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Discuss interm -Valentine's Day my questions

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Do people celebrate Valentine's
Day in Ukraine? How?
How do people usually show their
love for a person on Valentine's
What presents are useless in your
opinion? Have you ever received
useless presents? If so, what are
Men usually give women flowers
not more than 2-3 times a year.
Do you agree? What is your idea?
How did you celebrate your last
Valentine’s day?
Ask your teacher any question you
How do people in your country
meet future mates (
)? Are marriages arranged
) by parents?
At what age do most people in your
country marry? Describe a typical
wedding ceremony in your country.
What are the typical wedding clothes
for bride and bridegroom?
Who usually people give gifts
on Valentine's Day? What
kinds of gifts do they give?
What are the best clothes for V-
day party for a girl/a young
woman and for a guy/a young
Is Valentine's Day a day for
children or for
adults (
for the single or the married?
What’s the best V-day gift? What
gifts are not good for V-day?
What things in your home can you
easily live without and what
things can’t you live without?
Do you prefer to live in a house or
in a flat? Why?
What presents are useless in your
opinion? Have you ever received
useless presents? If so, what are
Men usually give women flowers
not more than 2-3 times a year.
Do you agree? What is your idea?
How did you celebrate your last
Valentine’s day?
Ask your teacher any question you
How do people in your country
meet future mates (
)? Are marriages arranged
) by parents?
At what age do most people in your
country marry? Describe a typical
wedding ceremony in your country.
What are the typical wedding clothes
for bride and bridegroom?
Who usually people give gifts
on Valentine's Day? What
kinds of gifts do they give?
What are the best clothes for V-
day party for a girl/a young
woman and for a guy/a young
Is Valentine's Day a day for
children or for
adults (
for the single or the married?
What’s the best V-day gift? What
gifts are not good for V-day?
Let's talk! On non-chat Wednesdays, I'm trying to open the blog up for discussions -- not solutions to
social problems, necessarily, just a chance to share our ideas about things. I'll participate in the
comments section as much as I can. (Unfortunately, for the rest of the week I am under a huge
deadline at my other job -- which may mean I won't comment much, or it may mean that I'll be
desperate for a way to procrastinate and I
Sunday is Valentine's Day. Which brings us to today's question: what, to you, is romantic? Does it
match up with the typical images of romance -- flowers, walks on the beach, candlelight? What is the
most romantic thing a partner has ever done for you? Have you ever had an attempt at a romantic
evening go horribly wrong?
Let's talk! I'll share my stories in comments.
Oh, and BTW -- this is my blog.
. My rules. If you're hateful about the opposite sex, about me,
, if you derail the conversation, if you troll -- yeah, I'm kicking you off or not
approving your comments, which is not a violation of your First Amendment rights. We're here to
have a civil, fun, enlightening conversation. Shouldn't be rocket science, folks.
Some Comments about SV day...
I honestly love flowers. It doesn't have to be a lot, one will do. It just says "I was thinking of you
today" to me. 1.
Love is... coming home from work every night with dearest husband preparing dinner (yes, every
night) and most of all, stopping whatever he's doing to give me a kiss and tell me he loves me.
The every night 'routine' is more romantic than flowers on Valentine's Day (even though I usually get those
as well - 2 dozen roses - who can complain)!
Posted by thetealady
February 10, 10 08:35 AM
I'm currently single & just not much of a romantic, never have been. I had the same agreement w/ my
ex-BF for years -- he didn't have to get me flowers on V-Day, i suggested he send them another day, it made
it more special then him doing it b/c he HAD to on a particular day. I was happy w/ a special home-cooked
meal :-)
PS --THANK YOU for claiming the blog as yours. Love Letters runs a-muck with a few "regulars" who
hijack the blog daily.
Posted by polly
February 10, 10 08:38 AM
At age 49 (and sadly divorced), my boyfriend asked where my gold heart was. He was convinced that
some previous love had given me a gold heart on a chain. I told him that although there had been some
wonderful, romantic times - no one had given me a heart.
He rushed to Tiffany's no less - found a small heart, engraved it with our initials in a lovely, lovely design
and gave it to me the next day. He said every girl should have a gold heart - to remind her how much she is
Posted by lisa
February 10, 10 08:59 AM
Right now, I'm dating someone brand-spankin' new. We aren't at "love" yet, nor nearly, but there is
potential to move in that direction. The only day of the week that is free for both of us (free in a "not
changing my whole life around for you" way) is Sunday, so we ran into the dreaded V-Day-before-you're-
There issue. Yikes! To me, there can be nothing more awkward than an important holiday (or in this case,
perceived important, as V-Day is a unique type of holiday) when you still don't know where you stand with
So we talked and decided to celebrate Chinese New Year with dumplings instead.
