Beat Relationship Boredom
Brace yourself—what I’m about to say may shock you. Believe it or not, making out with someone whose breath reveals the intimate details of every drink they consumed over the course of the evening, while six other couples share the same dirty DP couch, is not the end all and be all of the I.V. dating scene. Sure, it’s fun to party, but there’s a point at which conversation about everyone’s cute theme-party outfits grows as stale as day-old keg beer and your significant other starts craving something more cultured instead.
Believe me, I’ve been there—on both sides of that relationship—and I can confidently state that when it comes down to it, nothing kills a budding romance faster than boredom. Well, nothing except maybe the aforementioned bad breath thing, but that can be easily remedied with a Tic Tac. Boredom, on the other hand, is a far more insidious issue. Hard to identify and even harder to rectify, boredom occurs when one or both parties in a relationship decide that their relationship has become more about monotony than monogamy and romance is replaced with repetition. And let’s face it, the only adventure you’ll find at your best friend’s ‘80s party is intrepidly investigating whether or not the bathroom has enough toilet paper to go around. Sure, parties are great for meeting new people and enjoying yourself with the people you already know and love, but if you’re looking to beat relationship boredom, you might want to consider wooing your significant other with an activity that doesn’t require red plastic cups and an iPod full of the latest party hits.
Fortunately, I.V. is full of fun, easy, and cheap date ideas that are guaranteed to make you look like you’ve got culture, creativity, and enough charm to court even the most discerning date and break the vicious cycle of monotonous monagamy. From art to arcade games, there’s something for every Lolita and Lothario to do and it’s all conveniently located within our tiny town, so you don’t have to venture too far away from the proverbial party to try something new.
For starters, try an art walk through some of I.V.’s most aesthetically pleasing establishments. From the art on the walls inside Silvergreens to the murals on the outside of several DP houses, I.V. is teeming with art—and it doesn’t cost a dime to check it out. If you start at Silvergreens, make your way through Java Jones, stop at the University Art Museum—located next door to the UCEN—and then walk from the 6500 block of DP down, you can see paintings by local artists, photos by up-and-coming shutterbugs, works by masters such as Dali and Jacob van Ruisdael and some pretty cool murals all in the course of a walk that is probably less than a mile round-trip. Some standouts to check out include the current Dali exhibition at the University Art Museum and the big, beautiful murals on the Marley House and the Dolphin House—both located on Del Playa Drive.
If your self-guided art walk has you hungry for more local culture, try taking a similar stroll with a slightly more historical theme. Believe it or not, I.V. is a hotbed of history, with a past that includes a major riot, a bank burning down, a prolonged visit from famous “factory girl” Edie Sedgwick and much more. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_Vista,_California, www.islavista.org, and www.islavistahistory.com for more info about the specific sites to see in town and the history behind them. Some of my personal favorites include the current home of Embarcadero Hall, where there lies a small plaque dedicated to the memory of former UCSB student Kevin Moran—who was shot and killed by a Santa Barbara City police officer after helping to put out a fire at the former Bank of America during the riots in 1970. Another similar monument, dedicated to all those who peacefully protested during that period, is situated in Perfect Park at the south end of the Embarcadero Loop.
For something on a slightly lighter note, try taking a tour of the local establishments that offer old-school arcade games. According to http://arcadelocations.classicgaming. gamespy.com/PlaceSearch.php3?state=California—an invaluable resource for the overgrown kid in all of us—Giovanni’s on Pardall Road has Pac-Man and Road Blasters; Javan’s on Embarcadero del Norte has Ms. Pac-Man, Space Duel, and more; both of the town’s laundromats have at least a couple of working arcade games, and the UCEN has a whole room downstairs dedicated to everything from Dance Dance Revolution to one of those racing games that let you actually simulate driving a car. Fuel up on bin candy from Java Jones, Isla Vista Market, or The Corner Store next to the UCEN and get ready to duke it out with a different kind of joystick. This activity is guaranteed to get those competitive juices flowing and it makes a great excuse to bet each other with all sorts of interesting wagers—an added bonus that will definitely help you beat boredom.
Ultimately, I.V. offers plenty of options for those looking to get off the beaten path and try something other than the tried-true-and-tiresome method of taking a date directly to the nearest party. Because, let’s face it, drunken face-sucking on a dirty, crowded couch is only going to get you so far in a relationship. Real romance is about exploring, learning, and growing together—and always letting the other person win at Dance Dance, of course.