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This post was originally going to be called “On Love, Romance, Relationships, Heartbreak, Marriage, and Sex (If I Can Keep It PG)”, but WordPress is somewhat stingy on the characters for titles of posts, so I truncated a bit.

Yes, my fans (a.k.a. friends who feel obligated to read my blog), with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought that this week’s episode of San Francisco Love Affair would focus less on San Francisco and Affairs and more on Love.  As we all know, there are two kinds of Valentine’s Days.  If you’re happy in love, here’s what I recommend:

Step 1: Go to Three Twins on Fillmore and Haight and pick up a pint of Lemon Cookie.

Step 2: Invite your significant other over to your living space and dim the lights.  As a side note, every single light in my apartment is on a dimmer switch.  Awwww yeah.

Step 3: Put on a little Minnie Ripperton.  Start (and finish) with this one:

Step 4: Get a spoon and feed each other the Lemon Cookie.

Step 5: Explore the mysteries of love.

The other kind of Valentine’s Day, of course, is the kind where you want to punch every cute, chocolate-holding, cute-pink-hat-wearing teddy bear you see in its adorable little punim.  I happen to fall into this latter category this year, which is good for all of you, dear readers.  If I was happy in love right now, my post wouldn’t be much: “Hey y’all, happy V-day.  I gotta run, cuz my Lemon Cookie is starting to melt and I gotta mix tape with Minnie Ripperton, Prince, Al, Marvin, Barry, and a little early-era Ministry all queued up, if ya know what I mean.”  Wink-wink nudge-nudge, eh guvna?

But really, for those of you Lemon-Cookie-ers, you may as well stop reading this blog right now—it was not written with you in mind.  In fact, to quote Cee-lo Green, “Forget You!”  This week’s blog is dedicated to the sad, the lonely, the depressed, the bitter, the broken-hearted, the jaded, the pretending-it’s-fun-to-be-single, the sexually-frustrated, the contemplating-giving-up-on-romance-altogether-and-going-to-live-in-a-monestary, and anybody else who is really glad that Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year so you can stay late at work and act like you don’t even realize it’s Valentine’s Day.  I mean, that’s what I plan on doing.

I had a really interesting “love sucks” experience a couple of months ago.  I was going through a pretty unpleasant break-up, and I happened to notice that a Facebook friend of mine who I haven’t seen or spoken to in lord knows how long (actually the lord, and I, do know how long: 18 years, since she moved away after 7th grade) happened to be making endless wall posts about how she missed her ex, and how she felt like shit.  She posted that Adele song multiple times, and that Goyte song too, as I recall.  One day I noticed she was on Facebook chat, so I shot her a quick message to the effect of “hey, I know I haven’t seen or even spoken to you in 18 years, but I’m going through a break-up too and I totally feel EXACTLY the same way as you!”  We ended up chatting for THREE FREAKIN’ HOURS, about the horrible cesspools that were our lives.  What was amazing to both of us was how much we were “dealing with” our breakups in the same way, making the same stupid mistakes—you know, begging, pleading, acting needy, pissing off our friends…you’ve been there.  And it occurred to me while talking to this long-lost friend that, although love is so much different for all of us, there are some common threads when it comes to bitterness, loneliness, and heartbreak.

If you’re still reading this blog right now and not making some sweet, sweet love, then I’m here to help you.  In honor of February 14th, I will now post

14 LOVE/ROMANCE/HEARTBREAK-RELATED MISTAKES THAT WE’RE NOT GOING TO KEEP MAKING!!!

I mean it, folks!  Enough is enough!  Here’s the list:

1. We’re not gonna stop exercising and eat nothing but cheap Chinese food and pizza and other food we can get delivered because we’re so depressed and lonely that we have no desire to leave the house.  On the other hand, we’re not going to become super-psychotic work-out-obsessed gym rats either…because let’s face it, we’re way too lazy.

2. We’re not gonna get drunk and access any form of communication.  You know damn well that only bad can come from doing this.  No calling, no texting, no emailing, no smoke-signaling, and absolutely, positively no gchatting!  I actually have a little post-it I put on my computer when I go out at night that says, “If you’re drunk, don’t do it!”

3. We’re not gonna get caught masturbating in the workplace.  Again.

4. We’re not gonna meet dates on Craigslist.  This joke is less funny now than it would have been 5 years ago; between the advent of okcupid and various people getting brutally murdered, I don’t think anyone looks for dates on Craigslist anymore.  Still great for used furniture, though!

