Valentine's Day Gift Guide

"How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways,” Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote, but on Valentine’s Day you can bet your loved one will be doing the tallying. Simply adored? Passionately lusted after? Affectionately tolerated? There’s a gift for that... just get in touch with your feelings (really plunge, guys, think of it as reaching for the last can of beer from the icy bucket), then see which one of these descriptions/sonnet lines matches them best. Next to the description is a gift idea, hand-selected, bound-to-be-perfect, and not-so-coincidentally, available right here in Knoxville. Just a few simple steps and the dreaded, er, long anticipated lover’s day is all taken care of.

Just how do you love thee, thou—ugh. Him or her? Start your count:

1. ... I love thee to the level of every day’s / most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
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Dinner At Naples Restaurant

NAPLES RESTAURANT 5500 Kingston Pike 584-5033

Naples has been voted Knoxville’s most romantic place to eat for 20 years, and with its classic Italian, luxurious desserts and award-winning wine list, it lives up to its reputation. Reservations for Valentine’s Day go quickly, but remember, Naples speaks the language of romance any time.

2. ... as the cool chick we both know is lurking beneath those khakis and Keds
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Designer Sunglasses

LUTTRELL'S EYEWEAR 5030 Kingston Pike, Colony Place, 588-4052, luttrellseyewear.com

She need a reminder that she’s the stylish, hip, object of your desire? Help her remember with Versace, Anne Klein, Prada, Ray Ban, or Polo sunglasses from Luttrell’s. You pick ‘em, or surprise her with a drive-by shopping expedition.

3. ... I love thee to the depth and breadth and height / my soul can reach
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Fine Art Jewelry

HANSON GALLERY 5607 Kingston Pike, 584-6097, hansongallery.com

Any piece from the 30 American jewelers presenting at Hanson’s Valentine Jewelry Trunk Show is going to have lasting value and beauty. Consider artist-crafted jewelry (like the necklace from Knoxville artist Wendy Seaward, pictured), paperweights, fine wood jewelry boxes, purses, handbags, and scarves. What you choose is a matter of taste—very good taste.

4. ... as a cousin. a cousin devoid of personality who is fond of dusting and raisins
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Three Pack Of Cotton Briefs.


5. ... as if you had pledged never again to nag me about my weight, or watching too much football, or playing poker until 3 a.m. or a prostrate exam, ever again valentine's gift

Tickets To Triumph Of Love

CLARENCE BROWN THEATRE 206 McClung Tower, University of Ttennessee; Playing through Geb. 15, $27, UT students $5, 974-5161, theatre.utk.edu

Theater tickets are always a grand gesture for a heartfelt love, and this French romantic farce from Pierre Marivaux’s of 18th century fame is fun, too. Just this once, make theater plans for the two of you (not her and her sister)—the romance is catching.

6. ... to the soles of your dirty sweat socks propped on the coffee table. never change, you big lug!
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Tickets To Toubab Krewe & Dubconscious

BIJOU THEATER Feb. 13, 8 P.M., $13.50

Take your man to a “real guy” concert. Asheville’s Toubab Krewe brings their signature West African Rock ’n’ Roll hybrid to the party; Athens natives Dubconciscious continue the Jamaican tradition with their socially conscious Dub Reggae.

7. ... as you draw my lust with each move you make, although, of course, I love thee for thou mind, too
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Cafe Mocha Body Topping, $13/8 Oz.

ADULT VIDEO SUPERSTORE 515 Lovell Rd. 671-3836

If you have to ask... just enjoy the taste and texture between consenting adults.

8. ... as my free-spirited pixie, on mountain trails, in babbling brooks, in flowery meadows and, er, other places
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(A) Toms Ghandi Print Shoes

THE BOARD ROOM 6513 Kingston Pike, Suite G, 851-7982

Lightweight fabric slip-ons printed with the words of Ghandi? How could you go wrong with a pair of these for your soulful Valentine? For every pair purchased, TOMS gives another to a child in need. And as for the Board Room, the local supplier of TOMS, they’ve got all TOMS products 20 percent off for February, and will add a hug for free.

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(B) Dinner For Two At La Costa

LA COSTA RESTAURANT 31 Market Square 566-0275, lacostaonmarketsquare.com

Even conscientious greenies deserve a wonderful dining experience, and here you go. La Costa cooks Latino/Southern taste sensations never known before in Knoxville, and does it using all organic produce, free-range beef and chicken, and non-farm seafood, prepared fresh daily. And your sweet soul mate is bound to love the extensive wine and tequila selection. Margarita, sweetie?

