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Saturday, October 16, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Four quirky Valentine’s Day date ideas to break the clichés

straightwhitemen_stagestheatre

By Walden Pemantle and Sophie Newman     2/10/16 6:43pm

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.



Picnic

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.

Aquarium

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.



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