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Courtney O'Hara Courtney O'Hara
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It's time to spice up your Valentine's Day

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It's time to spice up your Valentine's Day It's time to spice up your Valentine's Day

What do a dozen roses, a fancy dinner and an overpriced box of chocolates have in common? I'll give you a hint. The answer I'm looking for is not 'Valentine's Day.' No clue? I would have accepted any of the following answers: lame, boring, ordinary, unimpressive or dull.  

I can hear your thoughts already. Yes, I'm a woman. Yes, I do enjoy flowers. And no, I don't cringe at the thought of dedicating an entire day to showering your significant other in more love than usual. I'll be the first to admit I'm a sucker for the ooey-gooey-mushy-lovey moments in life. On the other hand, something I despise is unoriginality.  

Olive from 'Easy A' is the best example there is. 'I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles' waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me.'  

Are you getting it now? We want to feel exactly how you felt that first time you kissed us. We want to feel the excitement and nervousness you felt the first time you said 'I love you.' We really just want to know that you pay attention, and still feel like you've won.   

Thankfully for you, I've got some spot-on ideas to help get those chivalrous gears turning.

Who needs bulk roses and chocolates when you can shop locally instead. Does she love shoes? Check out Valentine Footwear. In a place where comfort and style coexist, you can't go wrong with a pair for your honey.  

Is she a little more on the exotic side? Try Mexicali Blues. With their funky imports from all over the world, you'll be sure to find a gift that will blend perfectly with her personality.  

Is she a beer drinker? Fire up your Valentine's date with the newest downtown sensation -- Blaze. With over 50 beers on tap from local breweries, national craft breweries and imports, her taste buds will thank you, and you won't have to go through the agonizing pain of paying for a single meal with money that could have bought a week's worth of groceries.

If you really want to surprise her (and show your romantic side) sign both of you up for dance lessons. Thomas School of Dance and Valance Fitness & Pilates Studio are located near downtown, and both offer an assortment of dance classes that will have you falling in love all over again.

Last, but not least, if you're like my boyfriend and I who both have the lovely task of working until the end of time on Valentine's Day, your romantic night doesn't have to be pushed to the wayside. Instead you could Love the Land on Feb. 15! What is the point of living in Maine if you can't appreciate the beauty it has to offer? Take the love of your life hiking on Bangor Land Trust's Blue Trail in Walden-Parke Preserve at 6:30 p.m, and celebrate the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend!

Don't get me wrong. Flowers are nice, chocolates are lovely, and I would never be one to turn down a fancy dinner invite, but those things are mundane. They're almost expected as part of your Feb. 14 routine. So instead of waiting until 5 p.m. and picking up flowers on the way home, why don't you plan ahead and blow her mind with your originality, making this a Valentine's Day she'll never forget. Oh, and don't forget to tell her she was your inspiration -- she'll melt like that chocolate you never needed to buy her in the first place. 

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