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Never Take a Member of PETA to Le Chene and Other V-Day Advice
February, 2008 - Issue #40
Red roses and dinner in a dimly-lit, over-priced restaurant don't work for everyone on Valentine's Day. No, V-day plans have to be made with the Claritan you're seeing in mind, and some are more difficult to please than others. Below, I offer tips for dealing with a few of the most challenging cases. Just call me Dr. Love and use one of these prescriptions to cure your case of lame Valentine's dates.

Dating a Greenie
If your amore is a member of SCOPE, the Sierra Club, or has uttered the phrase "open space district" in the past month, they are among SCV's environmentalists. This class of Claritan presents special challenges. Taking them to Le Chene, for example, could be disastrous, ending in a tearful tirade against the foie gras industry. A romantic drive along the coast for wine and fine food is no good either. Burning that much fossil fuel is excusable only for the most important events, like a chance to see Al Gore speak. But despair not; I have devised a fool-proof date. Begin by presenting your beloved tree-hugger with a reusable hemp grocery tote filled with black trash bags and a pair of latex gloves. They'll be a little perplexed by the gift, but that's part of the fun. Blindfold them and hop on a City Bus (preferably one powered by natural gas) to the nearest stretch of the Santa Clara River. After disembarking, take off the blindfold and all should be clear. "A spontaneous litter-collecting trip for Valentine's Day! I love it!" he or she will shout, for nothing says love like a trash bag full of riverine refuse.

Young Love
Teens needn't fear a disappointing Valentine's Day just because they're strapped for cash. You all have money; you just don't realize it. The way to liquidate these assets is simple. First, sell your car. Next, go home and tell Mommy/Daddy that you totaled it and are really sorry ("It was just a 3 Series anyways!"). Endure being grounded for a weekend until your parents say they're glad you learned your lesson and present you with a new car.

As for what to do with the money from your car sale, I encourage you to think outside of the box. Gentlemen, instead of your typical hang-out in the parking lots of large shopping centers, especially Pavillion's, take your Valentine someplace more upscale. This most likely means a trip into L.A. and surrounding environs. Watching an episode of "The Hills" with your girlfriend will give you plenty of restaurants just perfect for teens and 20-somethings hoping desperately to be hip without trying too hard. If you get suspicious stares when you walk into the restaurant, you've picked the right one.

For the Couple with Dogs
Dogs are the new kids. They're given special food, put in daycare, and they too get in the way of your attempts to stir up some passion. But dogs and kids aren't completely the same. You see, while most people from Valencia have no issues with taking their bawling babies and tantrumming toddlers into nice restaurants, most of these establishments still forbid you to enter with your hound. Until this species-ist discrimination comes to an end, what are a couple of dog-lovers to do for V-day?

I, for one, am betting that Central Bark, the newly opened, leash-optional enclave of Central Park will be the venue of choice this year. It will doubtless be a little chilly and your handsome suit or sexy dress clothes will end up covered in dog hair, mud, and stains, but at least you'll be able to spend Valentine's with your true, furry loves. While you've already shopped for a Cupid-themed dog jacket, biscuits personalized with doggy-safe icin, and new toys, I have another idea. This Valentine's, try thinking about your human partner, too! Giving her some flowers or giving him a big kiss will make it a Valentine's to remember.

Single and Ready to Mingle?
If you're alone on Valentine's Day, it's no reason to be glum. Order in. Then break out the phone book and flip through the 52-pages (really!) of attorneys, at least half of which make their living on divorce proceedings. Just try not to smile too much at the thought that half of your happily-coupled friends will soon be alone again.

Of course, Valentine's Day is about love. So while focusing on heartbreak might give you a boost, it's not keeping with the spirit of the holiday. Thus, after a cathartic perusal of the phone book, take out a sheet of paper and write down 10 things you love about someone special... Someone named Santa Clarita. Whatever the reasons, realize that while love comes and goes, hearting SCV is forever.
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