A lonely heart’s guide to Valentine’s Day season

Because no one wants to spend their weekend alone.

by Andrew Penkalski

The impending ValentineâÄôs Day weekend tends to have its share of naysayers. There are those Noam Chomsky apostles who decry their seasonal distaste for the capitalist-fueled agenda behind a holiday that predates any industrial machine. The rest are likely just jaded, pissy individuals whoâÄôve probably got little love to give. But these arenâÄôt the people this article is for. This is for the people who may have been hurt, may have hurt someone, or love the idea of being in love, but havenâÄôt found it just yet.

What: Shred the Love

When: Saturday, Feb. 12 (12 p.m. âÄì 2 p.m.)

Where: Midtown Global Market (920 East Lake Street)

Letting go is easier said than done. While the ex-significant other is usually just as toxic as all best friends continually say, the lingering mementos only make it harder to forget the good times and remember the crap times as anyone should.

That is why MinneapolisâÄô Midtown Global Market is hosting its third annual âÄúShred the Love,âÄù event. Because all the hand-written âÄúI love youâÄù paraphernalia only makes moving on that much harder, the market will be fully stocked with shredders, scissors and trash cans. House vendors will also be serving up regional treats. West Indies Soul FoodâÄôs (What a Jerk) chicken will be the perfect nosh after an hour of romantic purging.

âÄúPeople are laughing. TheyâÄôre having a great time,âÄù market coordinator Kimberly Hanna said. âÄúThey share stories, which we love hearing.âÄù

ItâÄôs also an event that, according to Hanna, has a fairly co-ed attendance. So keep watch. A shared shredding experience may be the stepping stone to a love less lost.

What: The Rockstar Storytellers: The Romantic Fun Time Sexy Naughty Show

When: Sunday, Feb. 13

Where: Bryant Lake Bowl (810 West Lake Street)

While Rockstar Storytellers may come off as a ballsy title for a group of relative no-names, those involved have the local pedigree to back it up. From musicians (Courtney McLean) to stage performers (Joseph Scrimshaw) to comedians (Ben San Del,) the group has a verbose set of disciplines to draw upon the same basic art âÄî telling a story.

For anyone on the rebound or for the individual who shares a similar penchant for promiscuity, take a night off from rehashing the breakup sagas or awkward hookups. These guys are pros.

What: Gastro Non GrataâÄôs âÄúPre-Valentine FricasseâÄù

When: Sunday, Feb. 13

Where: Triple Rock Social Club (629 Cedar Avenue)

SheâÄôs gone. Along with her went waking up to the bacon aromas on Saturday mornings and the home-cooked Saturday evening dishes. But as you lie there gnawing at your pillow in the fetal position, try to remember the details. She cooked turkey bacon when you wanted pork. When you wanted a nice fatty rib-eye cut, she brought home a leaner top sirloin steak.

But youâÄôre on the prowl once again, and Gastro Non Grata will be returning Sunday to the Triple Rock Social Club for an evening of beer, meat and bands.

âÄúWeâÄôre just throwing a really good show,âÄù Gastro Non Grata co-founder Craig Drehmel said. âÄúItâÄôs all about loving everybody. ItâÄôs all about having a good time.âÄù

Chowgirls Catering will be providing the eveningâÄôs signature stews âÄî hopefully in full Western garb, Drehmel said. New YorkâÄôs Southern Tier brewery will be providing the drink. Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band along with throwback rockers Running Scared will fill out the eveningâÄôs entertainment bill.

What: A Recession Celebration: Black Valentine

When: Monday, Feb. 14

Where: 7th Street Entry (701 First Avenue)

The dreaded day has arrived. The anti-love bender has likely made it easy to dodge that roommate who has been fawning all week over the intricacies of his weekend passion cruise. If itâÄôs any consolation, fights concerning dinner reservations or paltry gift offerings likely marred any obligatory evening-closer sex the two pretended to enjoy.

And thatâÄôs why your ValentineâÄôs Day evening will be better. Gone is the financial commitment of date nights or chocolate hearts. Tonight is an evening for the casual hookup, and the 7th Street Entry is the perfect place to find that promiscuous counterpart.

The eveningâÄôs bill includes aged Birmingham psych-folk rockers Tea & Symphony as well as MinneapolisâÄô Mean Larry. While the latterâÄôs affinity for Leonard Cohen stylings may prove a bit harmful to those spitting their magical game, anyone working far from the stage and close to the bar will assuredly go home with someone elseâÄôs hand in their pocket.