By Sister Margaret Rose

Hey ladies, just a reminder that Valentine’s Day is canceled this year because it’s Ash Wednesday. I know abstinence and fasting may sound like total buzzkills, but look on the bright side: You won’t have to stroke your husband’s ego over cheap chocolate and flowers that he clearly bought at the gas station. I also know some of you won’t be able to resist the temptations of Valentine’s Day. Seriously, this isn’t my first time at the rodeo—there’s a reason we always have a line at confession. But if you have to celebrate, here are some ways to spend the night with your boo without leaving a Hallmark on your soul:

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Go True Missionary Style

Embrace the true meaning of Lent by breaking out your Bibles and trying to convert your non-Christian neighbors. For the competitive couples, you can make a fun game out of it: two points for each Jewish person that makes the switch, five for Muslims and ten for atheists. Good luck!

Skip the New Fifty Shades Movie and Read the Books

Forget watching the sins of the flesh on the big screen and curl up on the couch with these literary clunkers. If either of you gets turned on by the awful writing, the church will make an exception and grant a divorce.

Engage in Biblical Role-Play

Tired of getting overlooked for holiday pageants and enjoy a “special” kind of role-play? Here’s your chance to unleash your inner Meryl in three easy steps 1. Take a bite of an apple. 2. Call your man a serpent and tell him he’s ruined your garden. 3. Storm out of the room. End scene (and any chance of hanky panky).

Have Fun with Ashes

Instead of lusty pottery and painting classes, get creative with our new Ash by Numbers home kit, which includes your very own burning palm. Once you get master tracing circles and crucifixes on each other’s forehead, try your hand at the Virgin Mary. Not feeling artistic? Bypass the spa and try an ash facial to make your skin glow like a cherub’s bottom.

Make Fish for Dinner

Since there’s no meat on Ash Wednesday, you may want sexy seafood like lobster or, gasp, oysters. Instead, make tuna-fish sandwiches or bagels with lox. Throw in some broccoli and cottage cheese and you’ll have a meal that will make you feel anything but frisky.

Renovate Your Kitchen

Break out your tool belt and rip up your kitchen floors, like you planned when you first moved into the house ten years ago. It’s a great way to spend quality time together while also paying tribute to everyone’s favorite carpenter. If home-improvement becomes a turn-on, immediately back away and tell your guy his wrist is looking a little limp.

Renew Your Vows

Not to each other, to the church. God, how many times do we have to remind you that this day isn’t just about you?–

Mark Jason Williams is an award-winning playwright and essayist. In addition to Honeysuckle, his work is published by The Washington Post, Salon, The Denver Post, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Out, The Daily Dot, Stuff, and Good Housekeeping. For more about Mark, please visit