On a budget or not, Valentine’s options abound

by Mark Pleiss

It can be the scariest mark on the calendar. It’s the heart-shaped arrow.

It sits inexorably tacked to the fourteenth of February. Like a love-sucking tick, it preys upon the minds and wallets of college students.

It can bring the most carefree single to his or her knees, and can incite bitterness in a heartbeat with one single question: “So what are you doing for Valentine’s day?”

But as any student will tell you, those blessed with a significant other – especially in the years of college – aren’t always so blessed.

“Valentine’s day is just a scam to take your money,” said freshman Brent Kai, who’s currently in a four-year relationship. “I only do it because I have to.”

Luckily, The Simpsonian has taken it upon itself to provide you with a list of Valentine’s Day activities.

Helping out are juniors, lovers of nine months, Craig Vasquez and Meghan Gallagher.

They sat down and discussed a few options for desperate Valentine’s Day planners looking to get ahead with whatever amount of money that they have.

Meghan: We’d go to Hawaii where we’d watch the sun set as we sip on a margarita.

Craig: We’d drive my 1985 Toronado to SeaWorld. We’d swim with the whales, then go to Village Inn for dinner, finishing the night horse-back riding on unicorns.

Simpsonian: Go to a nice restaurant somewhere in Des Moines. No music will be played on the way. Your warm voices will fill the otherwise-awkward sound void. Then return to Indianola, except this time with Nora Jones gently singing in the back speakers of your car. Return to your room where your two roommates will serve you while you read love poems by Pablo Neruda. At midnight you’ll clap your hands and the single roommates will disappear with their $5 paychecks. From there, it’s up to you.

Meghan: We’d spend time together talking all night, maybe watching a movie.

Craig: We’d watch “Labyrinth” with a nice Hy-Vee zinfandel and Kraft Singles.

Simpsonian: Romantic walk through Buxton Park, ended with a picnic on the 50-yard line. If weather does not permit, go ahead with the walk, warming all four hands in the comfort of your jacket pocket until you reach the room, where a picnic blanket surrounded by roses will welcome both of you.

Meghan: We’ll probably go out to dinner and have a little wine. Hopefully, there’ll be some flowers or candy somewhere, just the normal Valentine’s Day stuff.

Craig: We’ll probably have dinner at some expensive restaurant. We’ll drink some wine and maybe get a suite somewhere with a heart-shaped whirlpool. We’ll also watch “Rome Adventure,” which is some old 1960s romance movie.

Simpsonian: Valentine’s Day surf-and-turf dinner at Signatures, followed by a short French romance film in a roommate-less room. And, of course, the requisite flowers. Bonus points if you give a dozen roses with one plastic rose in the middle beside a note that reads: “My love for you will end when the last rose dies.”