History of Valentine's Day
The history of Valentine's Day -- and its patron saint -- is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.
So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men -- his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
2 Give your lover a dozen roses and do it with a creative twist.Give eleven red roses and one white rose. Attach a note that reads: "In every bunch there's one who stands out and you are that one."
3 Sending a birthday card isn't just a good idea, it's an obligatory romantic gesture.But how about doing something different this year?On your lover's birthday, send a "thank you" card to his/her mother.4 Gallantry never really goes out of style.
So every once in a while kiss her hand with a flourish.
Note: The proper way to kiss a woman's hand is to lower your lips to her hand.
You don't raise her hand to your lips.
Little Things Mean a Lot
6 Gift wrap a wishbone in a jewelry box.Send it to her with a note that says,"I wish you were here."Bigger Is Better
7 Unplug the TV.Put a note on the screen saying, "Turn me on instead."
8 Go through revolving doors together.
12 Write him a little love note.Insert it into the book he's reading.
16 Make a custom bannera BIG banner to welcome him home from a trip(or just to say "I love you!").
Use construction paper and crayons, or poster board and markers, or old sheets and spray paint.
17 Craig liked doing things in a big way.
He was a dramatic and loud (though lovable) kind of guy. Mary, on the other hand, was proper and quiet (and just as lovable). Craig sometimes criticized Mary for not being expressive or outrageous enough. Until . . . one day when Craig returned home from a business trip and was greeted by Mary and two hundred forty-three members of the local high school marching band on their front lawn. (Most people don't consider John Philip Sousa marches to be romantic but Craig does!)
Romance for Dummies
34 Practice "Even-Day/Odd-Day" Romance:On even days it's your turn to be romantic, and on odd days it's your partner's turn.
35 No time or too lazy to wrap those gifts? Buy fancy bags and pre-decorated boxes for gift-wrapping presents.
36 Ask her best girlfriend or her mother for help. Ask her to go shopping with you (secretly!).Tell her you want to spend one afternoon shopping for a year's worth of gifts for your partner. Establish a budget, let her think about it for a week, then go shopping together.
It's Not What You Do
68 Don't just walk into the house tonight the way you always do.Pause on the porch; ring the doorbell;
and greet her with one red rose and a bottle of champagne.
71 Not that it really matters, but I was just wondering . . .
- Why do we have birthday cakes and wedding cakes, but no anniversary cakes or Valentine's cakes?
- Why do we have Christmas tree ornaments, but no special ornaments with which to celebrate other special occasions?
- Why is Columbus Day a national holiday, but Valentine's Day isn't?
- Why is it crude to tell jokes that characterize races and religions in stereotyped ways, but it's acceptable to be a "gender bigot" and stereotype men and women?
But How You Do It
72 Want to jazz up the presentation of a special meal?Buy a little hunk of dry ice from a local ice house. Put it in a bowl of water and place it on your serving tray. You'll create wondrous, billowing white clouds!
75 Okay, let's say you've decided to give her the complete collection of The Moody Blues' (her all-time favorite group) albums. Let's now give this gift a creative twist. Instead of simply wrapping the CDs and handing them to her, do this:
- Remove the CDs from their cases.
- Hide the CDs around the house.
- Gift-wrap all the CD cases separately.
- Attach a note to each gift . . .
- Each note gives clues to the location of the CD . . .
- And each note's clues are based on each album's title.
- Days of Future Passed is hidden in a photo album.
- To Our Children's Children's Children is in the kids' toy box.
- On the Threshold of a Dream is hidden in your bedroom.
- Long Distance Voyager is hidden along with airline tickets to Tahiti.
756 Dress up for dinner at home. Tuxedo for him, evening gown for her.
757 Hire a pianist to play during a romantic dinner at home.
758 Anything from Tiffany's.
759Take a leisurely stroll through a local park or public garden.
760 Learn calligraphy so you can create incredible love letters for him/her.
761 Get a pair of crystal champagne flutes. Use them often!
762 Hire a limousine for an elegant evening out.
763 Have dinner-for-two prepared in your home by the best chef in town.
A Kiss Is Just a Kiss
94 Give her one Hershey's Kiss.
Give her one thousand Hershey's Kisses.