5. We’re not gonna listen to our “heartbreak” playlist over and over again.  As a good friend of mine once famously quipped, “if you’re still listening to The Cure, you probably haven’t gotten over your ex-girlfriend.”

6. We’re not gonna meet a cute someone at a party and then call/text him or her 18 times within the next 12 hours.  As a man, I can tell you that we don’t like that.  I’ve recently learned that women don’t like that either.  Whoda thunk?

7. We’re not gonna sleep with our attractive co-worker, no matter how DTF (or DTML) (s)he is.  I know, I know—first I tell you that we can’t masturbate at work, now we can’t bang out co-workers…how the hell are we gonna have any fun from 9-5 (or 9-12, as the case may be)?  Unfortunately, as my uncle has been known to say: “don’t dip your wick in company ink.”  You know that’s sage advice.  Then again, my uncle was a free-lance musician, so it’s easy for him to say–his company didn’t really have any ink.  He wasn’t spending 12-16 hours every day in a small office with the same people, including that one hot dark-haired recent divorcee (but she got married very young and regrets that decision quite a bit) who always wears high-heels and skirts just long enough to not be too unprofessional, and she’s technically your superior but that just makes her hotter because you like women with power who are a little bossy, don’t you?  And she’s always saying things like, “can you please come to my office?” and you know she wants to do filthy things to you, and it’s even hotter because you know how it’s absolutely against company policy.  Yeah, my uncle was never in that situation, but believe me: I know my uncle, and he would have totally done her.

8. We’re not gonna bother our friends by endlessly talking about how we miss our ex, or how she’s a bitch, or how we are lonely, or how we hate girls, or how being single is bringing us down, or how we’re sad and depressed.  I think they’re running out of sympathy and patience.  Remember how annoying you found them when they were heartbroken a year ago?  Well you’re much, much worse.  Trust me.

9. We’re not gonna sleep with somebody random who we don’t care about, just to temporarily stave off the loneliness.  Sure, it feels good for a short amount of time (a very short amount of time, for some of us), but then you get filled with that horrible emptiness.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  And if we’ve already done it, we’re not gonna do it a second time.  And if we’ve already done it a second time, we’re not gonna do it a third time.  Or maybe we’ll just pretend that it makes us happy.

10. We’re not gonna get married just because everybody else is doing it.  Seriously, everybody else is doing it.  Have you looked on your Facebook wall lately?  Remember that fucking douchebag from college who was a stereotypical chauvinistic frat boy and totally disrespectful to women, but you may have been a bit jealous of him because he got laid a lot more than you?  And last time you saw him at that impromptu mini-reunion he was balding and had a beer-belly and was bragging about how he banged a hot bartender two weeks ago?  Well he’s getting married.  And not to a floozy, either.  He’s marrying a down-to-earth, intelligent, attractive, respectable woman whom you probably wish you were marrying.  And everybody is having babies too.

11. We’re not gonna go on one really good date with someone and then immediately get her/his name tattooed on our butt.  Again.

12. We’re not gonna watch any rom-coms.  Not because they give us unrealistic expectations about how love is supposed to be, but because they’re really, really awful.  My college screenwriting professor used to say that Nora Ephron should be flogged in the public square for murdering the romantic comedy.

13. We’re not gonna do any combinations of numbers 1-12.  It’s hard, because when you’re drunk, it’s tempting to listen to “Everybody Hurts” on repeat while bitching to your friend about your ex on gchat.  Especially when you’re at work, masturbating.

And finally, no matter how tempted we are,

14. We are not, under any circumstances, going to let being bitter, lonely, depressed, sad, heartbroken, bummed out, humiliated, shamed, horny, pissed-off, hurt, devastated, arrested-for-public-indecency, flogged-like-a-dolphin/bishop, tragic, unattractive on the inside and outside, perverted, creepy, sleazy, skeezy, sukebe (for those of us in Japan), infected, dirty, intellectually-challenged, inadequate, cold, hate-filled, empty, soulless, evil-hearted, malicious, conniving, pathetic, obsessive, obsessive-compulsive, needy, over-emotional, robotic, neurotic, psychotic, or otherwise troubled prevent us from finding true love, or at least totally making out, hardcore.

Oh, L’amour.

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