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Take Back Valentine’s Day Contest

Make Face Time: Dentyne

Okay, here’s the deal. Dentyne and Needcoffee have joined forces to bring you a contest for Valentine’s Day. And not because blasting your date with coffee breath is a bad idea on Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter–although that’s certainly valid.

No, Dentyne wants you to “Make Face Time” with your family and friends. And this seems genuine. They’re not trying to make you feel good about not getting a date. Although maybe if you forgot to freshen your breath with Dentyne last year after you had your coffee…maybe that’s why you struck out this year. We don’t know. We’re not here to judge. Well. Mostly.

[ad#longpost]Where were we? Oh yes. There are alternatives to going out with somebody in a romantic way–and Dentyne wants you to send yours in to us. We will select from your best ideas for alternatives to a romantic evening. And because we are Needcoffee and highly caffeinated, I would encourage you to think way outside the box. Entertain us with your suggestions and you might be rewarded.

Rewarded with what, you might well ask. And you would be right to ask. The answer: the one who entertains us the most gets a $350 gift card to Patagonia. Nice. And runners-up might receive some other goody packs as well. Might. Again, you must entertain and enlighten us with your ideas.

This contest will run for one week only. That’s it. Seven days. And as always, you can send in one entry per day. A day, in case you were wondering, is counted as midnight Eastern Standard Time to the next midnight Eastern Standard Time. This is to keep you from filling our inbox with 253 entries at a clip. And to give you time to put some skull sweat into this–because, truly, we want to be entertained.

Entries can be in any format. If you want to record something and stick it on YouTube, great. Send us a link. If you want to take a picture, great. Send us a link. We’re easy. If you want to submit it in a comment, great. If you think your idea is so fantastic that you want to keep it classified and for our eyes only, great–send it to widgett at need coffee dot com. Subject line should be DENTYNE. Got it? Good.

Start your engines, folks.

Full rules are here.


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  • Ohh-kay. A “Score BIG” tip for the single guy with a girlfriend who “LUVS” her CAT. Stop by the consignment store and pick up the ugliest ceramic bowl you can find — basically needs sides and bottom and holds water. Pick your favorite source for a “meaningful” card (on your own, there), and maybe a single-stem flower — “roadside” may be good. Be packing your Swiss Army knife or equiv, since “roadside” is ALSO where you’re going to look for a plug of turf, just the right size to fit into that ceramic monstrosity, with grass standing several inches tall.

    When you get to the girlfriend’s house, present her with the card and flower(s) very much as a sidenote, while focusing on enticing “Miss Kitty” with your herbal offering… If, like most cats, there hasn’t been enough “green stuff” in her life for awhile, the “chowing down” and rolling around will indicate a HUGE hit with the furball — and thereby with la girlfriend! With any luck, things will progress to the point where you can legitimately ignore the “one furball, coming up” noises later in the evening!!

  • A TRUE Gift for the person. A gift to celebrate them, not with that of how much in paperback but with real feeling of care. With that, since it’s a saturday, to serve while playing some nice peaceful music (SADE) and rest a prepared breakfast in front of them. Pancakes, biscuit, cranberry juice, with three slices of bacon.
    Having done that, lead them into the shower, as they freshen up, make up a bag and some trinkets to take. Then as they come out of shower, have their outfit layed out so them may dress and then lead them outdoors and take a small walk two blocks to the beach. To just sit there and have a nice lunch type snack and just relax. Massage their back and embrace and bask in the glow of the sun. Then BAM, pop out some jotted down words, some spoken word and recite it there.

    Snap a photograph to have capture the moment. Then arrive back home and together make a dinner feast. Cooking is done with care and admiration, thus to cook for the one you love and adore and to do so together. Seperated by candle light and some soothing music enjoy your meal (feeding each other is optional, but try not to spill and mess up the attire and the moment/mood).

    Then pop in a feature film, something romantic but ultimately hopefully not too boring. Don’t go chick flick, although they may love, you may fall asleep. So try something as entertaining as Love Jones, Thomas Crown Affair, or something you can take (DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pick CLOSER, any Neil LaBute film, or other thought provoking films that dig into relationships, avoid these, due to questions being asked and fights are no doubt to ensue for no reason.)

    After that, possibly enjoy a nice bottle of wine, champage, but really go for the winner, some hard liquor to get a buzz. Have a nice desert of coffee, tea or even some sweet chocolate and eat slowly.

    Then the day is completed, retire to the bedroom, shut the door and show your love, do as you wish and such. Enjoy each other, and show your love, show your heart, NOT YOUR WALLET/ POCKET BOOK.

