By Catherine Galioto ~
Valentine’s Day. In your mind, it’s an over-commercialized affair whose obligatory sentiments suck the authentic emotions out of romance. Or maybe you just think it just all around sucks.
Well, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to suck. You can fill your day with plenty of untraditional, downright anti-Valentine’s Day fun to get you through this. Whether you are flying solo, with your longtime mate, or doing it up Galentine’s or Palentine’s day style with friends, there are options that aren’t dripping with the syrupy sweet. In fact, for those who like a little dark humor with their love, these ideas are perfect for your alternative Valentine.
Here’s an obvious choice: the Toms River branch of the Ocean County Library is hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day Trivia Game at 7 to 8:30 p.m. February 14. It’s free, absolving you of the pressure to equate dollar signs to matters of the heart. “Not a fan of the holiday? Come play a fun round of trivia celebrating the not-so-romantic aspects of Valentine’s Day,” according to the library event calendar. Sign up here: https://theoceancountylibrary.org/.
For dinner, an option that openly flouts the romantic table cliché is White Castle. For more than a quarter century, the fast food slider chain has been offering special Valentine’s Day reservations. The place is decked out in Valentine’s Day decorations, the staff serves you tableside, and there’s often a special menu including dessert. This year, this tradition goes one better by linking up with reservation app Open Table, making it easier to book. Here’s the news: https://www.whitecastle.com/about/company/news/opentable-Valentines-Day.
How about a movie night? Nah, not the latest “50 Shades.” Instead: “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The classic tale of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Aaaand the classic tale of zombies. No better night than Valentine’s to see a mash-up of Jane Austen and modern zombie horror.
If that’s not the type of classic love stuff you’re into, well, there’s 1970s cult classic “Rocky Horror Picture Show” performing every Friday in Aberdeen with its “shadowcast,” the Friday Nite Specials. The Friday after Valentine’s is “Galentines Night” theme, where the entire cast is women, and there’s a pajama party theme, February 16. Check out the info: https://fridaynitespecials.com/. A great choice for Valentine’s Day, for those feeling “lost in time, and lost in space… And meaning.”
After a list of untraditional options, maybe you’d rather something traditional for Valentine’s Day. How about ancient mythological love stories? The tales that explain the stars above, whether Perseus, Andromeda or Cephus, are centuries old. These love stories will be explained in a special Valentine’s Day show at the Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College, Toms River.