This week, we've got a special guest on our blog! Please give a warm welcome to Eric Smith, author of The Geek's Guide to Dating.
Valentine's Day is here, and I know plenty of people who are rolling their eyes at the holiday.
And it's understandable. Even those of us who are taken get tired of it. The same chocolates, plush bears, and cards... all the stuff that Saturday Night Live basically nailed just last week.
However, there are plenty of ways to liven up the holiday by putting your own geeky spin on old school, old-fashioned romantic gestures. Let's have a look.
"A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You've got to kick off with a killer, to grab the attention. Then you've got to take it up a notch, or cool it off a notch... oh, there are a lot of rules." - High Fidelity
Create a Mixtape: I don't know about you, but I really miss the joy of creating the perfect mix. All that music you talked about on those earlier dates while getting to know each other? There was once a time when you could break out a thoughtful mix of songs burned on a CD, or even painstakingly recorded on a cassette tape. But who does that anymore? No one.
Luckily, there are still ways you can create mixes in an age of iPods and music that's available digitally.
Pick up a flash drive, and put a handful of songs on it with a note detailing what's inside. And not just any old bland flash drive. Put some thought into it! Nothing wrong with it being a little... man, I almost said flashy. Almost walked right into that one. You can even find them shaped like cassette tapes.
Or, you could break out Spotify if they're on it. Send over a carefully curated playlist.
"The earth laughs in flowers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Find Unique Flowers: Unlike the mixtape, flowers are still a thing. However, instead of just a plain ol' bouquet, there are a lot of cute ways to step it up. Especially if you're a geeky couple who appreciates the finer things in life, and not just the finest Valentine's roses available at your local gas station.
Arrange a special LEGO brick bouquet of flowers. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials that'll guide you through making LEGO flowers. This Super Mario Bros. fire flower is probably my favorite.
And speaking of Super Mario Bros. flowers, maybe think a little outside the box. I mean, who wouldn't want their own piranha plant? Check out this Instrucables guide on making your own Warp Pipe.
You could put just about any plant inside one of these, but let's be real here. The only proper thing to do is put a Venus flytrap in there. In fact, if my fiancee is reading this... I'd really like one of these for my office. Thanks.
There are even options here on ThinkGeek. You can wrangle up some beautiful bouquets of pixelated flowers.
Chiptune artist ap0c, images via Facebook
Commission a Work of (Web Comic or Chiptune) Art: Speaking of pixels, I probably spend way too much time reading video game web comics. Like, way too much. I love them all. And a classic old school romantic gesture, definitely includes commissioning works of art.
Now, luckily for fans of web comic strips, there's a huge chance you'll be able to commission a piece from your significant other's favorite series. A lot of web comic artists do commissions. It might be too late for Valentine's Day, but reach out and see what their deal is. If anything, use the idea later on down the line, with a little more time in advance.
As for chiptunes, same rule applies! Drop your significant other's favorite chiptune artist a line, maybe via their Bandcamp page, and see if they take commissions. Get that favorite song of theirs remixed, 8-bit style, and hey, maybe put it on that mixtape you've been working on! And give it to them with a pixelated bouquet of flowers. It all comes full circle, friends.
Good luck, geeks!