    That’s Valentines Day

    Although it is suppose to rain here for V Day, thus it will realisticly be a Blockbuster Night and just ordering in. Snuggle up and enjoy some take out and some DVD’s.

  • Romantic dates are highly overrated. First you have to put on your uplift bra and adjust it so it is not gaging you, then the tummy tuck latex thing after which you have to wait about half an hour to get your breathing going again. Then you have to put on the damn stillettos and reorient your center of gravity. All this for a nosh and maybe a late night romp in the hay. Better option is curling up with my kitty Lucky (who is better company than most men I know) in my snuggy, getting a bucket of wings from KFC, brewing up a pot of Needcoffee and doing a movie on the telly. (Antidote: while recently in hospital I kept getting low grade headaches and no meds they gave me helped, finally the nurse figured it out. Seems some wacko nutritionist in the hospital had decreed that all coffee served would be decaf and I was suffering from caffine withdrawal. Anyway she got the doctor to order me regular coffee and problem was fixed. Figure that out, we aren’t sick enough when we go to hospital but they make us sicker.)

  • I would Take Her to a very nice Restaurant that has soft music Dim Lighting And Candle lit Tables after Dinner I would take Her Home For Champagne and strawberries By caNBDLE lIGHT WITH HER FAVORITE soft music in the back ground .

  • Alternatives to go out with someone in a romantic way, how about going to the Zoo. Here in Steelers Country it’s open almost every day of the year. There’s no reservations required and not much of a crowd this time of year! After the Zoo, head out for some craziness at a local drinking establishment, fill the jukebox with anti-Valentine’s day songs such as “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band and drink until your hearts desire.

  • My Romantic evening would start out getting dressed up and going out to eat at a nice Place and then spend the evening in a nice hotel room with a hot tub and have a romantic time

  • Forget all this nonsense! Dress like slobs and go to the taco joint! Buy some cheap wine and some warming lubricant and go home and watch Boogie Nights!

  • Make a homemade scrapbook with ticket stubs from movies and concerts you have gone to in the past.

  • Spice it up! Invite all your couple friends over to your house for a sex toy party. Have fun, Play games, buy something to improve your physical relationship, and pick them together. Then later that night put your purchase to good use!!

  • Go out bar hopping (or where ever) with a pocket full of mini chocolate liqueurs and hand them out to the unexpecting lonely heart for no reason at all except to get a lovely grin.

  • My ideal alternative to a romantic Valentine evening would be to try out Zorbing or Sphering. Put the two of us in a huge clear sphere with a dash of water then we’d roll around down a hill together. Weeee! Now that’s romantic!

  • Well, this is, so how about going to Starbucks and drink coffee and then chew some Dentyne gum! Another option would be drinking coffee while chewing Dentyne gum, although I don’t think the 2 would taste very good together, but what do I know. :)

  • I’ll get it right this time…

    If you’re in a relationship with someone who is “into” homeopathic remedies, this could be a “natural win” (although we deny any and all responsibility for any untoward, i.e. painful, “cause and effect”)!! In the meantime, memorize the following paragraph.

    Homeopathic remedies are typically described in reference to how many times they’ve been diluted, by ninety nine parts of (something else) to one part of (the good stuff, whatever it is). So a preparation which has been diluted 24X might be considered “typical”, AND efficacious — even though STARTING with 10 pounds of (the good stuff) results in only a 60% chance of having a SINGLE MOLECULE of (the good stuff) in the final sample — i.e. resulting in one part in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (plus or minus a zero or two).

    Maybe you can see where I’m going with this.

    Give your loved one a box of homeopathic chocolates this year. It should meet the “inexpensive” criteria easily, since you can reuse an empty box from LAST year, no problem — actually, if there is any detectable chocolate aroma left in the box, you have (gods forbid) dramatically exceeded the homeopathically allowable percentage of actual PRODUCT in the package!!

    Let us know how it goes, eh?

  • Oh, yeah, I left out the part about “And the rest of your evening should be fairly inexpensive too (as long as you have good medical coverage)”.

  • Okay, to have lots of fun, but not a romantic valentines…invite your friends to have a coasting party (at night). Take a big thermos of hot chocolate, some heart shaped cookies and have a blast!

  • The proper “alternative to going out with somebody in a romantic way” is to cuddle up to your DVD player with a good sci-fi flick, maybe something like “Resident Evil: Degeneration”.

  • It’s not about the money spent … I would love it for my husband to come home and cook a dinner, help me out the kids and house work, tell me he loves me and tell me I mean everything to him. Followed up by a nice evening of cuddling and watching a movie at home together. Followed up my an evening walk holding hands. Actually I love Chocolate and would love some too!!!!

