I’ll admit that it takes a lot of guts to be a romantic fool on Valentine’s Day, but I want to know why more people don’t just pull stupid stunts to get a girl’s attention. What are you afraid of, guys? Embarrassment? Shame? Ridicule? Having fun? To that I say Bah (not in an sheep-like way, but rather in a dismissing-you-with-guttural-sounds-and-hand-gestures way).

Hear me now, gentlemen, pulling hilarious tricks in a crowded suite, entryway, dining or lecture hall are every bit as flattering to a girl as flowers and candy, and you’ll spend less money. So stick your neck out a little bit. You’ll find that that one friend of yours who does date regularly knows the value of making romantic, funny gestures. He’ll tell you that making an ass of yourself for a girl will catch the eye, if not the affection, of any woman who was worth the effort in the first place.

Think of this: flowers that are sold on Valentine’s Day are substandard and prices are super-inflated. And you can’t kiss a girl who is happy with a mouth full of chocolates (which, if you give chocolates, she will have — most likely immediately, because chocolate is orgasmic). You don’t have to spend money on a girl to make her feel admired, romantically pursued. If I may, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for today. Act quickly, boys: the girls are waiting for it, I guarantee it.

You’ve got five bucks, right? Okay, let’s get on it. You still have time this afternoon to plan a date, go to Walgreens or simply strip down to your skinnies and don that huge afro wig you never thought you’d wear again. Less is more — well, except for that, but the issue here is creativity and making a girl feel like she is worth lots and lots of trouble.

With five dollars, you can buy fabric and a permanent marker at Horowitz Bros. on Chapel St. and make a banner to hang out your window that says, “(Insert name here) is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.” Do it anonymously and then call her later in the evening to go sledding at the Divinity School. Remember, dining hall tray sleds are free.

With five dollars or less, you can paint her name in the snow (preferably using a non-body-fluid medium) on Cross Campus.

With five dollars, you could get your suitemates to dress up as mimes (honestly, what else have they got to do today?) and have them track her down at the library, and offer her a silent, beautiful gesture. Invisible flowers cost nothing, and last longer than you’d expect.

Pose nude for her art class. And move that pile of junk in the middle of the room. Those people are so messy.

Ice cream costs less than five dollars. So does brownie mix, and the instructions are right there on the box.

Go to her “Yonic Hindu Literature of the Twentieth Century” seminar and wish her a happy Valentine’s Day with a song you can play on an available instrument, at least until you are kicked out because you yourself were neither yonic nor Hindu in the twentieth century.

Pottery or wood-working in the residential colleges costs only time to track down the monitors with keys. And things that go whir and buzz are cool. And you look sensitive and artistic. No blood. Blood is bad.

With five dollars you can buy a pair of neon-striped tights and make a cape and become “Captain Love,” “Ranger Romance,” or “Please-Go-Ou-With-Me — I-Promise-I’m-Normally-Not-Dressed-Like-This — Man.” You might be embarrassed, but you’re in college. You won’t be able to wear a cape when you’re an i-banker.

With five dollars, you could decorate the person’s room with cray paper, or just write her a note and put it on her desk.

If she’s as brave as you are, ask her to streak Old Campus with you, and bring a thermos of hot chocolate and a blanket for the finish line. I have a thermos, if you need to borrow one. Really, I’ve only seen one naked ass on Old Campus this semester, and frankly, that’s not good enough.

It costs almost nothing (just a little bit of walking and some paper) to create a mysterious scavenger hunt with you at the end of it.

Or you could simply tell someone in person — e-mail does not count — that you would like to get to know her or him better and that you’d like to spend some time doing that together, like tonight. The simple act of being honest costs nothing (or at most it might cost you $3, if you need a drink to soothe your nerves beforehand).

Now I know what you’re thinking, guys, but you’re only young once. Don’t give up on these ideas, especially if you find them completely out of the question, because every girl wants attention — ridiculous things done just for them. And you want to pull stupid shit. You might just get a little something out of it today.

So make this Valentine’s Day fun, everyone, and ladies, before you judge the guy in a cape and tights singing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” like you probably would every other day of the year, think for a moment that today is the day that he might be singing and prancing to get your attention, so that he can at least let you know that you are worth dignity-sacrificing frolicking in neon nylon.

Kate Block gives great unsolicited advice — just ask her.