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Date Nights The Mush Date


Start your date off right by presenting your snookums with the gift of his-and-hers pottery classes at the UICA (41 Sheldon Blvd. SE, Grand Rapids). Courses last from four to 10 weeks, providing you with enough time to successfully recreate the famously creepy/ultra-romantic scene from Ghost. Instructional pottery courses range from $85 to $180 and are offered most days of the week.


Next, grab your smitten sweetie for fondue for two at The Melting Pot (2090 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids). Sit on the same side of the booth while dipping tender chunks of meats and starches into pots of savory broth and gooey, cheesy goodness. Wash it all down with a fruity Love Martini ($9), or a bottle from the restaurant’s Wine Spectator-approved list.


Let your stomachs settle while driving to the West Side to skip hand-in- hand through the saloon doors at Kale’s Korner Bar (511 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids) for some public serenading. While Kale’s may not initially seem like an ideal locale to include on your mush-tastic voyage, show your honey that you need her love by bringing the date full-circle with a heartfelt version of the Righteous Brothers’ “Unchained Melody.”


Conclude the evening by taking your sweet pea home to an empty house (read: no roomates or rugrats) filled with scented soybean candles purchased from Bliss Candles (Grand Haven – blisscandles.com), a love song playlist on your iPod (by the professionals; you already had your turn) and a bottle of her favorite beverage, sourced from the re- cently opened Lemon Creek Winery tasting room (327 North Beacon Blvd., Grand Haven). Then you’re on your own, stud muffin. By Kelly Quintanilla


Maintain a safe distance


The Anti-Mush Date


So you like each other, but you don’t like like each other. A surreptitious reach for the other’s hand would be returned with a rightfully indignant WTF?! or a message-sending jab in the ribs. If this describes you and yours’ relationship, here’s the Valentines’ syllabus:


Nothing says you’re not in love like a willingness to shoot one another. March over to Craig’s Cruisers in Wyoming (5730 Clyde Park Ave. SW), The Lost City in Holland (12330 James St.) or Lazer Land in Portage (8302 Portage Rd.) and engage in some recreational combat. Face off mono y mono, like James Bond and Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, or join a party of strangers.


You can dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge the death-rays headed your way as long as you want, but sooner or later even assassins have to eat. Here the trick is to avoid any eatery with an ambience designed to radically stimulate interpersonal sentimentality. No checkered tablecloths. No shared spaghetti noodles. Any place unleashing Marvin Gaye or Michael Bolton softly through the speakers is definitely out of the question. Avoid restaurants with crush-inducing color schemes of red and pink or diners with ceilings that dangle filigreed hearts. Instead, go skunky this Valentine’s Day and head toward that notorious refuge from romance—the local greasy spoon—and enjoy the safety of high-wattage fluorescent lighting, linoleum tile, and cuisine that encourages flatulence. The 24-hour Grand Coney in Allendale (6101 Lake Michigan Dr.) or Grand Rapids (809 Michigan St.NE) are safe bets.


Where you end the night is the most pivotal move of all. Choose a neutral site, like the Switzerland of a parking lot equidistant between your place and his/hers.


And remember, if eavesdroppers or bystanders pose you that awkward question, it’s OK to answer, while emphatically fist-pumping the air: “No, we’re JUST FRIENDS!!!” By Mitchell Terpstra


26 | REVUEWM.COM | FEBRUARY 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS SCENE


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