  • for the single mom, forget the ‘man’ date…we spend an enjoyable night curled up in a cozy soft blanket, a hot cup of chocolate in our hands, munching popcorn and watching and being awed by our favorite movie, E.T. Who is the wonderful person by my side also giggling with glee, well, that would be my loving son Robert! a fun way to spend a caring valentine’s day for us!

  • Think outside the box. This is best for those who’ve had a bad day. Is she mad at a coworker, friend, etc? Get her to blow up a picture of the offending party, cut it out, plaster a couple copies onto yourself. Enter paintball arena. Let hilarity ensue. She blows off the steam, and when she’s done, go out for a nice dinner to finish unwinding. Maybe let her bandage a few boo-boos. Apologetic sympathy….could be good. ;)

  • Walking in pursuit, he began pulling power from the rocks and trees along the path, evanescent wisps of misty unreality wrapping him, strengthening his wards. The day was approaching that cusp between light and dark, the balance point between Earth and Sky, and as he travelled through hallowed halls and training fields, he prepared his energies for the capture as he approached. “Hey.”

    “Hi, Wiz”, she said shyly, with a glint in her eyes. Gathering his strength, he ‘pushed’ just enough to add energy to the appeal of “So, you want to head over to the Library and get in on a Multi-User Dungeon??”

    With her shy response of “Sure…” came such a flood of energy that he almost missed sensing the trap slamming closed — “and maybe we can stop by the Student Center first for a beer and a burger??” she added with a sly and literal sparkle.

    Suddenly the path-side lamp posts burst into a refulgent nacre as cusp was reached, and as he watched in stunned admiration, green ripples of distortion suddenly raced up her legs and were absorbed into every visible piercing — and as he sensed the sudden pressure wrapping him around, he realized his fates had been sealed.

    “Sure… no big deal, right” he said bravely.
    “Riiight.” She grinned, tables securely turned.

  • How about seasonally-appropriate options? Perhaps start with a snowball fight, involving as many of your friends as possible – if the point is not to be romantic, then I can think of few things (that are still any fun) less romantic than having slush run down your neck. When everyone’s thoroughly chilled, either light a bonfire and party outside or head in for hot drinks and silly games.

  • Valentine’s day non romatic get away is best appreciated by a group of people bowling or skating…Participate in some group activity.

  • Nice contest.I so going to enter this one.^^ Thanks. And yeah..V-day is pretty much over-rated with gifts and fine restaurants and stuff.

  • Riiight, going out NON-romantic…

    In that case, you’re gonna like this, so you may want to stock up on the following: fluorescent green and fluorescent purple body paint, disposable swim suits, and disposable plastic ponchos (particularly if you live in northern climes and are NOT of a particularly masochistic bent — wear ’em under your heavy jackets).

    Now for the best part — you need to find a local Sports Bar that makes REAL Irish Coffee, that has good indoor heating (thinking “Northern” again — not everybody is lucky enough to live in Florida) AND that has a laid-back attitude about “Hey! Those aren’t the team colors for EITHER team playing!!”

    Ahhh, I see dawning comprehension…

    And it pretty much HAS to be non-romantic, because even a friendly hug, when you’re wearing purple up one side and green down the other, same as the other person, is going to be REEally obvious AND make you look like you’ve been mud wrestling — which could be the subject of a later entry, so I’ll stop here.

  • Darn… This time I forgot a really important item in the list of things to stock up on — you’re going to want baby oil, gallons of it, if you don’t want to have fluorescent pores for weeks. And I’d advise against just putting a tarp down while getting the paint off — never know what someone might consider “romantic” and blow the whole deal…

  • Another idea for lots of fun, for those who are not romantically inclined is to invite a bunch of people over for a murder mystery night. Give everyone their character and make sure that each person dresses up (in character) to attend the party. You can make it as formal (sit down dinner)or informal (snacks and drinks) as you like. Make sure there is a big prize for whoever solves the mystery!

  • Another great idea that is lots of fun, but not so romantic is to organize a murder mystery party. Send invitations with a description of the character each person is to play and stress that they are to dress in character. Make it as formal (sit down dinner) or as informal (snacks and drinks) as you want! Make sure to have a big prize for the person who solves the mystery!

  • 5 treats.

