V-Day dates you won’t have to make small talk on
by Vanessa Redux
St. Valentine was really no big deal. Well, he may have been, but his saintly feats are lost to the realms of time, space and Catholic dogma; no one knows who he was or what he did to get a feast day named after him. Valentine’s Day used to be more a time of sacrifice, comparable to Lent. Apparently there was a lot of that “holier than thou because I do less stuff” type idea back when there was no Nintendo Wii. Valentine’s was really a forgotten date until around 1934 when the chocolate companies got their sticky digits around it.
In Japan, chocolate is also the gift given customarily, but with a unique Japanese twist: women give chocolate to the men in their lives. All of them. If you’re on the outs with your Japanese lady friend she’ll let you know by giving you cheap chocolate, or at least this is what I hear. Personally, I’d give him a box full of nada.
So when national blow-smoke-up-their-ass-day comes around, remind yourself that it is really an efficiently orchestrated marketing campaign designed to send swarms of servile couples to the malls to spend as much as they deem each other to be worth. Perhaps considering something less obvious in the name of the nameless saint will lead away from the bludgeoned path that most cannot seem to stray from: the old dinner-gift-copulation combo.
Here are a few suggestions that may inspire those celebrating their successful pairing:
• Why not go to Lloyd’s for some roller-skating. Humiliating yourself on wheels is a sure-fire way to imitate the rom-coms all those single saps are sitting at home watching, full of angst and Twinkies.
• Embark on a ‘50s-themed extravaganza beginning at your favourite burger joint where you and your beau will share a milkshake via two straws, then head out bowling to savour the smell of Lysol and polyester on the air.
• Ice Skating at Bowness Park is a great way to get a cuddle in front of a fire to warm up; you can bring firewood to use in the many pits if you’re keen. Bring a flask of something strong and the bruises on your tailbone won’t hurt so much when you’re awkwardly pushed up against the stick shift later.
• The Glenbow Museum has an exhibit of the legendary geek Brian Eno’s work. You’ll look smart and hip at the same time, and going to a chic little wine bar after will be the apple in your oh-so intellectual eye; just do some research on some nice vino so you don’t ruin the facade.
• Nothing says romantic times like shooting big guns at far off outlines of people. The gun range is a natural choice for a date, especially if you’re into sexual innuendo. There’s just something so alluring about someone who can pull off safety goggles and those giant yellow ear protector thingies.
• The luge at C.O.P. is fast and pretty cheap — the perfect date for someone you’re not too sure about but want to impress with your ultra-adventurous jockness, and all you really have to do is sit there and try not to shriek like a newborn orphan.
• If you like to drop hints about true love to those potential ones that come along but need some liquid courage, taking a tour of a brewery may be an astute choice. At Wild Rose Brewery, for $12 you get a pint and a glass to take home, so you will always have a souvenir of the time you experienced the birth of el amour numero uno, and your date will have a reminder of where he or she stands in your heart and mind.
• If you’re a Don Juan on a budget, try suggesting that you cook something together. Something like sushi, it’s really hard to make so you’ll have fun screwing it up and there’s no actual cooking involved so you can do it naked quite comfortably.
Please do take care to do something fun and thoughtful for whomever is so special to you. They deserve it, and if they don’t, at least you’ll have pretty alright time while fulfilling your obligatory duty to the chocolatiers of North America.