THAT -- being able to lay out an awkward situation and find a solution that works for both of us? Even
though this is a very minor "issue," it's so early that all issues should be pretty minor -- well, THAT is what I
find romantic and sexy.
Posted by bluemoose
February 10, 10 08:59 AM
The most romantic thing my boyfriend has done for me is come to my apartment after work two days
before I was flying home for Christmas and pick up my giant, bright purple suitcase and take it home with
him on two subway lines so I wouldn't have to struggle with it on my way to his house the next day. To me,
that is pure romance.
Posted by Amy R.
February 10, 10 09:02 AM
VERY cool, bluemoose! Yes, the whole "big holiday before you're ready" thing is awkward! But your
good communication bodes awfully well ....
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 09:02 AM
Romantic is when you're working late late nights, night after night in the dead of a cold winter and
you come home to find your husband has already gone to bed. But he left a candle safely burning in a
hurricane lamp in the bedroom so you wouldn't trip over the furniture, and put a heating pad on your side of
the bed so you'd have a warm bed to get in to. And laid our your pajamas.
He's awesome.
Posted by BlondMaggie
February 10, 10 09:19 AM
My husband and I never celebrated V-day much. I think we did when the relationship was new, but as
things went along, we were much more big on celebrating our anniversary (our dating and wedding
anniversary are the same date Sept. 3).
But this year, I'm going to go out for him. I'm 20 weeks pregnant on V-day and he's been a real trooper. Ever
since morning sickness set in at 5 weeks and 5 days into the pregnancy, he has cooked every meal, done all
the heavy cleaning, and listened to me prattle on about the best kind of stroller for the little girl we're
expecting at the end of June/early July.
I'm still having morning sickness and definitely not feeling my best, but he deserves a break. I'm going to go
out, buy him a nice bottle of ruby port, some flowers, and buy him sushi (a food I don't like and he never
gets to go out for) and treat him like the prince he is to me.
Posted by Issybelle
February 10, 10 09:22 AM
I've felt that VD is a big make-work project for me - make sure the kids have valentines for their class,
special ones for the teachers and treats for their school party, that they have completed wonderful
homemade, crafty valentines for the grandmas that have been put in the mail in time for the big day, that
hubby has heartwarming valentines from the kids, that I have candy, cards and a special chocolate overload
dinner for the family. I feel guilty that all this feels obligatory to me instead of filling me with the selfless
love and joy that should come from bringing happiness to my family. But I don't feel selfless, I feel selfish
because I want a nice dinner made for me and for my hubby to sit my kids down with construction paper,
glue and glitter to make me a card (and clean up afterward). My husband has really come through on a few
VDs, left me bereft on others and generally makes a effort with candy or flowers. I have divorced myself
from the idea of VD=romance and have embraced VD=chocolate and find that gets me through.
Posted by cordelia
February 10, 10 09:23 AM
Aww..what a sweet topic. For me, romantic is when my husband drives me to work in the morning just
because. Or when he picks me up from the airport after a work trip, even though it's free and easy for me to
get home.
In my pregnant friends, I've seen husbands massage their feet or rub their bellies without being asked in the
most romantic "I love you and support you" way.
In my parents, it's them spending precious weekend days with each other's eldery parents and aunts -
without a hint that there's something they'd rather do.
Posted by Michelle
February 10, 10 09:37 AM
Permit me to use the work "despise".
I apply it to the totally artificial business-invented rituals that have nothing to do with real emotion and
everything to do with commerce. They make me GAG.
I am deeply touched about a surprise bunch of flowers from the T stall, a surprise batch of baked goods
from a friend, a surprise backrub when not expected, a surprise card to say "bit of sunshine in the middle of
winter", an impromptu song with the dog chiming in...
And I will do as I would like to be done by.
Posted by Irene
February 10, 10 09:42 AM
My husband made a lovely scrapbook of tickets of all the concerts we had attended, art exhibits, and
other memorable events in our lives. Making memories and letting someone into your heart to witness your
life moments is much more valued than a 'VD required' response.
