I can't stand Valentine's Day. There are some people -- like Ericka Bethel, as evidenced by her great post yesterday -- who enjoy the holiday, but I'm not one of them. The thought of dressing up in a tie and spending a ton of money while doing something boring and stuffy to celebrate some convoluted "holiday" makes me nauseous. But I have a wife, and all you guys out there know what my name will be if I ignore Valentine's Day:  Mud. So I'm constantly on the lookout for ways to acknowledge Valentine's Day and still make it something I can tolerate without gouging my eyes out. Guys, here are some of my favorites in Hendricks County.
  • Let Carla's Creations do the work for you on your lady's Valentine's Day gift, guys! Carla's Creations:  Sure, flowers are nice on Valentine's Day, but they're so cliche -- and expensive. Gentlemen, allow me to present to you an alternative to a dozen red roses: Carla's Creations on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Danville, Indiana. Here's my typical interaction with the shop's owner, Carla Huntsman: I walk in her shop with a demoralized look on my face, and she asks, "What did you lose, break, or forget that has you in trouble with your wife this time?" Then she creates something spectacular with candy, candles, trinkets, bows, ribbons and whatever else is appropriate to make up for whatever I've done wrong at home. That's why, with my complete lack of creativity, I rely on Carla's brilliant mind for Valentine's Day, too. Give her a call at (317) 745-4200 to see what she can do for you.
  • Xtreme Lazer Tag:  Who wants to sit in a stuffy restaurant wearing a necktie when you can lazer tag?! Take your date to Xtreme Lazer Tag, located at 8131 Kingston St., Suite 100, in Avon and team up with her during open play from 4 to 9 p.m. as you both take on the world! (You could compete against her, too, but it's been my experience that it will end badly for you, win or lose. Play the role of the white knight, instead, and show your love by saving your damsel from attackers). Lazer tag is fun and also easy on the wallet. Play one game for $9 a piece, two games for $15 a piece or three games for $19 a piece. skyzone3
  • Sky Zone:  Another unique Valentine's Day activity that doesn't require a necktie is the new indoor trampoline park in Plainfield called Sky Zone. Ericka bounced over to 851 S. Columbia Road last month and had a blast there. (See? Women like it, too!) They're open from 3 to 8 p.m. on Valentine's Day, and I recommend purchasing tickets in advance through their website to make sure you can get in. Jump passes range from $9 to $20 per person, depending on how long you want to jump. (Some friendly advice: take the lady bouncing before you take her to eat. Otherwise you'll be right back at Carla's Creations, needing another gift basket.)
  • You can't go wrong with heart-shaped pizza at Dave's in Danville. Heart-Shaped Pizza at Dave's:  So you got your lady a nice gift and had some fun together. Now you have to feed her. Lucky for you, Dave's All-American Pizza & Eatery offers heart-shaped pizzas on Feb. 14. There will be tablecloths and candlelight -- all the makings of a romantic Valentine's Day dinner without the stuffiness or the required second mortgage of your house to pay the tab. And if you're a meat-eater like me, Dave also offers prime rib and other nice cuts of beef that night. No reservations necessary (or accepted). Just show up at 1247 W. Main St. in Danville between 4:30 and 9 p.m. and enjoy!
So what do you guys have planned for Valentine's Day? Comment below and give me some of your great ideas!