February 14, 2012

Cheap Dates: Celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank

By Lee Cole–

The first line of Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a voiceover journal entry that quips “Random thoughts for Valentine’s Day, 2004. Today is a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make people feel like crap.”

Depending on your situation, Valentine’s Day can be a unique, joyous experience, or it can be miserable. Something about the store aisles stocked full of the same run-of-the-mill candy, flowers and stuffed animals makes the whole affair feel cheap and hackneyed. A holiday which is supposed to be about love has come to showcase a relationship that’s not so romantic: the love affair between Americans and the practice of spending an outrageous amount of money unnecessarily on holidays.

The Louisville Cardinal is here to help with some Valentine’s Day ideas that won’t break the bank and will show your significant other that you care.

Wilderness Adventures

Yes, its February but it’s not like these mid-fifties temperatures have made the winter unbearable. There have been more than a few days of spring weather already, no matter what Punxsutawney Phil says. There are plenty of places to go, like Iroquois or Cherokee Park, or if you’d like more a challenge, the Knobstone Trail in Indiana offers great scenery.

Antiques aren’t just for old people. You can have a great time just browsing the artifacts in an antique store without actually buying anything, and there’s always the chance that you might happen upon something unique or historically interesting. Or you can have fun just looking at useless junk.

Sweet Treats
Making your own card allows you so much more freedom to say what you want, and you don’t have to give money to Hallmark (they make enough incessantly re-airing “The Golden Girls”).  You can make your card an inside joke or heartfelt; whatever the case, the message will be your own and not something some guy you’ve never met came up with to sound as generic and identifiable as possible.

Arts & Crafts
It’s amazing that giving someone a prepackaged, assorted box of chocolates is still tolerated. Perhaps Mr. Russell Stover himself is to blame. It requires almost no effort or thought to pick up one of hundreds of boxes that have been there for weeks on Valentine’s night. Instead, consider making candy with your significant other. You can spend time with each other, and you’ll know exactly what’s going to be in the candy, which means no bizarre amoretto surprises.

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