Posted by 28yrsstrong
February 10, 10 09:49 AM
VD is nothing more than a way to buy and sell stuff. People who love each other should show each
other every day in various ways but I will admit, it makes me smile to get a card, chocolates, or anything
red! :o)
Posted by Beth
February 10, 10 09:55 AM
Except for 2nd tri Issy, everyone here is stating what is/can be/should be done for them. Manners
would suggest appreciate what is done for you, but more importantly, what is it that you can do to bring love
to your particular situation.
Is this in the spirit of Good Conduct, Robin?
Posted by valentino
February 10, 10 10:02 AM
My husband and I used to go all out for Valentine's Day before we were married. Now we can't
rationalize flowers or gifts because it's really all "our money" anyways, and we'd rather save up to buy a
condo. So, we dress up and go out to dinner. We usually do sushi because there's something romantic about
sharing a big plate of food. Plus, it's not so heavy that it'll put us into a food coma and squash any other
romantic things we had in mind. Then we walk home (if it's not too cold) and watch a movie over dessert,
usually sparkling wine and chocolate.
Posted by Noel
February 10, 10 10:04 AM
@Valentino, good point, but then again, I am asking people for their subjective feelings about what
makes them feel romantic, so I don't think it's selfishness. (It could also be modesty, you know: people may
not want to write, "Hey, I did this, and my partner loved it and I'm, like, SO the God/Goddess of
@Cordelia, I feel ya. (Sorry.) The extent to which the burden of holidays (not just Valentines, but Christmas,
Thanksgiving, Passover) falls on women is a huge pet peeve of mine.
To all the haters--yes, bashing on Valentine's Day is totally kosher! I generally do not like holidays that tell
me how to relate to my loved ones. Not a fan of Mothers' Day, either, for the same reason. And of course, on
Valentine's Day, all the restaurants and florists jack up their prices!
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 10:15 AM
Coming out the door at the t-station to be met unexpectedly by my beloved and the dog and walking
home together.
Holding hands in public. We're old married gals, but I have to say that being able to do this small thing and
feel safe always warms the cockles of my heart, whatever they are!
Posted by JP Gal
February 10, 10 10:27 AM
Yay for gay romance! And "cockles" made me laugh -- just yesterday Milo got his hackles up, and I
was thinking, what are other terms for body parts that don't actually exist unless they are in use? Like
"hackles," which don't really exist unless they are up. Or "lap" -- you don't have one if you're not sitting, you
just have thighs. Or, now, "cockles"!
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 10:30 AM
Just said to the man,
"This is me, not sweating Valentine's Day, is that okay?""Yes. .Did I answer too quickly?"
He's so damn sweet every single day; and I am missing the gene that cares about flowers.
My cup runneth over.
Posted by Carolyn
February 10, 10 10:37 AM
My former husband was big on the gifts for any event. But the most touching gifts were the ones that
will, hopefully, be enjoyed by others as we move about. He knew I loved gardening, and he'd give me a
small azalea or rhododendron. He told me to pick a spot, he'd dig the hole on our then very rocky soil, and
allow me to enjoy the rest. Our bushes grew and grew, even as our marriage didn't last.
Mother's Day: I like Lilac Sunday at the Arboretum. My ex had to work the first Mother's Day celebrated
with our new baby, so I took her and the two of us had a grand time. You can get a seedling lilac bush with a
donation on that day. I did, and that tiny little plant is now, almost 12 years later, more than 8-feet tall.
We've moved twice since then, and some of the bushes have been removed by the new owner of our old
house (Washington Square, Brookline - how could they? The rhododendron out front was planted before I
was born!), but they kept the lilac, perhaps one of the most important ones I planted, because I got it with
love during my daughter's first year.
V-Day is a big one in the reindeergirl household, because we're hearts and flowers kind of people here. The
daughter is artistic, and loves to make cards for her friends and family. She refuses my offer to get her the
store-bought kind for her classmates. I love paper flowers, and she makes me those. I treasure them.
My Dad held V-Day close to his heart, as did my Mom. Commercialism aside, it's another excuse to give
and receive love.
I feel val is in target when he says "but more importantly, what is it that you can do to bring love to your
particular situation."