Remove all the little paper strips (that say "Kisses" on them) from a couple hundred Hershey's Kisses. Fill a little jewelry box with them. Wrap 'em up and present them to her.
Write a clever certificate explaining that the little paper slips are coupons
redeemable for one kiss each.95 Best movie kisses:
96 Best songs about kissing:
- The Way We Were: When Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford kiss in front of her fireplace.
- Life Is Beautiful: The kiss underneath the banquet table.
- Gone with the Wind: When Rhett steals a major kiss from Scarlett while he's helping her escape as Atlanta burns.
- "Kiss Me in the Rain," by Barbra Streisand
- "One More Kiss," from the Broadway musical Follies
- "Kiss," by Prince
- "Shut Up and Kiss Me," by Mary Chapin Carpenter
- "Blowing Kisses in the Wind," by Paula Abdul
- "It's Been a Long, Long Time," by Bing Crosby
- "Kiss Me Baby," by The Beach Boys
- "Kiss You All Over," by Exile
- "Say It with a Kiss," by Billie Holiday
- "Sealed with a Kiss," by Bobby Vinton
- "Put That Kiss Back Where You Found It," by Benny Goodman
Daily & Weekly & Monthly & Yearly
Daily Romantic Checklist:
- Compliment your partner.
- Spend twenty minutes of uninterrupted time together.
- Check in with each other during the day.
- Perform one small and unexpected gesture.
- Say "I love you" at least three times.
- Thank your partner for something.
- Look for romantic concepts in the newspaper.
- Take an extra minute when kissing good-bye.
A Weekly Romantic Checklist:
223c A Monthly Romantic Checklist
- Bring home one small, unexpected gift or present.
- Share some form of physical intimacy.
- Share an entire afternoon or evening together.
- Share two insights you gained this week.
- Write at least one little love note.
- Mail something to your partner.
- Make love!
- Plan something special for the upcoming weekend.
- Plan one romantic surprise for this month.
- Re-stock your stash of greeting cards.
- Go out to dinner once or twice.
- Rent at least two romantic movies.
- Make love several times!
- Make plans for a three-day romantic weekend sometime in the next three months.
- Plan one romantic event with a seasonal theme.
A Yearly Romantic Checklist
- Make a New Year's resolution to be a more creative romantic.
- Make plans for your next anniversary.
- Think of an unusual way to celebrate your partner's birthday.
- Review your plans for your next vacation.
- Create a special "Romance" category in your household budget.
- Make plans for Valentine's Day well in advance!
794 Select a theme for the weekend based on a type of movie.
(It could be a film genre, like westerns, science fiction or musicals; or it could be based on a favorite actor or character in a movie.) Rent three movies that match the theme and then: Rent costumes that match the theme! Exercise your creativity and sense of fun with a little fantasy!
795 Surprise your partner with an unexpected three-day weekend.
Arrange it ahead of time with his or her boss and staff. This may take some time to coordinate just right, but the payoff is well worth it!
Just picture the scene:It's a typical Friday morning. You both get up at your usual time. You shower and get dressed. Over breakfast you turn to your unsuspecting partner and say, "Oh, by the way, we've both got the day off work today. What would you like to do?"After your partner recovers from the shock and showers you with kisses and thank-yous you get to plan the day together. What are you going to do?? Go back to bed and sleep til noon? Go back to bed and make love? Go for a drive? Go shopping? Go out for lunch?796 The surprise get-away weekend is a romantic classic.
Find a quaint bed and breakfast or picturesque inn. Pack bags for both of you, and whisk your partner away upon his or her arrival home from work!
797 What if you have a house full of kids? Try the "Distraction Diversion": Rent several of your kids' favorite movies; buy a ten-pound bag of popcorn and a bunch of juice boxes. The kids sit hypnotically in front of the TV while the two of you escape upstairs for some "quality time" together.
