It’s the day before the boon to the greeting card, chocolate, floral and restaurant industries that’s known as Valentine’s Day, and you realize you’ve dropped the ball. No plans, no present, no reservations, no way to hide this fail from your sweetheart, right? Wrong. As a long term practitioner of uncommon V-Day practices, I’m here to help. Here’s five ideas to salvage the holiday and secure your title of Romance Expert:
1. Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, the books are horribly written, and I couldn’t finish the first due to a) the repetitive descriptors, b) too thin of a plot, c) boredom, and d) I was unable to imagine any college-aged virgin that would allow a man to forcibly deflower her. It was as if a group of high school girls read “The Story of O” and decided the world needed a modern, smutty romance novel version. Let’s ardently hope the movie is better. Much, much better. If you want to see this flick at Alamo Drafthouse, you’re going to have to search for two seats together at an early movie time. There’s nothing wrong with a matinee when you’re planning for Afternoon Delight. I’ll also suggest looking at iPic, Flix, and Moviehouse & Eatery’s websites for showings. As Austinites tend to choose local over national chains, you might get lucky on evening showtimes with a non-ADH theater. (See what I did there? Now tie this blindfold over your eyes.) Caveat: You do not want to take your date to see this film at a regular movie theater on Valentines and sit next to hormonal teenagers hoping to make it to second base that night.
2. Aphrodisiacs-To-Go. It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, so get out and enjoy it! Promptly go to Austin Wine Merchant (or your favorite wine seller) and pick out a nice rosé, catering to your lover’s tastes. Rosé can range from sweet and fruity to savory and dry, so go with what you know will be enjoyed. I chose this type of wine solely because of its beautiful color, which fits the holiday. You’re certainly free to pick your date’s favorite wine, be it cheap bubbly or a lush pinot noir. After procuring wine, let the cheesemongers at Antonellis Cheese pair it with decadently delicious fromage, charcuterie, chocolate and other tasty goodies. You can never go wrong with wine and cheese, especially when you plan a picnic atop the Butler Park hill, or amongst the peacocks and lily ponds at Mayfield Park.
3. Day trippin’. You’ve always wanted to see Enchanted Rock, now here’s your chance! You can visit Bastrop State Park, which is recovering nicely from the 2011 wildfires and has many lovely areas, or take a hike through Pedernales Falls State Park. Just remember to pack a picnic, and abide by the “no glass containers” rule. It’s easily done with canned Texas craft beer. Pick up a selection from Whichcraft, snag sandwiches from Noble Sandwiches and hit the road to show your snuggle bunny the stars at night (are big and bright, sing it with me). Be wise after imbibing, especially after sunset. If you need a sober ride home, arrange for one. Even better, arrange for a ride ahead of time, with one of the many limo and car services in Austin.
4. Fishnets and heels. Tickets are still available for Fat Bottom Cabaret’s Midnight Menagerie’s “A Touch of Love” cabaret and variety show at the Paramount. Fat Bottom Cabaret won the 2014 San Antonio Burlesque Festival’s Audience Choice Award, and is known for showcasing extremely talented plus size dancers who titillate, tease and tantalize. After the show, head over to Austin’s absinthe bar, Peché for drinks and nibbles. If the green fairy isn’t to your taste, I highly suggest the Fig Manhattan.
5. Staycation! Check into the W Hotel, and enjoy the luxurious comfort of their guest rooms, the convenience of in-room dining, and happy hour in the Living Room. As of this posting, several suites were still available for tomorrow night, as are a selection of rooms. It’s a short walk to nightclubs for dancing the evening away, or simply enjoy romance with a view of downtown, while sipping champagne. If you have the cash to spend, do it up right and leave your paramour with memories of an unforgettable night.