And yes, Robin, thank you for keeping your blog focused. I fairly stopped posting to another one, because
as the day wore on it became less about those seeking advice, and more about some of the self-referential
posters. A few have dropped out - I didn't always agree with them, but in their own way, IMHO, they had
valuable and well-meaning advice. However, I understand the need for to get as many hits as
possible, to keep the advertising flowing and therefore extending the time in which a Website can be a free
service. Also, your control over your blog cuts down on the arbitrary flaming, Robin. We are all entitled to
Posted by reindeergirl
February 10, 10 10:40 AM
@reindeergirl and @Polly -- thanks for the support on my taking a hard stance re: moderating the
blog. I've come to realize that the only blogs whose comments sections I read are heavily moderated, and
therefore value-added. Yes, I would like quantity, but quality comes first.
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 10:53 AM
I love sap and romance, and enjoy Valentines day but don't take it too seriously. My DH is good (most
of the times) about doing the little things. I however hate crowds and hate spending a ton of money on
flowers. He typically will get me some tulips which are generally reasonably priced or some astromerlia
again a reasonably priced flower but not roses and that means more to me than roses.
For dinner we do pizza and champagne it is our thing :) We added the champagne because that is the meal
we had the night we were engaged so it is a simple sappy thing that means a lot to us.
I think Valentine's day is all about knowing your partner and celebrating in a way that is comfortable for the
two people and not necessarily what the commercials say is the right way to celebrate.
Posted by WES
February 10, 10 10:58 AM
@WES, darn you for reminding me of champagne and pizza! It is my favorite meal EVER, and I am
now forbidden to eat it! (There's nothing romantic about gastritis and esophageal reflux disease, I tell you
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 11:09 AM
To me, romance is in the little things. In buying a special trinket for your paramour. In doing the
dishes so your sig. other doesn't have to. In cuddling by candlelight.
Never celebrated V-day -- it's a Hallmark holiday, and some random Wednesday of any month can be a
much more romantic occasion.
Posted by Nala-
February 10, 10 11:09 AM
Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages? The theory is that everyone has a preferred language
to express their love. Problems arise when a couple talks two different languages. The five are:
1. Words of affirmation
2. Quality time
3. Receiving gifts
4. Acts of service
5. Physical touch
My husband shows his love to me primarily through acts of service. Brings me coffee in bed, opens my car
door, runs an errand for me without being asked. He is also a big gift-giver, and every gift comes with a
Hallmark card. Whereas words of affirmation and quality time are what make me feel loved. I'd rather spend
a night in front of a romantic fire talking together and hearing why he loves me, than receive flowers and
Through the years, we've both learned to translate and to speak in each others languages. This helps to
appreciate and acknowledge when the other is expressing love, and to express love in a way that is
meaningful to our partner.
Posted by bah humbug
February 10, 10 11:13 AM
@bah humbug--No, I'm not familiar with that. What a great notion! Mr. Improbable and I are both
NOT AT ALL into #3 -- I think he has given me two really good gifts in the 10 years we've been together,
and I'm not sure I've ever given him anything at all! (I've enjoyed gift-giving in other relationships, both
romantic and friendship, but you have to have similar tastes or interests in order to do it right, and we just
don't.) #5 has caused us some problems occasionally because when I am sick I don't want to touch or be
touched. #2 can be a challenge -- we both value quality time together, but oddly, if you both work at home,
you get a lot of quantity time but quality time can be hard to come by. This is why we usually set Friday
nights aside for quiet time together.
Thanks for such a helpful and thought-provoking comment!
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 11:23 AM
Just a note to say it's not the florists who jack up the price of flowers; they're paying double
themselves at the flower markets, which are paying double to get those flowers from the growers, who have
worked very hard to get millions upon millions of (mostly red) roses to the flower shops ready to bloom on
February 14. It's basic supply and demand: when everyone in the country wants the same thing on the same
day, you pay a premium for it.
Posted by Finn
February 10, 10 11:32 AM
While I agree that there is a plethora of commentary between individuals on the LL blog that may tend
to seem exclusive, the quality of creative writing and wit is at the heart of the blog. Generally, the day's
letter incites advice and discussion, which in turn advances on and off topic conversations. After the first
few hours and couple of hundred pieces of advice/commentary, the blog turns into a chat interspersed with
new advice. The banter is topical in the same way that texting an ex is related to an exposed tattoo is related
to too much wine is related to snooping on Facebook is related to living in your parent’s basement is related
to not getting unconditional love from your mother is related to Lady Gaga reminds me of your mother is
related to poker is related to road trips to Vegas is related to betting on sports is related to hockey is related
to the blossoming love affair between two hockey crazy Bruins fans on the blog, one of whom got great
advice on getting her sweatshirt back from an ex. So, if you get a tattoo for Valentine’s Day, don’t be
surprised if your Pie McKenzie sweater gets clipped.
