Love on a budget

Abby Fisher

Valentine’s Day doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg.

For Katie O’Rourke, freshman fashion design major, Valentine’s Day is all about being creative.

“In the past, I’ve just gotten the same old stuff,” O’Rourke said. “Things like stuffed animals, chocolates and flowers are pretty common”

This year, O’Rourke plans on giving more imaginative gifts to her boyfriend.

“Cologne is a very classic thing,” she said. “But I’ve also thought about giving him a picture frame with a photograph of the two of us in it, as well as a burned CD with a lot of the songs he likes.”

However, O’Rourke is on a budget.

“I don’t think I’d spend more than $50 on gifts,” she said.

Katie Jackson, freshman early childhood education major, recalls more memorable Valentine’s Day gifts she’s received.

“When I was in high school, my boyfriend sent balloons to be delivered at school for me,” Jackson said. “He also sent flowers to my house – that was a really nice thing.”

Jackson said she thinks most boyfriends would enjoy receiving boxer shorts or tickets to a sporting event or concert.

“That’s a really good idea,” Jackson said. “But I wouldn’t spend more than $25 to $30 for Valentine’s Day.”

For students wishing go traditional this year, Dee Pamer, a florist and owner of The Window Box Florist in Kent, said now is the best time to order flowers.

“We have a lot of in-store specials that aren’t available online,” she said. “Our mixed bouquets with lilies run around $15 to $18.”

The Window Box Florist also offers carnations and bulb gardens and vases, which start at $67. Popular items such as fresh cut red roses, which are $55 for a dozen, can either be wrapped or boxed and delivered anywhere on campus for an additional $4.

Pamer also encourages students to come into the shop even though they can call in orders.

“We have a lot more than just flowers,” she said. “There are lots of gift baskets with stuffed animals, scent warmers, muffins and boxed chocolates from Temo’s (Chocolate Co.) in Akron.”

Students can also purchase balloon bouquets, cards and spring bulbs from the florist.

Ashley Grimm, freshman vocal performance major, said one of the most unforgettable gifts she’s received for Valentine’s Day was a poem from a boyfriend.

“It was awful,” she said. “He was a terrible speller and practically everything was misspelled – I threw it away after he gave it to me.”

Grimm has also received money to get a tattoo for Valentine’s Day, but her favorite gift was a cross necklace from her boyfriend.

Dennis Andrei, a jeweler at Kent Jewelry, said jewelry remains one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts.

This season, Kent Jewelry is offering specials on all heart-shaped and red stone pieces. The jewelry store also offers services for students who are short on change.

“We can clean jewelry, resize rings and replace watch bands,” Andrei said.

Students wishing to give truly unique gifts this year might find just what they are looking for online.

Uncommon Goods, a New York-based retailer, sells many items online. Classified as “creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices,” browsers at the Web site, www.uncommongoods.com, can find everything from girlfriend tokens to bath salts for women and cuff links and pocket watches for men.

Contact features correspondent Abby Fisher at [email protected]