Spend Valentine’s Day at a Struggling Retailer!

It’s better than nothing.

Valentine’s Day at Lowe’s

The retailer, Lowes, is taking “reservations” through Sunday at Lowes.com/valentines
for date nights in some of “America’s most romantic cities.” Fifty couples will win the after-hours in-store experience: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/shopping/2021/02/03/valentines-day-lowes-lowemance-contest-date-night/4300011001/

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, declining retail giants are banking on couples’ thirst to participate in literally anything outside of the house. “We’ve been cooped up together for ten months now,” Dana Cranston from Detroit stated, “If there’s something offered that saves me from listening to him chew or breathe in our kitchen; I’m


Dana isn’t alone. Couples across the US are scooping up event experiences from unlikely sources. “A Valentine’s Day event at Payless Shoe Source isn’t something I’d normally find remotely fun,” says Brent Klopper from Syracuse, NY, “but restocking knock-off Uggs in an empty store with my lady sounds strangely erotic.” 

If you don’t have a foot fetish, perhaps a Valentine’s evening at Advantage Rent-A-Car is more your speed.  

For only $250, couples can scour the cars for loose change and valuable items left behind. “At the end of the evening, we tally up the findings and give them 15% of the monies found,” stated John McGovern. John is VP of promotions for Advantage. When I inquired about what happens to any pricey items found, I was told, “Oh, we keep all of that. I mentioned that we’re going under, right?” John did tell me that “car food” was available for purchase while they worked. When I asked what “car food” was he said, “Fritos. Maybe Oreos.”  

For those looking for a little less work on the romantic holiday, Gymboree is offering a “Night in the Ball Pit.” “We wanted to give couples a chance to reconnect through the magic of The Pit,” stated Joan Billsby, head of marketing for Gymboree. “Flailing in a ball pit for hours is truly magical once you become accustomed to the smell.” When I questioned what she meant by “smell,” Joan said, “Well, sometimes toddlers poop in there.” Gymboree is also offering a ride down the “big slide” for an extra fee. 

“We don’t normally allow adults to use the children’s equipment, but there isn’t much to do after The Pit.” 

If after Gymboree’s pit you’re still up for more, why not check out Things Remembered. This engraving hotspot is offering an activity (inventory) plus a trophy to commemorate the special event for just $135 per person (Trophy and engraving not included in price.) 

To end the evening, you can hop on over to Papyrus, where you and your special someone have 45 minutes to find cards that perfectly suit each other. That’s it. That’s the evening. $150 per person. 

It’s clear that these many months in quarantine have changed what couples view  as “romantic” or “excruciating.”   

“This time together with my spouse has taught me so much.” Kimberly has been married to her husband for 16 years and is finding the time in quarantine challenging. “I can’t look at his stupid face, in that stupid chair one more minute!” When asked if she would be interested in any of the Valentine’s Day events offered by failing establishments, she moaned, “I guess. Wait! Is it February? Fuck.” 

Fuck indeed, Kimberly. Fuck indeed. 

Irene Tassy is a humor writer who lives in Los Angeles, California. She has been published in Little Old Lady Comedy, Points in Case, Slackjaw and Robot Butt. Just recently she won Nicki’s Prize for Humor Writing sponsored by the Erma Bombeck Workshop. Irene started her career by performing and directing both sketch comedy and straight plays. She also performed stand-up comedy for a while which left many audiences thinking, “Huh…that was interesting.” Her hopes for the future include: continued health, world peace and someone to explain the movie Inception to her.

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