Posted by Valentino
February 10, 10 12:27 PM
I'm not into VD because it's arbitrary and made-up, and the pressure can be stupid. For me, if the
beloved makes me feel loved throughout the year--and he does, mainly through #4, lots of #4--then I don't
need anything on VD. And if he didn't make me feel loved through the year, nothing he could do on VD
would change that.
The best gift he ever got me was Ken Burns's Civil War. I'd taped it when it first aired, and my tapes were
wearing out. He knew that, and so he replaced them without being asked. He just knew.
Posted by KatyC
February 10, 10 12:35 PM
I heart the five love languages! We covered that in a church-related "parenting book" club. (Talk about
your specific group!) I'm totally #1 (oh, and I like jewelry) but my husband is classic #4. We have to work
hard to make each other feel good - in each others' language - but the results are a very schmoopy-happy
couple, even after ten years and two kids! :)
Posted by RH
February 10, 10 12:50 PM
@bah humbug thanks for bringing that up - I have heard of it before but never really looked into it.
Seeing the list explains a lot - my husband will complain that we don't have enough of #1 #2 or #5 and I'll
retort with something along the lines of "but you should know that I love you because of how much I DO
for you!" We speak different languages, that's for sure!
My husband likes it when we get a sitter and have a formal date or plan on some quality time alone after the
kids go to bed - to him, romance = undivided attention and adoration so I try to remember that and do that
for him.
To me, having my husband do something for me (I apparently value #4) is incredibly romantic. I like the
thoughtful surprise of a little bouquet of flowers for no reason, or bringing me a DD iced tea because he
remembers that I like that, but the times when he says "you sleep in I'll get the kids up" are the best (and
those are few and far between). You can keep the flowers and cards, just carry in the groceries or
spontaneously do a load of laundry and I'm smitten.
@cordelia, amen sister! I think the most romantic thing this week would be for my husband to say "hey why
don't I [get the kids to sign their valentines, bake the cookies you promised for the school party, get the
grandparent cards in the mail, etc.]." Some of our most horrific marital moments have occurred near
Valentine's day so if we happen to be having a good spell when V-day is around the corner, great, but it's not
something I count on. No hopes = no disappointment - at this point, V-day is for the kids.
Posted by Jen
February 10, 10 01:32 PM
I have a different perspective on Valentine's Day than most, because it's my birthday. When I was a
little girl, I *loved* it - everything pink and red and hearts and girly! In high school, I rebelled against it (I
hate hearts! I hate red! Just because I was born on V-day doesn't make me a girly girl!). College I loved
having V-day as a birthday because I always had single friends around to party with if I didn't have a
sweetheart. Now I'm back to hating it. I want to be able go out to with my husband and have a nice romantic
birthday dinner without the rest of the world trying to manufacture romance for us, but that just doesn't seem
to be possible unless we go out on a different night (which we usually do, but since it's already on the
weekend this year...).
I guess I didn't really answer your question, did I? I suppose the most obvious answer is the proposal - he
proposed to me on a sea kayaking trip in Kenai Fjords Nat'l Park in Alaska, sitting on the rocky beach in a
fjord, watching the sun set behind the glacier across the way. Pretty awesome :) In general, he isn't very big
on romantic gestures unless prompted (*sigh*) but it doesn't make me question his love for me, not one bit.
Posted by Michelle
February 10, 10 01:34 PM
Hi Everyone,
Romance, to me, happens spontaneously and when I least expect it. It may come in the form of someone I
love helping me and supporting me (either by listening about a problem or fixing a leak in the faucet!) or
taking me out to dinner as a surprise late in the day on a Saturday or Sunday. It feels so romantic to me to be
cared for, I think in part b/c in my family, it was all the little things that added up to feeling loved. Dad
going to the bakery on Saturday for pastry (one for each of us!) , watching tv together, playing games
together, etc.
For me, romance has more to do with the person than the activity. One of the most romantic dates I ever had
was going to the laundromat with my boyfriend at the time b/c we had so much fun being together. Gosh, I
think it's romantic for two people to curl up on the sofa and read! Low maintenance romance!
