Four quirky Valentine’s Day date ideas to break the clichés
Valentine’s day is tough. Even if you’re in a relationship, dates can quickly end up feeling overdone, cliché and just plain awkward. That being said, cynically moping around on “Singles Awareness Day” by yourself sounds even worse. Regardless of where you land on the relationship spectrum — hanging out with friends, a date or actually trying to make the day special — take the day to do something fun and maybe even just a little romantic…if you’re brave.
Straight White Men
In the season of love and heartbreak, let’s not forget our nation’s real, unsung heroes — straight, white, heterosexual males. Guys: I know you have been feeling neglected. You can’t get a word out without someone pulling the ol’ cisgendered remark or directing you to the straightwhiteboystexting Tumblr page. Fear no more. Now, after minutes of systemic oppression, it’s your time to take the stage. Take a date (your mom, grandmother, hookup that you met three weeks ago on a niche dating app) to the Stages Repertory Theatre’s regional premiere of Straight White Men. If you don’t like theater, you might be excited to hear that this event is recommended for “mature” audiences — you know what that means.
If you really want to impress, a picnic is the way to go. It’s more casual than a fancy dinner, and since you can pick what food to pack, it gives you an even better chance to show how well you know your date without having to cook dinner, or foot a pricey bill. Try buying sandwiches from Revival Market, pastries from Common Bond Bakery, or, the excellent to-go Indian food from Himalaya. Fancy cheese, bubbly water and wine are always a plus, but really, this is a chance to pack exactly what your date wants. Chocolate and bonbons be damned, if your date likes cottage cheese and kombucha, I say pack it.
This is an especially good idea if you’re not sure whether or not you’re on a “real date.” If you are, great. The aquarium is fun, interesting, and a perfect level of quirky. If you’re not, it’s still a good place to kick back with friends and ogle some fish instead of ogling each other. Who knows, your impressively vast knowledge of marine mammals could be the spark you and your date need to realize your feelings for each other. Afterwards, bring your special someone for a feast in the Nautilus ballroom, just for the halibut (reservations required). It’ll leave your date saying — I want to tackle that box.
Man Seeking Woman
If you truly don’t have any plans (and truly don’t care) this comedy is the ultimate for laying in bed in your underwear and laughing at your loneliness. The show follows awkward 20-something Josh’s experiences trying to rebound after a tough breakup. Far from a typical rom-com, monsters and magic show up at the worst times for Josh, adding an element of magical realism that keeps everything honest, while poking fun at how absurd dating can be. Highlights of the first season include what to do when your ex is dating, quite literally, Adolf Hitler, and how to cope when even your hand dumps you.
More from The Rice Thresher
At the heart of Marvel’s “What If…?” is, unsurprisingly, the question: “what if?” The series, which is the first animated entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is based on a popular comic book series of the same name. “What If...?” opts for a similar anthology format, with semi-standalone plots in each episode that eventually converge toward one storyline in the finale. Unlike the comic series, which has the expansive Marvel Comics’s canon at its disposal, the show opts for a smaller scope with only characters that have already appeared in the MCU. These creative guardrails on “What If...?” are the central problem of the show’s first season, which has flashes of immense storytelling potential amidst a more inconsistent affair.
October is here, and with Halloween right around the corner, many of the more brave owls will find themselves looking for a frightful time beyond the hedges. With that, the Thresher delivers, with some of our favorite haunts around Houston. Most of these are not for the faint of heart, but we did include some family friendly ones so your friend who was too scared to watch “Squid Games” can tag along. Go visit, if you dare, and scare away your semester sorrows in fun costumes and screams galore.
When “No Time to Die” first was delayed due to COVID-19 in April 2020, many felt that this film was doomed. With great controversy surrounding the script, casting and even Daniel Craig himself stating that would only play Bond for the money, the consensus was that Craig’s final outing as 007 would be mediocre at best and disastrous at worst. Now releasing nearly 18 months after its anticipated release date, I can safely say that “No Time to Die” is one of the best films of the franchise.