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Don’t let Valentine’s Day scare you; keep it simple

February 10, 2019

Fair warning, guys, there is a date coming up that needs no explanation. That red circle around the 14th of February has nothing to do with rotating the tires on your car, the opening day of baseball season or Carmine’s poker night. I don’t care if you are in a coma, you still have to remember, it’s Valentine’s Day.

If there is any date to remind you that romance is back in, this couldn’t be more perfect. Things are different on this evening out. It means carrying on a conversation with your date. I know that can be difficult. She more than likely is going on about some fabric for her sofa, with plaids and stripes on a grid. You are thinking of the grid for the odds on the next NBA game. You’ve got a lot of money riding on this and your bookie isn’t exactly the romantic type. In fact, his idea of Valentine’s Day is a card that says, “Roses are red, violets are blue, pay up in cash or expect a visit from Stu.” So the idea of a sofa in periwinkle blue is not on your agenda. However, you do recall that your bookie, Stu, does wear striped shirts with plaid pants. 

And then there are other amenities like little gifts of glass hearts, red flowers, chocolates in gold foil, dinner that will set you back a month’s salary and, God forbid, dancing. These are right up there with all the things that guys would equate with sitting next to Aunt Cecilia and trying not to knock her wig off into the water glass. Of course it could be worse, dare I say it – a ring. Let’s not even go there. Even your bookie looks good at this point.

Come on, man, with a little planning, this could be fun. It doesn’t have to be the Nightmare on Elm Street. But instead, guys who haven’t thought of it until the night before arrive by the thousands at convenience stores all over the country to buy that solitary rose. These roses are especially grown in the mountains of Tanzania with care, love and scientific formulas so they can last at least for 30 minutes after they have been defrosted from the back of a truck parked behind the convenience store.

Remember, big is not always better; you don’t want the flowers to look like she won the Kentucky Derby or you are sending condolences to a mob funeral. It looks suspicious.

All of this has been researched by a respectable scientific source, the greeting card industry. An actual bill was attached as an amendment making it a law that no single woman may go dateless on Valentine’s Day, even if it means having dinner with the guy who lives downstairs and jingles change in his pocket all night, talks about percentages, yes, he is a CPA, but coincidentally has the same bookie, Stu.

I think we have turned the corner, though. You can actually fax or text a date instead of meeting someone in person. Why bother going to the trouble of getting all dressed up when you can relax on your sofa, in your pajamas, with a box of wine and watch reruns of “Golden Girls.” And guys, you can change that oil in your car with a little photoshopping of you looking like Tom Brady while lifting weights with a gym in the background. Excellent! Now we are getting somewhere.

Sure, it’s a long way from that Valentine’s Day box, decorated in red and white; this was a box that girls worshipped in kindergarten, but was enough to make the boys burp, which they practiced every day behind the school.

Today, I don’t think you are allowed to celebrate any holiday in school, if you can buy a greeting card for that specific day.  And as a last reminder, I think there are still some convenience stores open all night.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.