Out of the heart-shaped box

As another Valentine’s Day comes and goes, another uneaten box of chocolates goes to waste and a dozen dying roses shed their petals all over the kitchen table.

As another Valentine’s Day comes and goes, another uneaten box of chocolates goes to waste and a dozen dying roses shed their petals all over the kitchen table.

Rather than resort to the regular run-of-the-mill Valentine gifts, some students are opting for something more creative this year.

“The whole box of chocolates thing is so stereotypical. Use your brain for once,” said Heather Hunter, a junior sociology major.

Many other Temple students seemed to side with Hunter and her rejection of traditional Valentine’s Day presents.

“Anybody can go to CVS and get millions of types of chocolate,” said senior communications major Julia Headly. “And flowers just die.”

Instead of making a last-minute candy purchase, Headly said her current boyfriend went with a more personal and creative idea for February 2009.

“Last Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend got me a gift certificate for his friend’s tattoo place,” she said.

Though some people put all of their efforts into finding the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, sometimes a more simple approach can make a better, longer-lasting impression.

Melissa Silverman, a junior social work major, said she would rather go somewhere than receive a physical gift.

“Even if it is in the middle of February, it would be cute to walk in a park and have a picnic or something,” Silverman said. “It gives you an excuse to bundle up and snuggle together.”

In preparation for Valentine’s Day, some set their expectations high, only to be disappointed. Sophomore business major Eric Reuter explained how his gift ideas completely backfired last year.

Reuter’s mother took the roses Reuter had purchased for his girlfriend, misinterpreting their presence as a gift from her son; Reuter’s sister ate the chocolate-covered strawberries that were also supposed to be for his girlfriend. And, to top it all off, Reuter had to cancel the couple’s dinner reservations after receiving an emergency call to come into work.

“I can surely say it was the most memorable Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had,” Reuter said.
But Reuter’s not the only one who has had Valentine’s Day expectations backfire.

Julia Achilles, a junior journalism major, said her friend was hoping for birthday and Valentine’s Day gifts last February. But two days before Feb. 14, Achilles’ female friend was dumped because her boyfriend didn’t want to spend money on gifts for either holiday.

“Now that’s the ultimate cheap boyfriend,” Achilles said.

For Ryan Cane, a senior mathematics major, last year’s Valentine’s Day wasn’t quite so disappointing.
“The craziest gift I’ve ever gotten on Valentine’s Day was a bag full of candy, a sex game and a blindfold,” Cane said. “Sour Patch Kids, if you want to get specific.”

Cane wasn’t the only one who was left with a Valentine’s Day worth remembering.

“That same day I made a surprise dinner from scratch [for my significant other], which is kind of a cop out because I’m a chef, but at least I still did something a little different,” he said.

On the other hand, junior biophysics major Jeffrey Passmore would argue that sticking with tradition doesn’t have to make for a boring celebration.

“When it comes to gift giving, I’m pretty beef and potatoes, but I give them in big quantities. A crap load of flowers or a really expensive necklace is the way to go,” he said.

In the receiving of gifts however, Passmore expects something a little different from his Valentine.
“My ideal gift is a good home-cooked meal and two hours of sensual sex,” he said. “Now that’s the perfect Valentine’s Day.”

Sheila Stanton can be reached at sheila.stanton@temple.edu.

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