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Voices of MainStreet: April Lee

The Non-Hallmark-Approved Valentine’s Day

Feb. 4, 2011

There is always the moneymaker scheme in every celebration. There are always the people who count the monetary value of the gift as equal to the value of your affection. There are always people who desire the clichés, the traditional or simply the act of celebrating.

There are always those people who have had bad holidays and so they shun them. On the surface, I tend to be one of those people. Underneath, I’m secretly wishing someone will right all the wrong Valentine’s Days before this one.

But what to get a Valentine?! Who knows?! It depends on the person who is receiving, of course. There’s the traditional route of teddy bears, chocolates, candy hearts asking “Will you be mine?” and singing Hallmark animals. That one is a recent tradition. There are plenty of naughty routes which I will not mention here.

The “Hallmark Holidays,” as they say, don’t really seem to exist in Seattle. It’s mostly local businesses that work on all the swooning, bleeding-heart Valentines. I like that about Seattle. There is nothing more romantic than a fresh sprinkle of rain on the evening’s air as we are likely to get over here. Walks in the rain are romantic aren’t they? You don’t even need money for that here in our lovely city. Maybe that’s just it; Seattle is romantic at its core.

I’m curious to see what Seattlites will do for their Valentines. The local free weekly newspaper, The Stranger, offered a free printed ad to your Valentine. Considering it was the sassy, sarcastic newspaper in the area, I thought it was a rather sweet offer. Or will Seattlites choose to get tattoos with their sweetheart or will they buy skinny black jeans for each other? Maybe they’ll indulge in books and their favorite coffee shops together or take a Valentines cruise from Argosy Cruise Tours (a local favorite). Maybe Seattlite Valentines will run a marathon hand-in hand! Oh what joy it is to sweat together for a cause. It’s very Pacific Northwest. Anyway, only tourists and lame-duck yuppies have dinner in the rotating restaurant in the Space Needle. It’s hard to say what people will do but time will tell.

In any case, Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! If you are confused on what to get your sweetheart remember to be thoughtful. Be simply thoughtful. Often, it is the thought that counts most.

Oh! Last ditch idea: pink or red construction paper heart! What? It always worked on my Mom.

—April is a well-traveled young woman planting her roots in sunny Seattle, or well, just Seattle. Her writing covers whatever piques her interest and curiousity. Check out her blog here.

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