Welcome to Meghan from Forever Young Adult!
What's a LadyNerd? Part Lady, part Nerd, she'll bake you a perfect, Martha-Stewart-worthy cake -- of a brain, realistic enough to make your college anatomy professor do a double-take. She's your best girl, but she's got you scratching your head, because Valentine's Day is coming up and you aren't sure how to handle it. You hate it, or she hates it, or you both hate it. If you both think it's the best day of the year -- like Santa Claus and Cookie Monster combined -- then you probably already had this year's V-Day planned by February 17 last year, but for the rest of us, there's no denying it gets confusing and maybe a little dangerous. Don't panic!
No matter where you both fall on the love/hate spectrum, even if you've been together for ten years, and you've never, ever done anything for Valentine's and it's never been a problem or a disappointment, you can't go wrong by throwing the day a bone (dirty pun intended). Because your LadyNerd probably DOESN'T hate being told she's loved, or liked, or a great SWOTR partner, or good in the sack, or whatever defines your relationship. And it doesn't mean spending a zillion dollars on blood diamonds or child labor chocolate or chemical-soaked, hothouse roses, or trying to remember if she's a silver or gold jewelry person (although yes, it matters).
Here are three different ways to tell your LadyNerd you dig her -- an easy little roadmap to surviving Valentine's (psst… it's tomorrow).
CHANGE UP THE OLD DINNER-AND-A-MOVIE - Plan a movie night with the kind of movies she likes. There's no reason to make it a schmaltzy rom-com, either -- I'm a Cary Grant girl, and it's a rare person who's immune to his charms. I'm partial to Bringing up Baby or Charade (Criterion's Blu-ray has the original uncompressed mono soundtrack for you cinemaphiles) but Walk, Don't Run can give you a nice dose of cupid-ry without being over the top. Or a complete George Romero marathon, if that's more her style.
If you want to go all out, coordinate dinner with the movies. If there's one thing I learned in college, it's that nothing makes a party like a theme. It's more fun, and the bonus is it actually makes the night easier to plan. Once-infinite choices of music and food and booze are now all limited by the theme, making it easier to choose, but it really makes you look like you've got your shit together.
DO IT EARLY AND OFTEN - That's right, skip all the hype and make it a big surprise by springing your celebration early. If she wasn't expecting y'all to do anything special for Valentine's, this still gives her a chance to reciprocate (and level the gender spending iniquity, too). Just don't go off-schedule and celebrate late -- it'll just look like you forgot, and even if she professes to hate V-Day, forgetting is still lame. But there's nothing wrong with hitting before and after the 14th, or bringing out these ideas again for your anniversary or her birthday, or on April 7th, for no reason at all -- and doesn't she say she hates Valentine's Day because one day is no excuse to ignore a relationship for the rest of the year? Bonus: there might be smaller crowds.
SKIP THE MALL - Chances are, if your sig other is a LadyNerd, she's probably crafty (or wants to be). Gifts don't have to be lame-ass teddy bears or desiccated boxes of chocolate -- there's not even an acceptably ironic way to give those. And why buy her a stuffed animal when you can buy a share in a REAL animal, like a cuddly little lamb, which gets her fancy-pants yarn at shearing time? You never know -- you could end up with a cozy pair of BSG Viper socks next year.
If she's not crafty, take advantage of someone else's skills. Besides Etsy, check out sites like Meninos, ShanaLogic, and (of course) Think Geek (portal plush!). Of course, there's always the old local art/craft market, or you could drop next to no cash at all and crank out that romantic staple, the mix tape. Whatever you do, online or DIY saves you having to deal with people and retail, and may quash the Big Consumption anti-Valentine's argument, all while saying, "I love you." Efficient AND sweet.