Over the whirring drone of the cogs of industry, the grinding of the tectonic plates, the gentle flap-flap-flapping of a legion of butterfly wings -- all indications of a world still turning -- comes the gentle weeping of the heart-wrenched masses, mourning the fact that they are utterly and completely alone.
A fact that will be rubbed in -- like so much paprika in a cannibal victim's wound -- during that one day per year next week when love and being loved matters the most (SarcMark ®).
Since we write for a media outlet, it's basically etched into our blood-lettered contract that we address that day of days in some kind of thematic way. However, instead of helping you all stave off the crushing wave of loneliness that's threatening to crest on the 14th, we're just going to highlight some of the weirdest love life-enhancing apps we've encountered on our dusty travels.
C'mon, you didn't want a relationship anyway -- drunken crying is so much more acceptable when enjoyed alone.
How to lose friends and influence people
You know those two friends -- the pair that is SO obviously in love with each other but just can't quite get it together enough to date? Don't you wish those crazy kids would stop (playfully) punching each other and (playfully) criticizing each other's lifestyles and just get it on already?
Well, thanks to Facebook (and Walgreens) you can finally push your pals into the loving relationship that they so obviously long for. The drugstore chain is out with a super-subtle app called "Play Cupid" that allows you to choose from a series of virtual photo frames emblazoned with phrases like "Caution! Hot Couple!" and "Why Aren't You Dating Yet?" and plug in those unsuspecting future lovebirds.
Finish off the virtual Valentine with a gift suggestion for the pair -- like plush toys or K-Y Jelly -- and post the whole thing to your Facebook wall for all to see. For your noble labors, you will then be gifted with a coupon for something truly fabulous, like David Beckham cologne. See? Everyone wins. Except they don't. They really don't.
Want a restraining order for Valentine's Day?
It's the most common of queries after a relationship goes sour: What went wrong? A body can drive himself mad ruminating on such a question, which is why it's usually the healthiest course of action to shove all that self-loathing deep, deep down into your entrails, hit the whiskey and just conclude that he or she is a hateful ... rhymes with "ick."
But what if you could know -- and we mean KNOW -- beyond a shadow of a doubt why your former lover recoils from your very lingering touch?
Enter: Wot Went Wrong, a brand-new service that allows you to send a virtual comment card to your ex asking, well, "'Wot' went wrong?'" Both parties can offer each other constructive feedback on their positive and negative traits, and the dumper can tell the dumpee just why s/he did the dumping: "You don't like pets," "You drink too much," "You're married."
Or, you know, "You send me weird, needy virtual comment cards."
Screw fate, you have an iPhone
As myriad self-help books will tell you, you could find your soulmate anywhere! The coffee shop down the street! The bookstore! The feminine hygiene aisle of the supermarket! So chin up, chaps, turn that hideous frown upside down and always make sure you're wearing your "nice" underwear. Or, you know, take fate into your own hands and download Crowded Room.
Crowded Room is an Android/iPhone app that allows you to meet up with like-minded people as you go about your business each day. Sign in via Facebook, port your soul over into the app and start checking in to spots or broadcasting where you might go later.
The app will then suggest people to meet at said places based on their interests, as well as places where people who share your interests hang out. If you see someone who strikes your fancy, you can then message or "shortlist them" (the virtual equivalent of, "Hey, Bobby, will you tell Susy that I like her?).
You're staring vacantly at your cell, anyway, you might as well eke out some form of human interaction before your heart powers down.