Valentine’s Day ideas for the procrastinator

I’m offering suggestions for excellent, last minute, Valentine’s Day gifts, perfect for any islander.

  • Wednesday, February 12, 2020 2:11pm
  • Opinion
Greg Wessel.

Greg Wessel.

If you’re like me (incredibly cute and a snappy dresser), or even if you are not, you have probably waited far too long to get your sweetie a gift for Valentine’s Day, which is Friday of this week. Depending on when you read your Beachcomber, that could be tomorrow, or perhaps it was yesterday. In either case, you may find yourself in deep doo-doo. That’s why, solely as a public service, I’m offering eight suggestions for excellent, last minute, Valentine’s Day gifts, perfect for any islander.

First, some ground rules. I’m not going to default to the standard dinner-out-with-flowers ploy because you’ve probably eaten at all the Vashon restaurants during the last month, which makes them not special enough for the occasion. If there is one you’ve never tried, then that might be a reason to “get wild with food,” but do not do this if the one you haven’t tried is a pizza joint.

Second, I’m also going to recommend avoiding chocolate because it’s just too common. If you still think some is in order, pair it with champagne and a moonlight stroll (see idea No. 4 below).

Lastly, I advise against last-minute jewelry purchases. You’ll spend too much on something your partner will not wear, but if you are lucky and your choice is exceptionally hideous, you may get to return it and pocket the refund while still getting credit for a good try.

So, here are eight ideas that might save your butt:

• This time of year, there is nothing the average Vashon dweller needs more than clean up from the last storm. It also gives you an opportunity to show off your skills with a chain saw. If you have no skills with a chain saw and value your legs, I recommend …

• A fun afternoon cleaning out the garage followed by a free dump run, maybe? I’m assuming your partner still expects to park his/her car in the garage. If instead, your garage resembles Fibber McGee and Molly’s closet, you might try …

• Personalized underwear. This one is a bit tricky because you have to sneak off with an intimate clothing item that isn’t yours. Your job is to draw pictures of yourself with big red hearts on the item in question, or maybe you can try suggestive sayings with hearts or just hearts alone. In any case, if you get caught in the act of stealing, you can throw in …

• A stroll on the beach like in “The Bachelor,” except probably in a cold rain. Add a bottle of champagne and some chocolates, and plan to only go so far. On the trail, I mean. Speaking of walking, how about …

• A gift certificate for dog walking. If your partner has a dog, they get to sleep in for a month. If your partner doesn’t have a dog, I can lease you mine at a reasonable rate (remember, I’m doing this as a public service). If it is you who has the dog, how about ….

• A gift certificate for a month-long, personally tailored, canine-hosted exercise program. Your sweetie will receive 30 days of free exercise every morning that tightens up that backside and gives them a sexy windblown look while you get to sleep in. If that doesn’t work, try …

• A beer-bottle-cap mosaic picture. Simply go to all the bars on the island and ask for all the bottle caps they are about to toss out. Get as many as you can; you’ll need a lot. Then, on a large piece of cardboard, use the caps to arrange a mosaic picture of something suggestive, like an image of yourself (or someone better looking) reclining nude, taking advantage of the different cap colors for shading and depth. This is the perfect Vashon gift! Recycling and art, all in one! If you’re not so artistic, there is the last resort …

• Granite whiskey stones. Believe it or not, six “upcycled” (meaning made from construction waste) whiskey stones with two “monogrammable” tumblers (meaning they are not monogrammed), are selling for $34.99 on Amazon. Save yourself $35 by stopping at Granny’s to snag two tumblers and then take a walk on KVI beach where you will collect six large beach pebbles. Use a black Sharpie to “monogram” the tumblers and put everything in a decorative box. You now have your All-Natural, Vashon-Sourced, Geological Drink Coolers With Two Personalized Glasses. As a public service, I can provide the correct name for each rock collected ($10 per stone) so that your sweetie will also receive a lesson in petrography. What could be better?

If none of these ideas work for you, I wish you the best, but I should include one last public service announcement: If there are any sharp objects, rolling pins or skillets handy, you might want to put them out of sight. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Greg Wessel is an island geologist who plans ahead most of the time … okay, maybe part of the time.


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