9. ... for a long, long time and this time I’m not going to forget to show it
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Cupcake Gram, $25/Half Dozen, $40/Dozen

THE CUPCAKERY 5508 Kingston Pike #180 909-9401 cravethecup.com>

It just does not matter if you’ve been married 50 years or are working up the nerve to state your feelings for the first time—a cupcake gram is going to be a hit, male or female. Here’s how it works: You call or stop by the store to place your order of gourmet cupcakes and fill out a sparkly heart with your message (anonymous if you so desire). They wrap ’em up festively, and on Feb. 14 they call your lucky Valentine to come pick up the goodies. Gushing and sugar-inspired happiness ensue.

10. ... in that way that makes me want to say “I love you,” and this time, I’m going to (unless I chicken out)
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Love Quotes Cobalt Scarf $79

BAR DENIM BLUES 5508 Kingston Pike, 330-2583, bardenimblues.com

Let the scarf speak for you with its quote, “What comes from the heart goes to the heart” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It’s a striking, warm, oversized number from the hipsters at Bar Denim. You may want to take your time Valentines shopping this year, too--Bar Denim is a bar and boutique in one.

11. ... for your mutual disgust of all over-commercial-ized holidays designed to make even the truest, best-intentioned people feel bad if they neglect to make reservations or buy cards or flowers
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Shot Of Jagermeister

... 10 minutes before closing time Feb. 14 at the bar of your choice; barbecue potato chips from a vending machine with “I want your body” written on them with ketchup, book from the free bin outside McKay (unless you find a good one, keep that)

12. ... for your strength, and loyalty, that stir the same in my heart. and because you are so hot when you remember to take out the trash.
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Valentine Motif Skimpy Lingerie, Teddy Pictured, $29

ADULT VIDEO SUPERSTORE 515 Lovell Rd. 671-3836

We all know who the hot undergarment gifts are really for—skip the pretense, and gift your guy with the kind of clothing that doesn’t stay on long—teddies, bustiers, silky jams, shortie satin robes in your size. Or, just use it to gift wrap yourself.

13. ... for your nimble, nurturing hands, your creative touch... if you know what I mean?
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TLC At Laura’s Nails Salon

LAURA'S NAIL SALON 5201 Kingston Pike, Suite 7, 450-9254

Pay a compliment to her hands with a gift certificate for neat-o nails. Laura’s famous for being friendly, plus the salon environment is odorless and drill-free. Waxing is half price on Saturdays through spring, if you want to be daring. Or choose a manicure, pedicures, artificial nails—or let her decide. And a treat for the gifter—come in for a gift certificate and get two free truffles from Cities Cupcakes.

14. ... tender, love thee true, never let you go
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(A) Wool Wash For Sweaters, $9.50/4 Oz., $16/14 Oz.

LOOPVILLE YARN 5204 Kingston Pike 584-9772, www.loopvilleyarn.com

Help her keep her cozy, beautiful creations clean and supple with this wool wash custom-created to pamper hand-knit clothing and the passionate people who wear it. Smell good scents include citrus, flora, and aquae, though there’s unscented, too. Don’t you just love the sensuous feel of natural fibers? How ’bout a long, slow hug?

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(B) Spiral Heart Earrings $28

GREEN EARTH EMPORIUM 4481 Kingston Pike (new address), 588-9882

These “wear ‘em every day” sterling silver beauties are a symbol of woman, the giver of life—or simply love everlasting.

15. ... as if I still think you’re kidding when you say you prefer chocolate to sex
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Chocolate Soap $6.50 Extra-Large Bath Size Bar

KNOXVILLE SOAP, CANDLE & GIFTS 4889 N Broadway 689-6545, knoxvillesoapfactory.com

A no-calorie way to revel in nature’s greatest aphrodisiac... Knoxville Soap, Candle & Gifts hand-crafts a limited edition of these chocolate-wafting soaps each Valentine’s Day, employing Hershey’s Cocoa and shea butter and wrapping it nice and pretty in cellophane with a red bow. If it sounds too good to be true, the store allows a test wash. And sniffs are free.

16. ... like I long ago loved the one next door, before I’d ever heard of heartache
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(A) Life According To Jake Valentine T-Shirt, Socks, Hat, Necklace $7-$30

LIFE ACCORDING TO JAKE Turkey Creek, Next To Best Buy, 671-3589

Love is upbeat and sweet with these heart-y gifts from the aptly-named Life Is Good line. Just the thing for platonic Valentines, too.

(B) Jon Dee Comedy/Hypnosis Valentine Package $35

SIDE SPLITTERS COMEDY CLUB 9246 Parkwest Boulevard 934-LAFF(5233) sidesplitterscomedy.com/knoxville

Belly laugh with your loved one at the 4:30 show—he’s billed as a “Christian performer,” but you still gotta be at least 16 to get in. The package includes two tickets, champagne, flowers, chocolate and teddy bear.

