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28 Jan 2019 | Samantha Dugan

Romance 101

Okay, folks, it’s that time of year once again. Time to celebrate your love and couple-hood, you know, like you don’t every other stinking day of the year.

Yes, it’s a silly holiday and yes, it’s totally manufactured and manipulative, but guess what, it’s still coming and it’s time to take the situation in hand. Get your plan in place so as not to be caught at the last minute, trying to find that last not lame card, picking through a bunch of puny looking, bruised flowers and desperately trying to find a box of crappy tasting chocolates without a picture of Snoopy on it or something. CVS or Walgreens shan’t save you on this one, trust me on that.

So, let me try and help you out here, give you a little check list of do’s and don’ts to try and ensure that you and your beloved have the very best of Valentine’s Days, aka avoiding the dog house.

Romance Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t - Go out for one of those way over priced and over cheesed Valentine’s dinners. Gonna let you in on a little secret here, those are a total racket for restaurants. They charge you a bunch of money for subpar food, crappy and rushed service and horribly clichéd table decorations and heart shaped desserts. They know that many panic and think they must take their sweetie out to dinner on Valentine’s Day and they take advantage, big time.

Do - Plan, shop for and maybe even make dinner at home. Now if you have kids, get someone to watch them, at their house. If your beloved is a major foodie/cook type, involve them in the plans as well. Sit together over a bottle of wine a few nights before and plan your perfect dinner, together. If neither of you are into cooking, plan to pick up your favorite take-out. Might I recommend some fried chicken? Don’t know many people that don’t love crispy fried chicken, the eating with your hands is quite sensual and it just so happens to be one of the most perfect foods to pair with Champagne. Hey, “Finger licking” is a damn fine start if you ask me.

Don’t – Fall into the trap of thoughtlessness. Picking up roses, red ones especially, a heart shaped box of waxy chocolates and a stuffed bear with a fake rose clinched between his teeth is the height of thoughtlessness. You didn’t have to think of anything! Those cheesy clichés have been around since George Burns was courting Gracie. Crusty and flat-out played to death.

Do – Pick up a little something that your sweetheart might really want or need. Tickets to a show, a favorite childhood film on DVD, a mixed six pack of fun new wines to try, cookies from their favorite bakery. It doesn’t have to cost a lot; it just needs to be about them.

Don’t – Buy them underwear! Remember what it felt like to open a box of underpants on Christmas? Yeah, it sucks on Valentine’s Day too.

Do – If it’s “sexy time” you are after, how’s about offering a foot rub, massage or to draw a bath?  Get those clothes off and starts with that whole touching thing. Win-win.

Don’t – Pick up some factory made bottle of boring bubbles. Doesn’t show any thought and you get what you give, if you know what I’m saying. Make the extra effort.

Do – Swing by The Wine Country and pick up any one of these delicious sparkling wines. I can say without hesitation that the wines are far superior, the extra trip made for your darling’s pleasure will be greatly appreciated and in the immortal words of Gustav Flaubert, from Madame Bovary, “Iced Champagne was served, and the feel of the cold wine in her mouth gave Emma a shiver that ran over her from head to toe” not a bad state to be in on Valentine’s Day, right?

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