Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day a la 2010 (by Margaret Ullrich)

Ah, February in Manitoba. Time to heat things up with Valentine's Day. The love in the air is as thick as exhaust fog. Hurrah for L' Amour! If saying L' Amour reminds you of Dorothy, Bing and Bob going on a road to someplace exotic then you've probably eaten your own weight in Valentine chocolates.

And you have the love handles to prove it.

Lighten up. Really. Celebrating love doesn't require a ten course dinner followed by a honking big high-fat dessert. We've just eaten through the holiday season. We all have more cholesterol and sugar flowing through our veins than we need.

Remember those resolutions?

Maybe the poet had the right idea when he wrote, "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou". All you need to add is a lovely country location. Picture it. You and your sweetie enjoying an easy on the waistline picnic. Then, for dessert, laying back and watching the fluffy white clouds floating on the breeze.

Ok. This is Manitoba, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain and can freeze skin in less than two minutes. Let's get real. This is not the time anyone sane sits in the snow.

But, by golly, this is a new millenium. If you're like me, you've followed traditions for over fifty years. It just may be time for a change from the "dinner out, followed by a show" rut.

Why dinner? This is Valentine's Day, not a fund raiser. Are you having a guest speaker? Do you need to plan seating for 500? Do you think love only blooms under candlelight?

Think outside the box.

Why not celebrate with a special lunch or breakfast? It's February. The mornings are dark. The moon doesn't set until 10:00 a.m. Face your chairs west and start humming "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie." Think of Cher in the movie Moonstruck. Who knows what can develop after a candlelit breakfast of buckwheat pancakes, an egg white omelet and mimosas?

And what about a show after your Valentine feast? No problem. Can you say matinee? Let's be honest. Comfortable chairs and darkened theaters have put more than one Romeo - or Juliet - to sleep. Please, we hear enough snoring at home. We want to stay awake, see the show, do some cuddling and finish the popcorn. Give yourself a fighting chance. Early or late, the show's the same. Go early.

Life is complicated today. Meetings, odd work shifts, Sunday shopping and relatives, both young and old, have made life a scheduling nightmare. (Can your daughter help it if her mother-in-law's birthday is February 14? Have pity on the girl and go.) You already have 20 hours of must do activities for the big day. You're seeing red and not in heart shapes.

Think VCRs. If you can tape and enjoy a show at your leisure then surely you can pick another day for a private celebration. I have friends who toasted the New Year on January first while watching the ball drop on the Tonight show rerun at 9:00 p.m. Your sweetie is a reasonable soul, right? Be different. It's legal. The Valentine police will not come pounding at your door.

Te quiero.
Je t'aime.
Ich liebe dich.

There are many ways to say "I love you" and to celebrate. Happy Valentine's Day and enjoy.

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