17. ... as a friend, just a friend. unless, maybe, you think there’s more?
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Any Candy You Can Think Of $5.50/Lb.

MAST GENERAL STORE 402 S Gay St., 546-1336, maststoreonline.com

Bins and barrels and you choose just what you want—red hots, dark chocolate covered nuts, Mary Janes, the list goes on and on. And here’s the cool thing: Buy them as a conversation starter for a “maybe/maybe not” Valentine, and see if he or she picks up on your hint. SweeTarts? Now ’n Laters? Laffy Taffy? Ever heard of Squirrel Nut Zippers? And if it doesn’t work out, at least you can feel good knowing Mast donates $1 to Help the Hungry per pound of candy purchased.

18. ... long after the fat lady sings
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(A) Tickets To Verdi’s Rigoletto

KNOXVILLE OPERA, TENNESSEE THEATRE Feb. 13 And Feb. 15, $10-$88, 524-0795 www.knoxvilleopera.com

Sophisticated, stirring — what better way than opera to express your passion and commitment than a night at the opera? A father’s curse, a philandering Duke, the death of an innocent — what a story line! And if you’re an opera newbie, rest assured, it’s all Italian, but they do provide projected English translations.

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(B) Amethyst And Diamond Necklace

MARKMAN'S DIAMONDS & FINE JEWELRY (West) 6932 Kingston Pike, (East) Near Lowe’s At Isaiah’s Landing 1-800-757-0247, markmansdiamonds.com

Your heartfelt adoration will be evident when you present her with a genuine heart shape amethyst set with diamonds surrounding on a multi-strand sterling silver chain. You can make it a set with a matching ring, or pick another heart pendant necklace from Markman’s “all price range” inventory—the 14K gold necklace with a rose gold heart superimposed on a white gold heart is a nice idea.

19. ... because you make me smile. and I make you laugh (mostly when I’m not trying)
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Comedian Diane Ford Valentine Package $48

SIDE SPLITTERS COMEDY CLUB 9246 Parkwest Boulevard 934-Laff(5233), sidesplitterscomedy.com/knoxville

Go on, Big Guy, take her to a show where they’ll be laughing with you AND at you... Ford is one of HBO’s smart and funny “Women of the Night” and the package price nabs you two preferred admissions, champagne, teddy bear, flowers and chocolate.

20. ... I love thee with the breath / smiles, tears, of all my life
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(A) Beaded Handbag, $18, $40, $50 Depending On Style And Size

VAGABONDIA 27 Market Square, 525-4842, vagabondiaonthesquare.com

Beauty and practicality combine in an arty bag your loved one can tote every day or save for special occasions. Memorable.

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(B) Musical DVDs From McKay

MCKAY USED BOOKS AND CDS 230 Papermill Place Way, 588-0331, mckaybooks.com

Share some joy with your Valentine’s favorite musicals on DVD--McKay has a lavish selection, including many of the hard to find, and they’re all more reasonably priced than the Internet (and hey, no shipping charges). You say you don’t share the love of Rent or Mulan? Pick up some video games for yourself at the same time.

21. ... more than my cat. most days.
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CDs From Disc Exchange

DISC EXCHANGE 2615 Chapman Hwy., 573-5710, discexchange.com

He’s a keeper, right? Or at least inspires a different kind of love than what you share with your loyal kitty? Buy him music that shows you know the real guy, and love him anyway. Proven guy favorites include Lil Wayne Tha Carter 3 and Metallica Death Magnetic, or go for the soon-to-be flat-out famous sounds of the self-titled Fleet Foxes or alt rock Kings of Leon’s Only By the Night. If you can’t decide, bring him in for a session in the store’s listening booths—you might even have time for a quick stop at Comics Exchange a few blocks away on the way home.

22. ... much, much more than your cat.
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Salon Euphoria Gift Certificate

SALON EUPHORIA 10816 Kingston Pike, 966-5700

So you don’t see eye to eye on her other soul mate. You’ll both agree that “me time” at this nurturing, stylish hair salon is always a good thing. Here’s to a month of good hair days, and all the sensuality they shall inspire—if her cat says its okay.

23. ... because we’ll always have paris
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Crepes At The French Market

THE FRENCH MARKET 530 S. Gay Street 540-4372‎

So you never actually get on the plane and do the Eiffel tower bit—it’s still Tres Romantique to take your loved one to a little sidewalk cafe for crepes in the French street style: savory, chocolate, strawberry, maple, you choose. Make it a suave luncheon repast, or perhaps a late breakfast, oo la la.

