By Kaitlin Gertz
As we enter the month of February, Valentine’s Day approaches. Every store seems to have ushered in an aisle of anything red and pink and dipped in chocolate. There are commercials on every TV that sell rose bouquets, lacy lingerie, and the feeling that you’re inadequate if you’re not in a relationship. Children exchange cheap pharmacy-store valentines with cheesy sayings. Nobody seems concerned with the fact that Cupid is a businessman, taking money instead of giving love. However, if you’re above the capitalistic-consumerism holiday, there are still some things you can do with your Instagram-met honey.
You and your date can start by ditching a box of chocolates for a seven dollar cup of coffee in that little cafe you’ve been dying to try out ever since nobody started talking about it. Of course, it’s organic and vegan, but feel free to wear a t shirt that says “Cannibal” ironically. You can assure your date that you didn’t even get it at Urban Outfitters — Goodwill is so much more “authentic.” And when Mac Demarco starts playing, talk about some of his earlier work. Your date will be very impressed.
Or maybe you’re more of a nature person. Going hiking is a great idea: it’s free, you can show off your organic granola-making skills, and show off a flannel out of your extensive collection. Bring along an extra just in case your date gets chilly. Make sure to take a lot of pictures to post on Instagram, too. Better yet, bring a Polaroid and then upload the pictures to Instagram for added effect. Talk about your plans to grow a GMO-free garden, if only your place in Greenwich Village had a backyard. Want some brownie points? Point at flowers and compare them to your date. Or even compare your date to a Sylvia Plath poem.
If you’re into poetry, that local organic coffee shop probably has a poetry slam going on some night. Dazzle your darling with your poetic skills. Compare them to a flower again (but this time, as a simile). With every couplet, they’ll be even more into the idea of you two as a couple. You can even quote John Green — but, of course, only ironically.
Maybe poetry’s not exactly your thing. Of course, you can still show your date a great time in an artistic setting. Buy some tickets to the latest (or earliest) indie band, or maybe even a music festival. Amidst the seas of people bearing sailor and pin-up girl tattoos, look for the merch table and get your honey a record. Whether it will be used as a wall decoration or listened to while discussing the legalization of marijuana, it will always be a reminder of the fun date you had together.
Perhaps the easiest date is one that requires little money and no preparation: a trip to your local Goodwill to try on all the vintage and authentic clothes you can find. Wear those dad jeans with pride. Try and match a turtleneck with your cat-eye glasses. Most importantly, tell your date how cute they look in everything (because they really do). Watch them enjoy themselves as they spend one of the best dates they’ve ever had with you.
After all, you don’t need a big corporate chocolate brand to sponsor your meal, or a generic poem written by someone at Hallmark. You don’t need to buy them expensive lingerie or even an expensive gift. The only thing needed is to tell them about the two different types of love: the one you have for t-shirts labelled “This is a t-shirt” (ironic) and the one you have for them (sincere).
Kaity Gertz is a sophomore at Barbara Ingram.