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     Valentine’s Day: “A corporate conspiracy conceived by candy makers, rose growers and jewelers to get people to spend money.” – Urban Dictionary

Oops. Sorry I’m late with this reminder, gentlemen, since time is growing short.

Yes, Valentine’s Day has a way of sneaking up on us.

I know, the challenge of finding a new and improved way of slinging Cupid’s arrow is harder than declining seconds at Thanksgiving dinner.

And then there are the considerations of time, cost and appropriateness.

If you’re low on funds, a card with a loving message might be the answer.

Look at what our friend Shakespeare wrote in Sonnet 18:


“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

“Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

“And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. . .

“But thy eternal summer shall not fade.”


What woman wouldn’t want to hear that she is more lovely than a summer’s day and that her youth will never fade?

OK, perhaps a little mushy. Love poetry isn’t for everyone. And because of that, I searched diligently in hopes of finding the fresh and unusual Valentine’s gift.

Before we get to the list, it’s always wise to keep uppermost in mind what not to give on Saint Valentine’s day

For example, resist the temptation to buy her a new vacuum cleaner or treadmill.

A new set of craft beer glasses might not make the best impression, either.

The same advice for a six-month’s supply of Jenny Craig. Remember, what goes around comes around.

When considering Feb. 14, there’s something to be said – a lot, actually – for time-tested gifts. For example, a dozen roses, that old standby, will always be well received. Just make sure they are red, not yellow or white.

Dinner at a favorite restaurant never goes out of style and will be appreciated.

Sometimes a personal gift certificate makes sense, as in: “I promise to do dinner dishes for the next month.” Or, “Please make a new copy of that Honeydo List” so I can start on it tomorrow.

Follow-through is essential, though, and beware: These well-intentioned covenants can turn into a nightmare. Word them as tightly and carefully as possible.

Add an affectionate thought to a special night out, and your bases will be covered. For that, here’s a favorite of mine, from William Wordsworth:


“She was a phantom of delight

“When first she gleamed upon my sight;

“A lovely apparition, sent

“To be a moment’s ornament;

“Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;

“Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair.”

Feb. 14, 2018