V-Day not about Hallmark but all about the heart

Trista Pinick

Valentine’s Day, diversely thought of as an evilly invented day where Hallmark takes your money, a day to celebrate being in love and a day to feel bad about being alone. All of these are rolled into one box on the calendar marked Feb. 14.

With these connotations, traditions have been formed. The classic dinner and movie are often locked in, strawberries and chocolate or the ever-popular flowers have become practically cliché. Not that they’re bad by any means, just a little old.

It can be difficult to think of anything else to do on Valentine’s Day, but a few ideas have begun to circulate.

Create a scavenger hunt for the love of your life, sweet mementos and notes leading to one very special surprise. The surprise can even be one of the older Valentine ideas, the slight twist adds enough. However, for the more romantic and creative, use your imagination and really think about what the other person likes.

The most important thing is that it’s all about two people in love. Turn off the cell phones (if at all possible), lock the doors and hide the remote. Then get ready to do something together. Create a work of art no matter how inept you happen to be. It can be fun to do things that are interactive like filling balloons with paint, hooking them onto a canvas and then breaking them with darts. Another novel way to get the oils on the canvas involves painting each other and using your bodies as brushes.

Be competitive. Challenge your date to games like chess, which force you both to match wits or try something that involves a little less intellect and utilize those pesky, yet addictive free game Web sites. Have your very own Top Chef cook off. Agree on the rules and then try to agree on the outcome.

Try to do something active. Normally, you just sit and eat. Later, you sit and watch. Go for a run, weather permitting, try kick boxing or learning a new type of dance. Do something to get the blood pumping and give you a little more energy. Exercising with a partner helps promote conversation, albeit through gasps.

Or perhaps you want something more conventional, but something romantic that everyone else won’t be doing. Reenact your first date. Relive all the same butterflies and eye gazes and remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place.

Really, the most important thing is being together… and giving your money to Hallmark.