Posted by Candy
February 10, 10 02:39 PM
ah .. romance for me is when my partner tries to limit the wine intake to a couple of glasses instead of
a couple of bottles. Not having to pick somebody up off the floor/couch and worry that they'll set the place
on fire or fall through the glass coffee table is a much bigger piece of mind than an FTD bouquet!
Posted by Edwina
February 10, 10 03:28 PM
@Michelle--Are you from my synagogue? Because if not, there's another Michelle out there who has
the same problem!
@Valentino--I don't mind threads getting creative; that's not at all what I meant by derailing. (On my blog, one thread started out about fashion and ended up in a parody of "Bitchin
Camero" called "Bitchin Menorah." What I will NOT allow anymore is the kind of thing that happened on
the "Confronting a cleaning person" post, in which a reasonable conversation devolved into an argument
about whether or not people who employed housecleaners are entitled snobs.
@Candy--Funny how those things from childhood stick with us! My parents were very good to each other,
and to me, in all those little ways as well, and I suppose that's why I, too, don't tend to go in for the Big
Romantic Gestures. Of course, that can set expectations as well ... one thing my father always did for my
mother was to keep the car filled with gas, especially if she had an early-morning appointment. I still feel
horribly abandoned and unloved whenever I have to pump my own gas--a feeling that Mr. Improbable finds
amusing and absolutely refuses to indulge me in. (He indulges me in an awful lot of other things, so I can't
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 03:32 PM
The real romanticism in a relationship: if partners can accept they may have different views, and the fact
they assign different weights and grades to the pillars of their relationship, and still respect and love each
other, they are on the way to build together a lasting relationship.
And, even in math doesn't sound romantic, in reality it can be:
Love = (Aw * Ag) + (Mw * Mg) + (A1w * A1g) + (Rw * Rg) + (Ew * Eg) + (...)
Its meaning is explained on
Posted by Frank
February 10, 10 03:48 PM
Yes, it's me :) I don't comment often, but I read regularly!
Posted by Michelle
February 10, 10 04:15 PM
The most romantic thing my then-boyfriend/now husband ever did for me was change my Alzheimers-
afflicted mother's diapers.
There will never be a more selfless act of love in the history of the world.
P.S. to Valentino, "creative writing and wit"??? The LLers? Dream on!
Posted by Cosmogirl
February 10, 10 04:38 PM
Folks, please stop perpetuating the myth that Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, created by
Hallmark or florists or whomever. It is in fact Saint Valentine's Day--a Christian celebration of a saint,
similar to St. Patrick's Day. Alas, like St. Patrick's Day and Christmas, its secularization has led to its
commercialization, and I can certainly understand why that seems distasteful or fake to some.
The original intent of the holiday wasn't merely to highlight romantic love, but all love. Some of you have
mentioned ways of showing love for non-significant others, but I just wanted to reiterate this point, because
keeping it in mind may alleviate some St. V-Day-related stress. (Keep it light! Keep it fun!)
Posted by Daffodil
February 10, 10 04:55 PM
To me the most romantic thing is being listened to. It's the rare partner, husband, or friend who does
this , with or without a potential gift-giving holiday on the horizon. I have to be careful - we were watching
an ad on t.v. extolling boxes of chocolate hearts as the perfect gift, then being ridiculed as
wrongwwrongwrong and turning into an ad for I forget what. I remarked that what I really wanted for
Valentine's Day was an oil change or some cement blocks. "Oh?" says my best beloved, his furrowed brow
indicating he is already working on the logistics. To which I can only say, "No, REALLY I want a dumpster.
Or a pony." Which cracks us both up, since this has been my steadfast response for thirty years. He has
always made me feel both well-loved and well-known, despite celebrating retail holidays only
Posted by Ajay
February 10, 10 04:59 PM
I like giving and getting sappy V-day cards - DH and I always manage to find ones that really
represent our thoughts. We had a number of horrid V-day meals at restaurants we ordinarily enjoy (including
one where we had a reservation and were seated over an hour late and then they were out of half of the stuff
on their limited menu!), so we generally pick a different night to go out for a nice meal, if we do anything.
Our daughter's birthday is the 15th, so things tend to be focused on her, and the kids certainly enjoy giving
Valentines to their friends.
Romance, to me, is any number of things. It's doing certain things together, because they have special
meaning. It's holding hands and being able to just "be" together without having to fill every moment with
shared activity or conversation. It's doing things for the other person, whether it's chores or getting little
gifts - just because.
Posted by akmom
February 10, 10 05:08 PM
@Cosmogirl--Wow. That is love, indeed.
