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Drive Thru Valentine’s Day

Cheap, unique, emergency gifts for a car enthusiast

With all the billboards, commercials, radio plugs and flower stalls scattered in the malls, you still seem unmindful that it’s almost Valentine’s Day.  If it’s going to make you feel better, you are not the only one.  In fact, this occasion seems to be quite forgettable and ignorable as soon as couples get too comfortable with each other. You just have to accept that it’s life.  Although sometimes you just want to veer away from the normal gifts for your car-crazy partner that you later on realize that you haven’t thought of anything and now you have to do everything in a hurry.

Here are some alternative gifts/dates that will make any car enthusiast feel that he/she  just had a full tank of love gas.

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Make him/her a Drive Soundtrack

Time needed: 2-3 hours if you have a music library

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Materials needed:

1. An MP3 player or if your a cheapskate … a CD

2. For CDs: Board paper for jewel case cover/sticker cover for the CD

3. Printer

4. Photos

Choose a minimum of 15 songs in your library that you know your partner likes.  If you have time to kill or you’re not doing anything for the rest of the day after reading this, you can download a mixing app to mix the songs yourself. Check out free apps Mixxx and Ultramixer.

While you’re burning the CD or copying to the mp3 player, get a couple of photos and design a cover for both the jewel case and the CD (Microsoft Word has templates, or you can just Google possible apps for it). It will help if you think of a theme, maybe your “songable songs,” theme songs through the years, songs that remind you of special trips and occasions, etc.

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Make him/her a ‘trip to memory lane’ video

Time needed: 2-4 hours

Materials needed:

1. A computer

2. A USB/CD, or if you don’t have these, just post on Facebook

3. Photos and music

With everybody guilty of over-broadcasting, nothing screams ‘I love you’ than  a  collage of photos of your partner or your trips together.  You can basically do this with a Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote and just export it into a .mov or .avi.  You will need to set the timing and transitions to happen one after the other and apply effects.   Actually, professionals use this method when we have a need for a quick AVP for events.  Of course the difference is the use of  animation and graphics.

Gas station pit stop dinner date

Time Needed: 2 hours on the way home and a couple of advance calls

Materials needed:

1. Take-out food

2. Table settings (plates, napkins, utensils can be plastic or silverware)

3. Wine and wine glass

Did you know that you can actually score some good food in the gas stations in the metro?  Instead of braving the traffic and risking not getting any action because of passing out while waiting for a table, why not opt for a romantic dinner at home or at the office. Pass by Petron Edsa corner Dasmariñas Village and grab a couple of San Los Famous empanada (ham and cheese is our favorite), The Plaza’s Go Gourmet, Cuevas Mango Torte, or Shell Magallanes for Polly’s chocolate cake, Total Alabang for Hecky’s organic lechon.  Other gas stations have restaurants where you can order additional take-out. The same Petron Dasma has Va Benne Pasta Deli, a small Italian deli that serves very good food. Unless you’re ordering something as obvious as a regular yum with cheese, you can even claim to have made this from scratch; just slide them to nice plates and some Goolai salad if available in the gas station convenience store and boom!, a special dinner by the candlelight.

‘Car Love Favor Vouchers’

Time Needed: 1 hour

Materials Needed:

1. Nice papers

2. Any binding element, ribbons, ring binders, staplers, etc.

3. Printer

“Hall Pass” was a movie that basically put a name on every married or committed man’s (or woman’s) fantasy—a license to fool around.  Well I’m not saying you give him a hall pass but give your significant other space and time with your permission to do something he or she likes that you can’t stand.  For example: “This voucher entitles the bearer one day to spend with his buddies to drive around … no questions asked.” Another one is, “This entitles the bearer to one car upgrade without harassment.”  It can be as basic as     “a free car wash” or as heavy as  “One month of not comparing car purchases to bag purchases.”  For women, you can give: “Bearer will be entitled to a night out with companion and driver … no matter who we   pick up or bring home” or “Bearer is entitled to keep me waiting while she gets ready to dress up without me harassing her.” Throw in some romantic or PG 18 favors to spice up the booklet.  Also put an expiration date.

Drive out and have an excursion to your neighbor’s clubhouse

Time needed: None if you will just grab stuff from your house

Materials needed:

1. Picnic blanket or those foldable chairs

2. Big plastic container to put food in.

3. Food: crackers/ bread/ cheese/

chips/ drinks / wipes and anything else you think you can use for a spread

4. Activity supply: Swimming clothes if there’s a pool, badminton rackets, scooters, etc., or you can just go all-the-way dayoff by lounging around in the playground.

It is very common in special occasions that people drive to Tagaytay, Antipolo, Cavite or other destinations to have a special celebration.  But chances are you will just be stuck in traffic, and once again reservations will be a problem.  Save on the fuel consumption by going the “teenager in the ’80s” way by having dates in the park.  Not only will you feel like Gabby and Sharon in “Dear Heart,” it is a good way to appreciate the relationship without all the frills.

Love need not be expensive, but it should be expressive. Expressive of how much in the day you think of them, how long you would be a slave to just see their lips crack into a smile.  No need for them to know that everything was last-minute.  That is just between you and your car.

For comments and suggestions, please e-mail me at [email protected]; like us on Facebook/chicdriven or follow us at Twitter @chicdriven.  Check out my blog www.chicdriven.com/wordpress for behind the scenes and other topics.

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