847 Set a goal of generating or discovering one new romantic idea each day for a year.(Your commitment will help draw ideas to you.) Keep your notes, articles, comics, ads and miscellaneous reminders in a shoebox under your bed.
Train your subconscious mind to find romantic ideas for you.
Hey, why should your subconscious mind be doing nothing but daydreaming all day long while the rest of your mind is doing all the work? Scientists say that we only use about 10 percent of our brains: This is a way to boost your brain efficiency to 25 percent or better!
Seriously, you can assign a small portion of your brain the task of being constantly on the lookout for romantic ideas. The goal is to retrain your mind to stop filtering out those ideas, and start letting them come to the attention of your conscious mind. What starts happening is that romantic articles and gift ideas will start "jumping out at you." Guaranteed.849 Practice creating "Variations on a Theme" for generating romantic ideas.
Start with any idea and build on it, expand it, extend it.
- Start with "greeting cards": Buy one; buy a hundred! Make some yourself. Send one-a-day for a week, send one-a-day for a month! Frame some cards that she's given you.
- Start with "candy": What's her favorite? Buy ten pounds of it. Fill her shoes with candy; fill her purse, her glove compartment, her pillow. Send it to her at work. Spell out words with it. Create trails throughout the house with it.
Be My Valentine!
274 For future reference:Buy an extra bag of Valentine Conversation Heart candies and save them for use six months later.
275 While sharing stories from their childhoods,
Pete told Deb that, because he grew up poor, he was unpopular in grammar school. Every Valentine's Day when the children would decorate their shoeboxes so they could deliver Valentines to each other, Pete's box always remained empty. Deb thought this was the saddest thing she'd ever heard.For the next Valentine's Day she decorated a shoebox and filled it with Valentines. And Deb promised him that he would never go without a Valentine again.
Little Love Stories
876 Charlie and his girlfriend Randi were aboard Continental Airlines flight 191
from Newark to San Francisco. Shortly after takeoff the pilot made this announcement: "I have an important message for the passenger in seat 3-B. Will you marry the gentleman in seat 3-A? If the answer is yes, press the Call Button for the flight attendant." As Randi burst into tears, Charlie kept saying "Push the button!" When she did, a flight attendant came up with a silver tray, champagne and the ring!
877 Mary was a Beanie Baby fanatic.Her husband, Bob, hired a custom doll-maker to create a "Beanie Bob" for her.
878 Tom arrived home from running errands one Saturday morning
to find his wife, Susan, gone. His daughter handed him a note from her:
"Go to the drug store. See the pharmacist." Even though his first reaction was, "Why? Who's sick?" he went along. What else could he do but follow instructions? When he started up the car, a tape of romantic music started playing. ("Ah, ha! I think something's going on here!") The pharmacist had a card for him: "Happy Anniversary! Now, head for the liquor store!" A bottle of champagne was waiting for him there, along with another note: "Ready to celebrate? Not yet! On to the men's shop first!" A monogrammed shirt was his surprise there. The note was no longer a surprise: "Almost done! But first, please stop at the grocery store." A picnic basket packed with goodies was ready for him there.The last note simply had an address on it. It led him to a romantic little bed and breakfast, where Susan was waiting for him. The rest, as they say, is history.
942 Always kiss each other hello and goodbye. Be there for each other always.
Create an environment of love. Do it. Escape from the kids. Fight fair. Give of your time. Handle with care. Inspire your partner with your love. Judge not. Keep your good memories alive. Listen to her. Make love with your partner's needs foremost. Never go to bed angry. Offer to handle an unpleasant chore. Praise him. Quality Time isn't just for the kids. Respect her feelings. Say what you feel when you feel it. Tell her you love her every day. Every day. Understand your differences. Valentine's Day is every day. Walk together; talk together. Excite your partner as only you know how. You can never say "I love you" too often. Zero-in on his little passions.
943 Give your partner a "Romantic ABCs Coupon":
Write the letters of the alphabet on twenty-six slips of paper.
The coupon-holder picks one letter out of a hat.
