buy a bottle of your favorite alcohol. (I'm debating between vodka and whiskey.)

• Go home.

• Pour the alcohol into a glass.

• Consume.

• Repeat until you don't feel lonely - or feel anything else.

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