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The Wards Road Guide to Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2015

written by Brian Shesko

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
I shan’t. Summer is so muggy, and there are too many gnats.
Did you decide on what you want for Valentine’s dinner yet?
What? Olive Garden? Seriously, bae?

- Shakespeare, possibly, if he lived around here today and was stupid instead of a genius

Ask 100 people to describe Valentine’s Day. You’ll probably hear terms such as “romantic”, “pressure”, or “overdraft protection”. But now more than ever, people say something like, “Who cares about Valentine’s Day! It’s not even a real holiday!” Sure it isn’t. Just keep your heads buried in the reject sand on Loser Beach, you single ostriches that no one would date anyway. Of course, it’s not surprising to hear such a negative attitude toward Valentine’s Day. Romance and sentimentality are most uncool right now, plus lots of people are mean jerks. And since mean jerks don’t have anything better to do, they’ve joined forces against the one day every year that guarantees everyone a shot at finding true love. “But,” you say, “I kind of like Valentine’s day AND true love! How can I combat these forces?” You combat them by getting your wallets out and spending money on Valentine’s Day, that’s how! Now, we know that many of you baby lovebirds can’t stray too far from the Liberty nest, which means your only option is Wards Road. However, this is no “gimme”. Valentine’s Day can make even familiar territory like Wards Road intimidating. Luckily, you don’t have to go at it unprepared. Let our Wards Road Guide to Valentine’s Day guide you on Wards Road for Valentine’s Day. Here are some key tactics:

  • Clarify Your Objective – Sure, you’ve been on Wards Road plenty of times, but do you really think you can make weighty, Valentine’s Day decisions on the fly and under pressure? What will you do before dinner? Are you going somewhere afterwards? Is that really another vape shop? If you don’t plan ahead, questions like these will only distract and confuse you, and your Wards Road Valentine’s Day could end up being the two of you leafing through the bargain DVD bin at Walmart. Know your options and have a plan of attack.
  • Shock & Awe – Don’t just go stand in line at Logan’s Roadhouse and shell peanuts for an hour. Make the start of your Day memorable. Go to PetSmart and look at puppies. Visit Pier 1 Imports to see, um, some wicker things? Is that what they sell? Or get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day and buy some ceramic leprechauns or something at Hallmark. Very memorable. Shopping a bit will also help calm your love nerves and buy you some very precious walking-together time. Think of it more like Shop & “Aww!” THEN you can go to Logan’s and shell peanuts for an hour.
  • Pre-Shock & Pre-Awe – If you’re ahead of the game and want to try a surprise attack, go to FedEx Kinko’s or The UPS Store and overnight mail your Valentine something special BEFORE Valentine’s Day. Talk about expedited shipping. What could be faster than delivery from Wards Road to Liberty’s campus? Plus, everyone loves getting real mail. Think how much more special it will feel to get to sign for some unexpected Valentine’s mail. First, his/her signature, then his/her heart.
  • The Primary Offensive: Dinner – Critically important: know your date’s dietary restrictions ahead of time. The where, when, and what of dinner all ride on this knowledge. What fast/diet/cleanse is he/she currently on? Would Daniel have fasted from delicious dinner rolls? Juice cleansing is stupid, right? What are we doing waiting two hours for unlimited salad and breadsticks anyway? Also remember: the popular places are even more popular on Valentine’s Day, so don’t consider it a failure if you end up at Ruby Tuesday for their salad bar. Their food is as mediocre as anyone else’s, you probably won’t wait as long to sit down, plus their salad bar has cubed ham.
  • End Game: Coffee/Dessert – If you’ve gotten to the end of your meal and “coffee or dessert” is still an option, congratulations. We recommend going to a second location for these treats, really rub it in the faces of the anti-Valentine’s crowd. Then just sit back, sip slowly on that coffee, and assess whether or not the person shoveling that molten lava cake into his/her mouth is worth date #2.

This is just a primer, of course, so don’t expect to be a savvy veteran after one try. You can only gain experience by getting out there and earning those battle scars. The war on Valentine’s Day is real, at least as real as the war on Christmas, which means Pat Benatar was double right about love being a battlefield. So be bold. Be brave. And don’t be afraid to go all out, because they can take our Russell Stover’s chocolates, but they’ll never take our Valentine’s Day! (Actually, they can’t take the chocolates either. They were $3 and we’re not made of money.)