Arts & Culture / Mosaic / February 13, 2013

Finding warm fuzzies, forgetting gush, mush on Valentine’s Day

(Andrei Papancea/TKS)

(Andrei Papancea/TKS)

Few holidays inspire such polarity as the 14th of February: heralded by some as a paragon of romance, condemned by others as a corporate deathtrap for feelings.

It is a day when the social stakes seem to triple and the romantically involved and uninvolved alike are united in their frenzy to make plans,  any plans. But as our newly christened Gmail inboxes are assaulted with Cindy Wickliffe emails that spell “crush” with a “k,” let us remember that there are (happily) a multitude of ways to spend Valentine’s Day that have nothing to do with crepes at The Landmark.

The primary appeal of the “romantic candlelit dinner” formula is its ease of use, a fact that’s assuredly not lost on time-pressed Knox students. Sophomores Jackson Axley and Emily Passareli went the traditional route due to Emily’s involvement with the notoriously stressful Rep Term.
“I’m so busy with Rep Term that we couldn’t really do anything else,” Passareli said. “We weren’t going to do anything originally because neither of us really care about Valentine’s Day, but I figure we may as well.”

It’s a good point: Why turn down any occasion for some good food, especially when the very sight of green bean casserole in the cafeteria is enough to send students into hysterics? But when wallets provoke sobbing at the mention of Chez Willy’s or the Landmark, all is far from lost.

Show the bank account some love
Mimic that bastion of high class dining, “the cheese plate,” with the help of Cornucopia and Uncle Billy’s Bakery; throw down $10 to be knee-deep in calamata basil bread and wine-marbled goat cheese and never look back. If a picnic simply does not appeal when students are shunned indoors by the weather, it doesn’t get much better than a slice of artisan pizza and an angel food cupcake from “baked.,” open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Beautiful caveat: the owners have an extensive vinyl collection and are happy to spin any of their records (hello, chance to slyly judge a date’s taste in music).

Or, take a leaf out of senior Josh Hosmer-Quint and junior Haley Beeson’s book and forgo the middleman.
“We’re trying to think of something to cook ourselves,” Hosmer-Quint said.

Passenger seat
For students in possession of a car, Valentine’s Day provides a lovely excuse to venture outside of Galesburg. Collaborate on a mix CD, stop by the Beanhive for some coffee and take a road trip, whether it be to Peoria or Lake Storey. The Midwestern fields are especially beautiful at sundown, and students can witness said beauty from the warmth of a car. That being said, downtown Galesburg is lovely as well.

No, really. While it is definitely not in the Bahamas, the weather has been mild enough lately to warrant a celebratory walk. The Antique Mall and Seminary Street are both prime candidates (but still make sure to get that cup of coffee).

If you wanna be my lover, gotta get with my friends
Valentine’s Day has a way of inducing sudden amnesia regarding any social relationships that cannot be registered as a “relationship change” on Facebook. The truth is that no one need forgo some loving this Thursday. Rally your mates and take a sojourn to the AMC Showplace on Carl Sandberg Drive. No, there’s nothing good playing, but “A Good Day to Die Hard” or “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 3D” both have the potential to be excellent viewing experiences. Or forgo the group dynamic and put into practice any of the aforementioned suggestions with a friend who has already been established as interesting and enjoyable.

Break the taboo
Forgo “speed dating” or any of the other social events that Valentine’s Day inspires and actually enjoy time alone. Students Against Sexism in Society is doing a yoga session from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Wilson House in honor of Love Your Body Week. Shamelessly make it through an entire season of Arrested Development on Netflix. Go ahead and pick up that slice of pizza from baked.,  or an entire pie without having to compromise on toppings. Or, better yet, order a milkshake from the Landmark and watch all of the awkward dates other people are on.

Tags:  Baked Cindy Wickliffe Emily Passareli Haley Beeson Jackson Axley Josh Hosmer-Quint Lake Storey Landmark Love Your Body Week Peoria Students Against Sexism in Society the Landmark Valentine's Day

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Mary DiPrete
Mary DiPrete is a junior double majoring in English literature and philosophy. This is her second year working for TKS.

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