Views on Valentine’s: Two Bear Witness Staff Writers’ Do’s and Don’ts for this Valentine’s Day

Grace Lowell and Aley El-Olemy

Aley: Hey Grace, so lately I’ve been thinking about Valentine’s Day and how I’ll spend it. Obviously, being single, I’m going on a date with a bag of chips and Netflix. 

Grace:  Hi Aley, happy Valentine’s day! Your date sounds like a good night. That’s got me thinking, what do you think is the worst way to spend Valentine’s Day? I’m curious.

Aley: Hmm. Well, to be fair, there are a lot of bad ways to spend the holiday; however, if I had to pick, it would definitely be breaking up with someone on Valentine’s Day. To end a relationship on a day signifying love is very low. Next to that, however, would be getting stood up by your significant other. What do you think, Grace?

Grace: Oh yeah, that sounds like the worst. If my girlfriend ever did that, I think I’d probably explode. I know a guy who broke up with his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, but apparently he didn’t realize it was Valentine’s Day. That part doesn’t make any sense to me. 

Aley: Yikes! That sounds bad. But what do you think about small things that wouldn’t be the catalyst to a breakup but are still annoying? For example, receiving a thoughtless gift. If someone got me a chain with hearts on it, I’d appreciate it, but I dislike wearing jewelry. What do you think?

Grace: I’d appreciate the effort, even if I didn’t wear or use it. But I definitely understand that sometimes gifts our S.O.’s give us can be … less than tasteful. But what would you think if your partner never gave you anything at all? Does the materialistic aspect of a relationship matter to you?

Aley: Well, I wouldn’t necessarily be upset. For me personally, the genuine affection far outweighs any materialistic aspect of a relationship. I would rather go on a nice date in a park or a nice car ride with music. I would much prefer my significant other spend more time on a do-it-yourself gift into which I know they put their effort and love than some cheap and cheesy present from Walmart. 

Grace: Hmm, I definitely love the do-it-yourself gifts, I’ve made a multitude of them for my girlfriend before. But I also really like some store-bought gifts you can personalize, like picture frames or bracelets engraved with your sweetheart’s name. 

I’d say you probably shouldn’t get anything personalized unless you’ve been in the relationship for a while, though. I ended up breaking up with my middle-school boyfriend and threw the heart-shaped necklace he got me into a fire. By the way, what’s your opinion on heart-shaped jewelry? I personally hate it — I think it’s extremely cheesy and not that cute. 

Aley: Oh yes, burn it all. I guarantee, any heart-shaped jewelry you have is made of fake gold, and a million other people just like you have it, as well. Buying heart-shaped jewelry is as basic as picky eaters getting chicken tenders at any restaurant. 

It doesn’t mean anything and should be tossed. It’s like Valentine’s Day chocolate. Speaking of that, what’s your take on giving someone chocolate on Valentine’s Day? Personally, I hate it. It’s fattening and loses its flavor after four bites. I’d rather get heart-shaped Valentine’s Day chicken nuggets or a Hot Pocket.

Grace: Some chocolates are really, really good. But some belong in the depths of the trash. One time I bit into a chocolate thinking it was caramel. Turns out? Orange. It was DISGUSTING. And I’ve never had V-Day chocolate since. Honestly, Valentine’s Day Chick-Fil-A might just have to be my go-to plan. 

Aley: Honestly! Or a Valentine’s Day date at some restaurant. Or best of all, a dinner date where both people make the food themselves — like a stay-at-home buffet? You make the food with your significant other, sharing memories and laughs, and you also get a delicious meal made by yourselves and more importantly, made with love.

Grace: That’s really sweet, actually. But what if one of you can’t cook? I don’t want to necessarily end V-day with arson charges.

Aley: Well, I guess I didn’t think about that one. I assume not every person is the next Gordon Ramsay. There is the option of microwavable macaroni and cheese. Yum! But that’s not necessarily the healthiest option due to the high sodium, and eating factory-made food doesn’t have the same touch of love as making the food yourself. That gets me thinking, though. What’s the worst restaurant to take your S.O. to, and what’s the best? 

Grace: First of all, never insult Kraft Mac N’ Cheese like that. But I think the worst restaurant would be something like fast food, unless that’s you and your S.Os go-to place. No judgment here. But if you really want to wow them, take them to a super cute hole-in-the-wall place, or someplace that isn’t a chain. Downtown Alpharetta has some super cute spots that are so good. Plus, it’s a nice environment. Which brings me to my next point, where do you think is the worst place to go around here?

Aley: Hmm. Probably a zoo. The smell of dirty animals all around and the winter weather surrounding you doesn’t sound too fun. Sure, there are cute animals, but the smell and gloomy visuals during this time of year are definitely a no-go for me. One thing I’ve learned is that all those cute animal photos on the internet don’t convey how those cute animals smelled. What are your opinions? Zoos — yes or no? 

Grace: I agree. I personally hate zoos. I can’t stand the smell at all and the Georgia weather doesn’t make it any better. You know what a fantastic date idea is? The Georgia Aquarium. Period.

Aley: Aquarium? Sorry but that’s a no from me. Having visited the place about a hundred times and memorized it, I don’t find it that interesting anymore. Plus, the only experience I enjoyed was touching the stingrays in the pool, but even that became uninteresting after some time. 

While the aquarium does smell better than the zoo, the smell isn’t perfect. All that marine life creates a salty smell that floats in the air. Not to mention the place is cold! I forgot to bring a jacket one time and I was shivering the whole time. 

Also one thing everyone can agree with is the food is not up to par with a Valentine’s date. The thought of greasy pizza and warm soda in a large styrofoam cup is not appealing, especially if I’m paying $32.95 for ONE ticket. Personally, I would take my S.O. to Six Flags. The thrill of being face-to-face with death — love it! What do you think?

Grace: Wow. What has the aquarium ever done to you? I love it there. But that’s just me, I suppose. Six Flags is a good option, although you have to watch the weather before you go; you don’t want to get trapped in a crowded theme park in the rain when all the rides get shut down and you’ve wasted your day. Well, I think we’ve gone over most of the do’s and don’ts for Valentine’s. I hope this helped, Aley!

Aley: I’ll use this when I go on my next date . . . in five years. Thanks, Grace!