Creative students take over for Cupid

It’s that time of year again: When shiny tinsel hearts start replacing those Christmas lights that have been sitting around since November; when Driscoll is festooned in pink; when Schow atrium looks like a Fragonard painting; when little jars of foil-covered sweets crop up in Hart’s Pharmacy. Yes, folks, Valentine’s Day of 2013 is almost upon us. Why do I care, you might ask yourself? I’m a modern, empowered Williams student. Hallmark does not matter to me.

But for some, Feb. 14 still holds some of its magic. When your mom sends you a care package full of chocolate, you’ve got to admit that there’s something special about Valentine’s Day, even if that something is an excuse to eat chocolate desserts to your heart’s desire. In the words of Kitty Kistler ’13, “All I can think about is how nice it is to eat those little chocolates with fillings, and how disappointing it is when you get the yucky one with the cherry inside.”

According to Wikipedia, Valentine’s Day has been filled with romantic confectionaries since Chaucer’s time. The question is: Can we make this year’s day a little more exciting? Here’s your complete guide to gaming the day in Williamstown.

You could show off your liberal arts prowess by inviting your significant other/lover/friend to MASS MoCA Date Night. “Date night is entirely new this year,” said Kari Daly, Box Office Manager at MASS MoCA. “It’s a one of a kind event organized by the Education Department. It’s a glamorous night at the museum.” Glamorous is the key word here. At $65 per couple, the night includes gallery tours, time to craft a hand-made present “for your one true love” and a romantic candlelit dinner in the MASS MoCA café. It starts at 5:30 p.m., and advance reservations are required, so call the box office if you want to impress.

If you’re the type of person who fantasizes about publicly proposing to a loved one, then you’re in luck. Good ’ole Images has you covered. For just $10, you can purchase a Big Screen Valentine that Images will display on the big screen every day through Valentine’s Day. You can choose an image and create your own message. Seeing the Valentine flash across the screen after watching two and a half hours of Zero Dark Thirty will be the perfect uplifting surprise for your date.

Now, it’s time to share a little secret. I’ve kept this one clammed up because I plan to make it the feature attraction of my own Feb. 14. Dodd is hosting dinner, and you’re invited. R.S.V.P., and then nosh on Lickety Split catering. “The Valentine’s Day dinner [will be] in the super classy Dodd Dining Hall,” Donny Kost ’14 said. “[It will] feature delicious foods such as: chicken almandine, skirt steak, seared salmon and a vegetarian option.” Could there be a better, low-stress opportunity to invite someone new on a date? Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that it’s free. Those of you looking for an “unusual” Valentine’s Day – there’s nothing usual about this event besides how freakishly delicious and pocket-friendly it sounds. Maybe you better stay clear of this event just in case it’s a little too plain-Jane.

The restaurants around Williamstown have got your back this year if you see Valentine’s Day like I do: a second Halloween involving gorging on candy, and possibly a bit of costuming. Or perhaps a second Thanksgiving would be more appropriate.

Wild Oats’ prepared foods section has a cornucopia of treats. “All week we’ll have chocolate dipped strawberries, packaged, ready to go,” Robin Riley, marketing and member services manager at Wild Oats, said. “The bakery is making heart-shaped sugar cookies that are only $1 apiece. Today we had a bunch of little kids in to decorate some.” The Purple Pub will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday or Saturday with a delicious prix-fixe menu. It’s nice to know that the pub has its priorities in order: $5 burger night should definitely take precedence over Valentine’s Day. Finally, Hobson’s Choice on Water Street will feature several specials: lamb chops with pesto and large Maine lobsters.

If the aforementioned Valentine’s Day ideas intimidated you, don’t worry, you could always buy a carnation from the crew team in Paresky. The funds go to charity, which will definitely make you feel warm and fuzzy. Plus, they come with hand-designed cards by Emma Teal-Laukitis ’13. And keep your eyes sharp for Valentine’s Day cookies also being sold at Paresky and stuffed into S.U. boxes.

Here’s to making this year’s Valentine’s Day into a special day, whether celebrating with your significant other or with some close friends. Sure, it can be a cheesy holiday, but deep down, we all secretly just want to eat some chocolate and have a good time. So dig in and enjoy.