Yesterday was Valentine’s Day which means, congratulations, you made it through another Valentine’s Day in one piece. That’s quite the accomplishment.
I’m on the record as hating Valentine’s Day, both because it’s historically an unlucky day for me and because it’s yet another holiday built entirely around commercialism. But mostly because it’s my personal Friday the 13th. Let’s not lose sight of what’s important here.
But maybe your significant other is into the whole Valentine’s Day show-your-love-with-cash thing! Maybe you got your arm twisted into spending a week’s pay on flowers and an overpriced dinner last night! If that’s the case, this column is for you.
Presenting the five best songs for dumping your romantic partner.
Paul Simon — “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”
In addition to giving you some good ideas, this song is like your future ex.
The verses are a great song. Musically and lyrically complex, gentle and well performed. Just like how your boyfriend and/or girlfriend is usually pretty great. It makes you think, you know, “There’s a lot going for this. I should just stick it out.”
But then you get to the chorus. It’s simplistic, annoying, and full of lazy, forced rhymes for no reason. Just like how your girlfriend and/or boyfriend decided out of nowhere that expressing love through actions and emotions day after day means nothing if you don’t fulfill certain expensive parameters in a way that satisfies social norms.
There are much better partners, just like there are much better Paul Simon songs. You’ll find your “The Boxer.”
BB King — “The Thrill is Gone”
Maybe you want to let your significant other down gently. That’s admirable. After all, it’s not his or her fault that his or her values have been corrupted by the amoral social profiteering of late capitalism. They deserve some sensitivity.
For that situation, let BB King guide you. Stay general, don’t get personal and make it clear you’re not enjoying it. Sing the blues. I mean, obviously, you’re gonna be enjoying it a little, knowing that next year on Feb. 14 you can spend those hundreds of dollars on something fun or useful. But try to hide that.
Nancy Sinatra — “These Boots Are Made For Walkin'”
You can also be honest and dispense with the kid-gloves politeness.
Even though this song tries to make “truthing” a thing, it’s still got the right attitude to use those boots to walk. After all, you don’t need this. What difference does it make what you do on one particular day per year, when everything is marked up to take advantage?
NSYNC — “Bye Bye Bye”
You just have to remember, you’re not five puppets on strings for her amusement. She shouldn’t be emotionally chasing you through a train for some reason. Also, at one point her vicious attack dogs are chasing you through a warehouse, I guess.
What in the world is with this music video? Did this make sense in the ’90s? Why is there a car chase? I honestly have no idea what the theme of this is supposed to be. Did anyone direct this or is it just a random collection of B-roll? I’m so confused.
Oh, right, the column theme. Uh… tell her bye bye bye, I guess.
Taylor Swift — “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”
Finally, remember that when you finally do it, your ex may come crawling back. When that’s the case, take it from the musician with the most experience with breakups and never, ever get back together. Like, ever.
Instead, have a house party with a band wearing weird animal costumes… hold up, is this another video that doesn’t make any sense? Are all pop videos like this? Have I just never paid attention until now? This one has a theme at least, except the inexplicably costumed band in her bedroom. Unless that’s her thing. I guess I shouldn’t kink-shame.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, Taylor Swift, if you’re reading this, call me. Unless you expect three dozen roses and two pounds of chocolate and dinner at the French Laundry because a bunch of people in Victorian England needed an excuse to send dirty poems to each other.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.