24. ... because you know how to let go and have a good time (and almost always when to stop).
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Night Out At Ray’s ESG

RAY'S ENTERTAINMENT SPORTS GRILL 7355 Kingston Pike, 330-0159, raysesg.com

A his or hers gift—head out for a roarin’ good time at Ray’s, with its live music, sports viewing on (count ’em) 40 big-screen TVs, and even a glam section with a wine and martini bar. Go for Feb. 14, or just make a promise for a later hot date.

25. ... lots more than those other deluded guys who think they have a chance to win your affections just because you’re polite to them in passing. say, do you want to go out sometime?
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Strawberries In The Snow

SOUTH'S FINEST CHOCOLATE 8078 Kingston Pike, 690-5454, 1060 World’s Fair Park Blvd., 522-2049, chocolatelovers.com

Whether you’re still trying to catch her attention or long ago won her heart, these luxurious, decadent fresh strawberries dipped in the South’s Finest white chocolate will let her know she’s number one. Sold just three days — Feb. 12-14 — choose from one-pound and half-pound sizes, but don’t worry about pre-ordering. And with 100 different handmade items at the ready, the South’s Finest will take care of any sweet your sweet could desire.

26. ... like a goddess. one of the ones who hardly ever throws thunderbolts.
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Rose Quartz/Silver Pendant Or Crystals, $45 and All Price Ranges

GREEN EARTH EMPORIUM 4481 Kingston Pike (New Address), 588-9882

Rose quartz is the stone of conditional love, and lore and loyal New Agers will tell you every goddess simply adores it. Tap some of that good karma for yourself with a crystal for your love. Or, if you’re not feeling that adventurous, rose quartz encirled in sterling silver for a pendant is fit for a goddess, too.

27. ... ’cause you’re groovy
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karma heart necklace

BLISS 24 Market Square, 329-8868, shopinbliss.com

This is a limited edition from Dogeared Jewelry, a beautiful reminder to live in a spirit of love and spread positive energy. Dogeared donates 100 percent of the net profits from this necklace to One Voice, a Santa Monica, Ca. family assistance non-profit. Feel the good karma flow.

28. ... with an economy of monetary outlay, as is only prudent, but with a riotous wealth of devotion
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If you’re genuinely strapped for cash (as opposed to just stingy, or with way too many romantic partners who could reasonably expect a gift), these nice gestures won’t break the bank: Relaxing salt bath crystals. $7, Zumkiss shea butter lip balm, $4, (Green Earth Emporium, 588-9882), a packet of heirloom seeds from historic Ramsey House, $2.50 (ramseyhouse.org), 3 oz. Endangered Species organic milk or dark chocolate bar, $5, (Gourmet’s Market, shopgourmetsmarket.com)

29. ... ’cause you’re hip, but you let me hang around anyhow
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(A) Peace-Wear From Sally’s Alley

SALLY'S ALLEY 8203 Chapman Hwy., 609-0480

Let Sally’s Alley take the guesswork out of buying an outfit for the woman whose clothes make a Boheme statement. She’ll love your taste, you’ll love the look. Handknit peace sign purse by Kathmandu Imports, $35; hand crochet scarf, $22, Vocal Burnout bejeweled T-shirt, $44, Big Star jeans, $57.

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(B) Sushi Spot Supper

SUSHI SPOT 7535 Barnett Way, Powell 938-7299

Very special special rolls, steaming hot pork dumplings, hibachi, generously portioned sushi-roll meals and a spacious, contemporary dining room design add up to a cool evening out. And you and your cool date can get cold beers, too.

30. ... when you say nothing at all
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How To Talk To Girls By Alec Greven $10

CARPE LIBRUM BOOKSELLERS 5113a Kingston Pike, 588-8080, carpelibrum.booksense.com

That guy who mutters and mumbles and just might like you? Disarm his defenses with this wealth of advice from a real live nine-year-old boy. Or, give it to a gal-friend who needs a good laugh. It’s tough to ignore results-guaranteed tips like, “Control your hyperness (cut down on the sugar if you have to)” and “Don’t act desperate.”

31. ... like a rock
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Markman’s Diamond Engagement Ring, All Price Ranges

MARKMAN'S FINE DIAMONDS & JEWELRY 6932 Kingston Pike, (East) Near Lowe’s At Isaiah’s Landing 1-800-757-0247 markmansdiamonds.com

Romance is in the air, Cupid is on the wing... so why not tonight if you’re going to pop the question? Markman’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry will help you choose a diamond right for your lifestyle—now, and forever—and set it off in style. Markman’s has been voted Best Jeweler by Metro Pulse readers each year since the contest began in 1994, and they are very pleased with ScottKay’s Crown setting (pictured), an engagement ring that can be made in many price ranges. The jeweler also features other impressive designers, such as Tacori and Ritani, but don’t feel intimidated. The experts at the store are gracious and informative, and they’ll guide you the whole way.