Scene: Picking the perfect (last minute) present


February is the month of hypocrites. People spend months convincing themselves that Valentine’s Day is the biggest commercialized holiday, swearing that they won’t submit to the pressures that the day  brings.

Here’s where the hypocrisy kicks in. What person, man or woman, has the balls to say to their significant other, “I don’t want to participate in the economy-driven façade that is Valentine’s Day?” They’ve spent 364 days telling themselves  cheap roses and a heart-shaped piece of card board containing over-priced chocolates is not the way to show their love, yet so many fall off the wagon.

The truth lies in the lack of realism within our generation. There are many individuals who have the best of intentions leading up to V-Day, but for reasons unknown, dinner reservations are forgotten, the $30 bouquet is never ordered. The only reminder is the heartbroken look of their significant other as they stand empty handed.

It is experiences such as those that lead people to believe that grand gestures are pointless. Something will go wrong. The pressure that accompanies Valentine’s Day corrupts those who ‘fail’ to fulfill fantasies that only happen in movies. Sure, guys (and girls) can plan a fantastic date, but it should never be modeled after a movie, since an entire production crew planned that date.

Those ‘failures,’ as many see them, push people away from  making the unique romantic gestures they otherwise would. It’s at this point that there is a spike in the purchases of wilted roses from 7-11 and cheap perfume from K-Mart the day before Valentines. But what so many should realize before they get to this point is that you don’t have to plan the perfect Hollywood date or spend a fortune on a five-course meal that doesn’t even satisfy your appetite. Part of being in a relationship on Valentine’s Day is planning something unique.

With the big day looming, here are some last minute, non-cliché, ideas that are sure to show you are unique and less likely to succumb to the commercialization of Valentines.

Coupon Books

This, quite literally, is the gift that keeps on giving. Write out little ‘coupons’ that read ‘one free…’  This is your chance to be unique! Depending on your significant other, the coupon could be for a massage, dinner, day-trip etc.


These could be for his or her favorite sports team or indie concert that’s coming to Seattle next month.  Although possibly pricey, tickets to an event prove that you know what they like. (Hint: You don’t need to have the actual ticket on V-Day, but make sure you follow through on your promise!)


Yes, it’s not standard picnic weather, but if you’re an outdoorsy sort of couple, rent some snow shoes and hike into snow covered hills. Warm clothing and hot chocolate is a necessity, and your wallet will likely thank you later for the inexpensive, yet memorable date.