The coupon-giver will create a day of romance with gifts and gestures that all begin with that letter.
1Make a heart-shaped pizza.
2Your initials in a heart in skywriting.
3Cut the kitchen sponges into heart shapes.
4While out at a formal dinner, nonchalantly draw a heart on the back of his hand with a pen.
5Have a heart-shaped pool built.
6Your initials in a heart on wet cement in a sidewalk.
7Trace a heart shape in fogged-up windows.
8Your initials in a twenty-foot heart in the snow.
9A quilt with a heart motif.
10Your initials in a heart-etched on a brick in your patio.
11Place the pepperoni in the shape of a heart on the pizza.
12Trace a fifty-foot heart in the sand on a beach.
13Grill burgers in the shape of a heart.
15For math nuts: r = a (1-cosA).
16Use heart-shaped stickers .
17Band-Aids with heart designs.
18Trace a thirty-foot heart on the ice when ice skating.
19Heart-shaped place mats.
20A silk tie with hearts on it.
21A heart-shaped chunk of cheese.
22A mug with hearts on it.
23A heart-shaped mug.
24A heart-shaped door mat.
25Socks with heart designs on them.
28A front-yard flag with hearts on it.
29Poke holes in a heart-shape in the crust of a freshly baked pie.
30Make heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies.
32The classic heart-shaped box of chocolates.
33Heart-shaped chocolate treats.
34Carve a heart with your initials in a tree.
35Get a heart-shaped tattoo with her initials in it.
36Greeting cards with heart.
37Fold the dinner napkins into heart shapes.
38Silk boxer shorts with a heart motif.
39Draw hearts on the bathroom mirror with lipstick.
40Use only Love Stamps with heart shapes on them.
41Find a wine with a heart motif on the label.
42Heart-shaped rubber stamps.
44Heart designs in icing on a cake.
47Heart-shaped picture frames.
49Heart-shaped ice cubes.
50A heart-shaped rug.
51Find a heart-shaped Jell-O mold.
52Cut banana slices into heart shapes and put them in Jell-O.
53Shape pancakes into heart shapes.
54Cut toast into heart shapes.
55Cut a heart shape out of toast and fry an egg in the center.
56Heart-shaped Rice Krispy Treats.
57Slice strawberries into heart-shapes.
58A heart-shaped pendant.
59A heart-shaped pin.
62Heart-shaped red balloons.
63Heart-shaped cookie cutters.
64Heart-shaped key rings.
Heart-shaped candy conversation hearts.
Best of the Best
- Best romantic gift: The gift of time
- Best romantic present: Your own presence
- Best romantic car: Triumph Spitfire
- Most romantic comic strip: Rose Is Rose
- Best romantic TV show: Mad About You
- Most romantic city (in the world): Verona, Italy
- Most romantic city (in the USA): San Francisco, California
- Best romantic color: Red/PMS #1795 CVU
- Most romantic Broadway musical: Phantom of the Opera
- Best romantic movie: Casablanca
- Best romantic actress: Greta Garbo
- Best romantic actor: Clark Gable
- Best romantic hotel: The Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
- Best romantic voice (male): Barry White
- Best romantic voice (female): Sade
- Best romantic song: "You are So Beautiful (To Me)," by Joe Cocker
- Best Brief Advice
994 Gals: You want more romance? Give him more sex.
(Try having sex every night after night after night after night until he begs you to stop! Just try it as a little experiment. It just might transform your ho-hum relationship into a raging love affair!)
995 Guys: You want more sex? Give her more romance.(Romance her like Don Juan. Like Romeo. Like Clark Gable. Romance her every day in every way. Romance her using every single idea in this book and then think up one thousand and one more ways to be romantic. And she'll give you all the sex you could ever dream of.)
996 Best way to create more time in your life:Shoot your TV.
997 Use gifts and presents to express love and appreciation.
Don't use them to apologize after a fight or make up for some dumb thing you've done. This strategy eventually backfires.
998 The unasked-for gift is most appreciated.
The surprise gift is most cherished.