@Daffodil--I don't know much about the history of St. Valentine's Day, but I think most commenters who
are saying it's a "made-up" holiday are talking about its current incarnation, in all its commercialized,
bloody-diamonded, heteronormative glory. I'd like to learn more about the real history of it, actually. And I
would love to see it turn back into a celebration of LOVE -- of friends, of poetry, of nature, of art -- instead
of just romantic love. Agape and philea (which I think I am misspelling), as well as eros!
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 10, 10 05:09 PM
The most romantic thing anyone ever did for me, well...there's not much to choose from. I've only
really dated one guy and the long distance between Brooklyn and southern NH made us implode as lovers
(while strengthening us as friends).
Anyway, there are two things that stand out in my mind. Our first Christmas, he got me tickets to see
MacBeth with Patrick Stewart at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The other thing he did was get tickets to
see the Brewers play the Mets at CitiField, and take me. He's a Brewers Fan, I'm a diehard Met fan and
really wanted to see CitiField before I moved out of NYC. He had seen the first 2 games of the 3 game
series, and the night before the third he says to me "I think you're stuck." I gave him a weird look, and he
goes "you're stuck going to the baseball game with me tomorrow."
Posted by veronica
February 10, 10 05:16 PM
I've had many romantic things done for me from trips to NYC for dinner to dates involving gorilla
costumes (don't ask), but for me, a simple love letter is the most romantic gift.
Posted by eastiegirl
February 10, 10 09:33 PM
Although I love romance and mush.....My husband is very rarely romantic. I would find it strange for
him to act romantic on a hallmark holiday. I would think someone put him up to it (like our kids).
Random acts of love (flowers, dinner, a kiss in public) are much more exciting.
Posted by Anonymous
February 10, 10 11:30 PM
BlondMaggie: your husband put "a heating pad on your side of the bed so you'd have a warm bed to
get in to. And laid our your pajamas."?????
Oh. My. God.
I might have to wake him up to tell him what a wonderful, fabulous, totally thoughtful man he was.
The worst thing about coming in when hubby is already in bed is being cold and not wanting to wake him
up so not putting my feet on him.... a heating pad?> I'm in love!
Posted by CT.DC
February 11, 10 12:26 AM
Thank you to Robin and all the commenters for sharing these thoughts. I dislike V-day for the same
old reasons - it's mean to lonely people, and you should treasure the ones you love 365 days a year. But
taking a day to recount all these examples of thoughtfulness is really lovely.
Thanks also for the pizza & champagne suggestion - I'm going to pick up a bottle for tomorrow night.
Posted by Q
February 11, 10 09:54 AM
Hey, all you people who CAN have pizza and champagne--raise a slice or glass to me when you're
having it, okay?
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 11, 10 09:57 AM
@CT.DC - Yup, that's why we're still married. He also got me trapeze lessons for my 40th birthday
(Most. Awesome. Birthday. Ever).
The only drawback is that these gestures are hard to top, but I like that it gets me thinking of nice things to
surprise him with.
@Robin - Champagne and pizza is our traditional New Year's dinner. We'll have pizza and red wine, but I'll
still lift a toast to you!
Posted by BlondMaggie
February 11, 10 10:24 AM
Robin, you're absolutely right and awesome for stepping up and demanding civility on your blog.
Many people just stop reading blogs where the comments devolve into nastiness, leaving only the nastiness
to self-propagate. It's not worth the negativity to reach the good stuff!
The best VD present I ever received was, no kidding, a Stanley Wonderbar pry bar. The guy had done the
flowers and candy thing for previous girlfriends so I know that he wasn't being unromantic. He knew that I
wasn't into girly frooferah, seldom wore jewelry, and appreciated good solid useful things. That was the first
time I can remember someone demonstrating so simply that they really, really understanding me on a core
level. The romantic relationship didn't work out but we're still good friends and he's married to my best
friend. So it worked out just like it should :-)
This year my partner and I are broke and stressed by family health issues, so a fancy date or gifts are really
out of the question. I bought a huge bag of his favorite caramels and little red paper mini-muffin cups. I plan
to get up in the middle of the night, cover our little dining room table with caramels, and spell out "I love
you" with the red paper cups. Yeah it's cheezy and terrible and some little sardonic part of my soul is
screaming in protest, but what's important is that it'll mean something to him. Luckily this isn't one of the
blogs he checks regularly, so my surprise won't be blown.