    1. Safety word
    2. Donkey punch
    3. Play toy (not the Se7en one)
    4. Heavy Metal CD for backing music
    5. David Lynch surreal DVD

  • We’re here today, circling around the economic drain labeled “Valentine’s Day”, in search of Quality Face Time without “romantic” overtones… So, I’m inventing this on the fly (in deep sonorous tones “This is REALITY Manuscripting”), but there is some substance here — how about if we rescue the substantive “baby” from the insipidly commercial and vapidly romantic “bathwater”, and look for something that encompasses an expression of shared humanity, a nurturing of “family” and “neighborhood” in times of economic challenges…

    Nah, too stuffy — how about something fun to do, where you and others can get rid of some cruft while making someone’s day, and maybe score a retro tidbit or two…

    Cruft — you know, that random collection of stuff that just seems to “accumulate” to fill available space, the stuff that has no intrinsic value to you other than the “I own it, and since I have so MUCH of it, it should be worth SOMEthing”… Cruft — THAT’s what you stand to lose, here.

    YOU know how many DVDs you’ve purchased, or won, that sounded so tasty until you actually sat down to CONSUME them, and were reminded why you didn’t make more of an effort “in the day” to seek out their contents. Or those radical T-shirts that are now just a tad too small. Or that baby stuff in storage, while “baby” is now thinking “Spring Break!!!” Or the musical instruments gathering moss, or your idle yard tools appropriate to your LAST yard. Or that collection of little-pig salt and pepper shakers. Whatever used to float your boat, and doesn’t anymore — ‘nuf said.

    On The Other Hand: you also know that SOMEWHERE out there someone is the oblivious owner of a Mr. Omelet that still has all its non-stick surface attached, sitting unused and dusty on a shelf. Hmmm.

    While trying not to sound like one of those obsessive/compulsive “Let’s Share Our Recycling” social networking fanatics or something, I’m suggesting we somehow organize a semi-spontaneous “First Annual Valentine’s Day pot-luck garage swap”. NOT a sale; if its intrinsic value is worth more to you than the space it’s taking up, don’t bring it out. On the other hand, if it’s broken and not made of precious metal or obviously somehow “craftily” recycleable, don’t bring that out either.

    Depending on who you ask, both God AND the Devil are “in the details”, so I’m staying outa there. But if the net result is to get a good handful of neighbors and family together to share coffee and/or hot chocolate, and conversations about “I remember when that first came out” — and to get rid of some of your cruft — well, that’s Good Face Time… While coming away all energized about having scored something YOU need and can actually USE (like a replacement Mr. Omelet!) — THAT’s just icing on the Valentine’s Day cookie.

  • Get up early and make your sweety some tasty muffins. Then maybe crawl back into bed and who knows!!!

  • All I know is that Garlic & Herb Cream cheese spread will keep more than vampires away, it kept the entire office away! I was freakin’ out because it didn’t seem to ever go away, then I ran into my friend, Rick, who just got thru eating a McD’s double cheese with xtra onion, all I got to say is “we’re making sweet smelly music together!”

  • Have a chick flick movie night and sleepover with some best girlfriends acknowledging that men come and go but girlfriends are forever.

  • Seems like what your sponsor Dentyne is asking for are opportunities for people to be platonically face-to-face, close enough that some Dentyne might be a good idea. Which rules out stuff like staying at home by yourself, or watching TV, or going to the movies, even — there, you don’t get “Face Time: up close with another face, right there in your own airspace”…

    Early on while brainstorming this entry, not quite yet disentangled with Valentine’s Day, I was playing with stuff based on a concept of “Feel like goin’ out and gettin’ LUCKY??” Play your cards right and you too can be calling out “ohh… ohh… ohh… BINGO!!” and getting glared at by grandmotherly types. Still — not quite… But “oh, yeah, go a little farther THAT direction” and “oh, yeah, baby, I’m gettin’ there…” — and what I’m figuring out is that the best examples of “good Face Time” are turning out to be things like “Poker Night”, or tournaments for any of a whole slew of card games and board games and word games — specifically if an important element involves the strategy of watching peoples’ faces and trying to figure out THEIR strategies and “tells” and their luck-of-the-draw.

    Doesn’t have to be any money involved, but it seems that SOMEthing needs to be used for “keeping track” — that can make-it-or-break-it as a worthwhile entertainment for some people. In hard times, there’s a lot to be said for “penny ante” stuff — people can still afford it, and have a lot of fun without risking the ranch.

    Poker, Bridge, Scrabble, Parchezi, Yahtzee, Canasta, Apples-to-apples, UNO… For some reason, I can’t work up any enthusiasm for Arm Wrestling — maybe because in THAT situation a lack of Dentyne can qualify as a power play — urgghh!