Monday, January 25, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 78

Memories . . .

About the Cougar

College dating made easy

There are solutions to your typical college relationship hazards

The Food Groupie

Sara Rovang

Traditional dating in college is fraught with many obstacles: budget (Why can't the outside world take a Cougar 1Card? Just put a Visa symbol on it and I'll be living the high life!), locale (a movie is almost a four-hour ordeal -- one hour to get to your car in outlying parking, drive all the way out to the theater, and another hour to get back and find a parking spot in the same zip code) and energy (my schedule has me booked from 7 in the morning to 8 at night).

The daunting odds against anyone having a traditional relationship while in college has led to many sad incidents in the dating sphere.

Sara Rovang/The Daily Cougar

The Alley Theatre can be a great (cheap) retreat to take you date to for a nice evening of drama and romance.

For instance, it's Thursday night and you have a nasty Calculus class at 8 a.m., but your significant other is going out of town and you'd like to spend a little time with him/her.

Is a shared grocery shopping experience to Disco Kroger your only feasible option? Do you plan on making it special by purchasing a Biggie Frosty?

While that is perfectly acceptable, it is not the only option! A dearth of money, time and enthusiasm should lead to creativity, not laziness.


For example, have you ever toured the Historical Houses downtown? It's in the cheap-to-free category and it's a great way to spend a Saturday while catching dinner at Vespucci's (yummy Italian at Smith and Lamar).

What about the underground tunnel system on a classless Friday for lunch? They have every type of restaurant and store (including Wendy's) and can easily kill a Friday with fun.

If you plan ahead a little, you can find a show at the Alley Theater (tickets can be as little as $13.50) and you'll find yourself in the downtown Theater District on a Tuesday night (rich in restaurants) instead of in front of Must See TV.

For those of you who are indignant at my dissing of Wendy's, a Frosty could be special when blended with big city lights -- you could explore downtown while sucking that straw.

No car, huh?

All too often "no car" translates in college to "SOL," but it doesn't have to be so. While spontaneous trips to River Oaks 3 and Ruggles are out, it is still possible to date.

On the next mass-food run (nine carless people, one poor sap with a van, you know what I'm talking about) grab some candles (candles? I don't see any candles, Mr. RA, sir), maybe some puzzles (check the toy and wrapping paper aisle), and anything else that is fun and legal in the dorms.

Now throw in a video (no videos? talk to your neighbor with the collection to rival Blockbuster) and find a quiet place to be. Of course, if you don't have a TV and/or VCR and you're stuck with a roommate with a prediliction for listenting to rap music while he studies, check out one of the many study/rec rooms scattered about the campus.

Be creative and always on the watch for dating at home supplies (going to the Galleria? Pick up a slice of cheesecake to go from the Cheesecake Factory). Also, as I would hope all those without cars would have discovered by now, double date with a couple -- and their car.

Popcorn dates

Now you may be asking yourself, why is she ignoring one of the pillars in the college dating scene, the AMC Studio 30? Hell no, I will not support that sad institution which all too many students see as their only movie watching option.

Angelika Film Center (located downtown in Bayou Place) is the answer to our (or at least my) prayers. It is closer than anything else out there and it's perfect for dating.

In the Bayou Place conglomerate, there is the Aerial Theater and Slick Willies (free pool 18+, M-F, free pool 21+, 24-7 -- with drink minimum). Angelika Theater even has a restaurant; however, I am sharing information here, not recommending the eating establishment. The food is fine, but not worth the money, especially if you find yourself paying the full $6.75 for a movie.

Speaking of which, see a matinee (only $4.25) then go out to eat. A simple switching of the traditional order of a date is worth the discount. Explore the area for yourself.

Enough of my ranting. Just remember to be creative, and together we can save college dating. How am I supposed to live vicariously through you if you never leave the TV? Get out and have a romantic time for me.

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