Posted by JoGeek
February 11, 10 10:42 AM
JoGeek, your nice story about your ex reminds me of one of my exes: we moved to Boston from KC
together, and broke up after about four years. We remained friends, and he invited us to his wedding. I'd
always gotten on extremely well with his parents, and it was nice to be able to say to them, "I'm so glad I
met your son. And we *did* get married and live happily ever after, just not to each other!" So I know what
you mean about things working out as they should.
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 11, 10 11:00 AM
I can relate to JoGeek too. I started dating my husband back in college and we were long-distance for
our first year. I HATE v-day, so I explained that, and asked him not to do anything for it. He complied,
against the advice of every single person he asked, who didn't know me and thought it was a test that he
would fail if he didn't send flowers or whatever. I hadn't intended it to be a test, but I was SO HAPPY that
he listened to me and took me at my word.
Posted by M&M
February 11, 10 11:39 AM
I don't like to give gender-typed advice, as a rule, but sometimes it's the right thing to do. I mention
this in the relationships chapter of my book, too:
WOMEN: Do not expect men to read your mind. Lack of telepathy does not mean they don't love you. Ask
for what you want, already.
MEN: Listen to the *actual women* in your life when they talk about what they want. Don't bother with
media telling you "what women want."
Posted by Robin Abrahams
February 11, 10 11:49 AM
My husband always mistakes my grumpy, sullen, rotten PMS moods for quiet contentment. This
makes him the most gracious person alive.
He's also one of the most romantic. One of our early dates was to have a picnic at February. A
few months later, he set up a card table in the elevator of his apartment building in Kenmore Square,
covered it with a table cloth, and made spaghetti for us. We lit a candle and ate our dinner, pretending we
were in a nice restaurant, as people kept getting on and off all evening.
We've been married for almost 19 years.
Our film critic wrote about
12 swoon-worthy movies
last year. I don't recall that it will be updated this
year, but do post below if you think any key movies are missing from his list.
Gone With the Wind
Love Story
The Princess Bride
When Harry Met Sally
Annie Hall
Edward Scissorhands
Say Anything . . .
Romeo and Juliet
An Officer and a Gentleman
Sixteen Candles
Кэлли - 28 лет, секретарь Серьезная, дружелюбная, скромная
разведена (
), 1 ребенок, живет с
бабушкой работает 10-12 часов в день
французская кухня, белое вино, не любит
фаст-фуд и итал. кухню
носит строгие костюмы, но любит джинсы
и спорт. одежду
может печатать (
), говорить на англ и
франц, хорошо одеваться
не может готовить и плавать
никогда не ходит на вечеринки и никогда не
летает на самолете
любимая вещь – бабушкины сережки
больше всего денег тратит на съемную
квартиру (
Марк – 30 лет
Высокомерный, спортивный, веселый
Женат, но хочет развестись
Живет в квартире жены
Работает в банке, не больше 8 часов в день
Любит пиццу, пиво, спагетти
Не любит фрукты и соки
Носит на работе костюмы, но любит
джинсы и футболки Может играть в футбол, волейбол, водить
машину, плавать
Не может готовить, говорить на иностр.
языках, убирать
Любимая вещь – машина Ford
Больше всего денег тратит на ночные клубы
и выпивку
Леона – 19 лет, студентка
Веселая, открытая
Живет с родителями
Учится, 2 дня в неделю работает бэби-
Любит фрукты, пиццу, рыбу, мороженое
Любит короткие юбки, яркие футболки,
большие серьги, татуировки, футбол
Может хорошо петь, сидеть с детьми,
готовить яичницу, горячие бутерброды
Не может плавать, играть в шахматы
Любит ходить на вчеринки, ходить по
Любимая вещь – iphone
и mp
3 плеер Больше всего денег тратит на косметику и
Никогда не встает раньше 8 утра - сова
– 35 лет, миллионер
Разведен, есть 3 детей Спортивный, умный, независимый
Живет один, есть несколько квартир и
Работает очень много, свободного времени
мало Любит китайскую и арабскую кухню, много
путешествовать, играть в шахматы, рано
ложиться спать, плавать
Может зарабатывать деньги
Не может готовить, смотреть за детьми
Не любит скучных людей, вечеринки, пиво
Любимая вещь – дорогой дом в Швейцарии
Больше всего тратит деньги на машины Никогда не навещает родителей и никогда
не встает позже 7 утра
Методические пособия
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