Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day; if you’re one who’s romantically inclined, intend to woo your lover or main squeeze, and would like to dodge the doghouse if you forget the flowers, time’s a-running out.
The pressure’s on the guys this time of year; bouquets sent to the office should really have been ordered by now, for delivery today.
Reality check: if you’re low on funds, you may have to make do with simple but endearing options. Besides, reservations may be impossibly tight at high-end celebrations anyway (a good alibi, guys) and if you hate crowds, something private at home or something intimate nighttime might be the solution. Or maybe think outside the box (gals, have the guys bake you a sweetheart cake), or opt for nibble-sized cupcakes on a stick, like lollipops.
What to do?
Help is on the way. Consider these 14 Ways to Woo Your Lover:
1 — Celebrate early — tonight. Or later— Sunday, maybe a work day next week. Not the same thing as The Day, but prices will be better, throngs slimmer, and you’ll still have time to hold hands and utter sweet thoughts. The idea is, get it on when it’s doable and convenient. But call for space; planning shows commitment and order in your relationship.
2 — Wine and dine options that’ll have you stomping with glee? Chai’s Island Bistro has Willie K tonight, Ginai tomorrow, at Aloha Tower Marketplace. And hey, you can always pick any one of the special menu-deals out there. 585-0011.
3 — Still hooked on flowers? If so, roses are the rule, not orchids. Or stop by Le Flowers at 2567 S. King St. in Moili’ili, near University Avenue. They do splendid topiaries that are fun, different and festive — and perhaps will make your lady forget red roses. 955-8884.
4 — Mix music with chocolates, with Raiatea Helm’s Valentine Macadamia Medley. OK, this is that Christmas season special from last year, from Hawaiian Host, reinvented for Valentine’s with a new wrap-around themed package, complete with Helm’s three-song CD disc. Hot for the holidays, still ono for Valentine’s. At your neighborhood Longs Drugs, Don Quiote and Marukai stores.
5 — A single red velvet cupcake says I Love You very sweetly; one of the best is from Cake Couture, at ‘Aina Haina Shopping Center. Go early; they run out. 373-9750.
6 — Or be brave and bake a Southern Red Velvet Cake; sumptuous to look at, satisfying for the palate; takes 30 minutes once you have the ingredients. This one takes patience, but you’ll get your sweet reward when it’s all done. For recipe, complete with cream cheese frosting, go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sara-moulton/southern-red-velvet-cake-recipe/index.html
7 — For a meaningful love song, performed live by its singer-composer, there’s nothing finer than kama‘aina artist Audy Kimura’s “Lovers & Friends.” He serenades at Hy’s Steak House, 2440 Kuhio Ave., from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Wednedays through Saturdays. 922-5555.
8 — For a bit of the Boyz — that’s Boyz II Men, the smooth R&B group of “I’ll Make Love to You” fame — check out their Valentine concert at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Blaisdell Arena. 877-745-3000.
9 — Cupcakes on a stick are a novelty but nifty alternative to a cake. Bite-sized morsels, on a stick; less guilt than a standard-issue cupcake or a wedge of cake; still provides joy for the sweet tooth. Find them at Cupcake Boutique at Ward Warehouse or Carousel Candyland at Kahala Mall. Cute Cakes Hawai‘i makes ‘em. 381-8881, www.cutecakeshawaii.com.
10 — Kenny Rankin, one of the smoothest voices in pop and jazz and revered for his Beatles’ remakes of “Blackbird” and “Penny Lane,” has an Island tradition going with yet another Valentine’s concert here, at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Hawai‘i Theatre. 528-0506.
11 — For romance with a salsa flavor, go straight to Thai Sweet Basil Restaurant & Night Club, which holds its grand opening at 9 p.m. tomorrow at Manoa Marketplace, where Rolando Sanchez & Salsa Hawaii perform in an ongoing Saturday fixture. The site has a dance floor, where you can salsa, merengue and get into a Latino mood. And you know how sultry that can be? 988-8811.
12 — “Romeo and Juliet,” the ultimate love tragedy by The Bard, could be a youth-targeted buy-ahead Valentine’s gift. The Hawaii Theatre Center Education Program and the Hawaii Young Actors’ Ensemble will revive the timeless Shakespearean classic at 7 p.m. April 23 and 24 at the Hawai ‘iTheatre. 528-0506; student matinee reservations, 791-1310.
13 — Buy now, go later. Gift your sweetie (she’ll love it; he will, till, once he’s in his seat) to the May 12 to 24 run of the touring “Mamma Mia!” musical that plays Blaisdell Concert Hall. It’s been a hit everywhere on tour; might be kitschy to get roped into all that ABBA music, but trust me, its ’70s fun — particularly the get-off-your-feet “concert” finale. 800-745-3000.
14 — It’s the thought that counts, right? If a flowery, frilly Hallmark card won’t say I Love You like you want it said, make your own card. Acquire red paper, white paper, doily, bows — however you want to inventively decorate a card. Jot down your sentiments; make a promise you can keep. Deliver in person, the sooner the better. And oh, yeah, seal it with a kiss.