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Don't Be a Schmo: What to Get Your Valentine

Don't Be a Schmo: What to Get Your Valentine- Wall of Cool at Synapse Product Development

Valentine's Day is on Thursday this year!  (It's on February 14th every year oddly enough.)  This list is intended to help you be a hero (not a schmo) to the special lady (or gentleman) in your life.  Don't be a schmo!  Read on!

The Card:

Clearly, the most important component of Valentine's Day is the card.  Downtown, your best options are Papyrus (across the street in Pacific place on the third floor) or Fireworks (across the street and down one block at Westlake Center.)  There's a Hallmark Store on Westlake Square, but that's at the bottom of the awesomeness list.  You will need to go before the 12th to get anything decent.  Obviously, the best present is allllllways the heartfelt sentiments you write inside the card.  Do try not to go with the classic "Love, Bob".  At least a "I heart your pot roast.  Love, Bob."  Cool?  Feel free to embellish with sonnets of Shakespeare or quotes by Rilke, but at least try and work your own feelings in there a little.  That is the point.  (Yes, I know it's painful.  It's like ripping off a bandaid, just do it.)

The Classics:

Valentine's Day has the classic trifecta of chocolates, flowers, and jewelry. You work six blocks from the Pike Place Market, home to some of the world's most beautiful and reasonably priced flowers. There is NO excuse. Three dozen pink tulips might be the best $25 you spend all year. For chocolates, go to either the Dilettante Cafe inside Westlake Center or the Chocolate Box on Pine between 2nd and 1st.  Another great option is chocolate cupcakes from Trophy Cupcake, which has a pop-up shop on the third floor of Pacific Place near the escalators.  Delicious AND adorable!  If you're looking for jewelry, go to Fireworks, snag a sales lady, describe your ladyfriend, hand over the credit card, go home a hero. These are classic, but safe options.  For more adventurous gifts, read on!  Also Fran's Chocolates is now open on first avenue and Union.

The Improvements:

Tickets!  I'm a huge fan of tickets as gifts. Experiences and dates out can be the best gifts.  Some tips: if possible, get the tickets in person and put them in an envelope with a bow.  So much more special than printed-off-the-internet (yes, I know this is not logical, but trust me.)  These tickets should not necessarily be for Feb. 14th.  (She/he won't have planned an outfit.)  They should be for sometime between Feb. 14th and March 14th.  Also, accept with grace that these tickets also mean shelling out for a nice dinner before or drinks and dessert after.  Try and do this with panache and already have the place picked out, potentially with <gasp> reservations?  Your date will be impressed.  (And no, this does not mean you are off the hook for a Valentine's card.  Card is critical.)

This year there are some excellent options for tickets:

  • Cirque du Soleil!  They're here and they're performing at Marymoor Park.  Both of you definitely want to go, it's special.  File this under expensive but worth it.
  • 5th Avenue Theatre: they do musicals, and the 5th Ave is a special theatre all of which is guaranteed to make your Valentine feel special.  They're currently doing the Music Man which is a classic but not necessarily the most exciting.  After that they're showing Grey Gardens which I think sounds better:
  • I have a friend who swears that the best couples therapy is tickets to Teatro Zinzanni.  Bonus: dinner is included.  Also expensive but totally worth it.
  • The Atomic Bombshells Burlesque is doing a show at the Triple Door.  The Triple Door is a wonderful date venue similar to dinner theatre, you can have dinner and drinks brought to your table.  Note: burlesque is a wonderfully fun activity, but people do get mostly naked so if she/he's not into that, for the love of Pete go see a G-rated movie.!-A-Burlesque-Valent.aspx?date=2013-02-15

Gifts!  There are lots of wonderful gifts for your valentine:

  • Shoes: may seem odd, but giving shoes is always a good choice, her shoe size should be fairly clear (go with a 7 if it's not) and if you get her something cute from Nordstrom and she doesn't like it, she can return it.  It's like a really classy gift card.  There's also something that says I-thought-extra and I-think-you're-cute about giving shoes.  For bonus points, get a cute and tiny card from Fireworks and tuck it into the laces of the shoe.
  • Anything from Antropologie, other than clothes.  Good options: a beautiful journal, some lovely candles, fun jewelry, anything with a bird on it...Anthro is on 5th between Pike and Pine, directly around the block from us.
  • Heart shaped everything!
  • Anything handmade that says "I was thinking of you and I made this" is liable to be a hit.  I know crafting probably isn't your thing, but you can always reach out for help!  I hear Lynn is into jewelry making, I hear Fredward has more woodworking tools than you can shake a stick at.  Stephen Hess can teach you to use the laser cutter.

The usual do-not-gives apply, except technology gets an extra nay on Valentine's Day.  Super non-romantic.  Books ditto, unless it's love poems or Like Water for Chocolate.  Let me know if you have specific questions and/or want to tell me no-really-your-wife-really-wants-an-Android-phone (no she doesn't, she wants a mushy card.)  Good luck!

Martine Stillman- at Synapse Product Development

Vice President of Engineering


Employee Since