10 Valentine’s Day Romance Tips I WON'T Be Taking, Thanks

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I love love. I also happen to love Valentine’s Day, which opens me up to ridicule every single year from beloved friends and family, who totally don’t know how to get on board with celebrating every holiday to the max.

CB: I don’t understand why on earth you like this made-up holiday.

Me: I love love and I’m impervious to your judgment.

Me: It’s Valentine’s Day Week!

CB: Seriously? You’ve turned the one day into an entire week?

Me: Um yes. Have we met? This is how I roll. I love love.

However, I think maybe I’m doing love wrong, because I just read an article taken from 1001 Ways to Be Romantic, in which nearly every single “tip” about how to romance it up on Valentine’s Day left me realizing that either CB has gotten the tremendously short end of the stick, or perhaps people who write love tips don't have couples like us in mind.

You be the judge.

#1. Do things in a big way.

Here's a quote: "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."

OK, a couple points to be made here. One, I appreciate the writer's drawing me in by giving names to this couple. Right away, I totally understand who Craig and Mary are, though I doubt she’s quite as lovable as he is. However, I’m unclear about just who would consider John Philip Sousa marches romantic. Nonetheless, I can appreciate the gesture that Mary is making here, and for that, she receives one point.

marching band drums
Image: Renee Silverman via Flickr

However, if I came home to a two hundred and forty-three-member marching band in CB’s studio apartment, a couple things would happen:

  • I’d immediately begin worrying for CB’s safety and wonder where he was, since he would likely be crushed by the tuba player who was layered up on top of the trombonist because his apartment is approximately 400 square feet.
  • I’d wonder where CB met a high school marching band in his free time and would perhaps have to begin a conversation about hobbies.

Either way, romance lost, moment ruined.

Moving on.

#2. Go through revolving doors together.

I basically just skipped right over this one because it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. But let’s play this one out, just for kicks.

First of all, shoving yourself into a revolving door with your partner isn’t romantic. It’s mildly terrifying and probably a fire hazard. Also, you’d be so busy giving each other footing orders on how to properly make it through this moment alive and without face planting into the glass, that you’d totally forget that you were supposed to be sharing a romantic moment altogether.

Uh, and don’t even try to give each other a peck or anything. That’s just asking for a Bridget Jones moment, and you’re probably not even getting to kiss Colin Firth. Not worth it.

#3. 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.

Yeah, I’m just going to go ahead and say that this sounds way too close to a math story problem for me, and so I’d have to skip the love all around. Also, what if one of you was sick on your even/odd day? Does the other person take over romance duties? What if you’re too sick for romance? And then do you double-up? And then when do you decide who’s day it is after you’ve each done double-duty after you got over pneumonia?

It’s very complicated, gives me anxiety, and also sounds like something unsustainable – like dieting. Again, romance lost, no love for CB.

#4. "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!"

Oh sweet Lord, please don’t “jazz up” my food. I’m barely able to wait for us to both be served before diving in as it is, because I’m like a bear who’s been hibernating all winter. Also, if there was weird, billowy smoke coming from the serving tray I didn’t know we owned, I’d probably worry that it was on fire, run to get the fire extinguisher, and put out the fake romance fire. Thus, ruining the entire meal altogether. And, most likely, the romance. Because that foamy extinguisher stuff is hard to get out of the carpet, and I hate a mess.

#5. Dress up for dinner at home. Tuxedo for him, evening gown for her.

This could work for CB if he wasn’t dating a Golden Girl. The first order of business when I walk through the door is to immediately take my clothes off, and not in a romantic, Victoria’s Secret-type way, either. I’m like “Ugh, I need my house pants, stat!” while CB sits there and counts all the ways he can’t believe he got so lucky.

Also, CB is bringing the perfect amount of romance on Thursday by taking me out to dinner, and so I made sure to really class up the moment by asking him if I had to wear a skirt, which then caused me anxiety over clothing options. So, let’s just go ahead and assume I don’t own an evening gown, m’kay?

#6. Hire a pianist to play during a romantic dinner at home.

Please don’t do this. First of all, not only will you have to hire a pianist, but you’ll have to ask him to bring his own piano, and then it just gets weird for all parties involved.

Also, let’s think this through. While it might be quaint for a few minutes, it’d get weird REAL fast. I mean, not only is there a stranger playing music in your living room, but he’s sitting there while you try to have a romantic meal? I sort of picture it feeling similar to when someone has a guitar and takes it out to play for you, but then the song lasts a little too long and then you’re not sure how much longer you can hold an interested smile before giving them the subliminal message that it’s gotten weird in an uncomfortable way.

I mean, I’d be good for two or three short ditties, TOPS, and then I’d be like “So no, for real, is this guy staying through dessert? Because I’d really like to put my house pants on sometime soon so I can let the pasta expand and get ready for the chocolate.”

#7. Learn calligraphy so you can create incredible love letters for him/her.

Question: Can anyone ever actually read calligraphy? I thought that this was just something we all thought was pretty, but didn't actually understand. Am I alone here? Because I can’t tell you the last time I understood anything written on the Bill of Rights. I mean, for as long as it took them to put that thing together, you’d think it’d be easier to read!

Also, this would go hand-in-hand with the hobby conversation from Romance Item #1 above. If CB has enough time to learn calligraphy, perhaps he has enough time to think of something not lame to show his affection.

#8. Give her one Hershey's Kiss. Give her one thousand Hershey's Kisses.

Another quote: "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."

I really thought this one through and realized that it might be the worst romance tip yet. First of all, giving someone one thousand Hersey’s Kisses pieces of paper is like the love equivalent of when people put those sparkle bombs in the party envelopes, and so when you open your mail, there’s, like, one billion pieces of glitter all over your rug.

Also, please don’t give me paper you ripped off of chocolate candy. Just give me the candy. Are you new here?

#9. Select a theme for the weekend based on a type of movie.

Another quote: "(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!"

Don’t do this. Also, if someone ever made me act out a science fiction or western, I’d probably break up with them out of the mere fact that we clearly have no common interests.

However, I will admit that I played this one out in my head, just for laughs, to see if it’d actually work.

For example, letting me watch When Harry Met Sally and then taking me to Washington Square Park while I wear long khaki shorts and a blue cardigan could be fun. And also not outside of my normal wardrobe.

However, it’d probably have to end there, because otherwise we’d just be walking all over New York City while CB says stuff like “pecan piiiiiiiiiiiiie” and I’m really annoying when we order food. And then we’d both get tired of it after about 15 minutes, realize we were all the way in the city anyway, head over to Beth and Matt’s to hang out and play Cranium, and call it a day. Romance lost, moment ruined.

#10. Buy an extra bag of Valentine Conversation Heart candies and save them for use six months later.

And then after you do that, call your dentist because you will break all of your teeth. For real. Have you eaten a candy heart on a normal day? Those things are challenging. Leave ‘em in a bag for 6 months and you better have the oral surgeon on speed dial.

I’m just saying.

So perhaps it’s just me, but I need to hazard a guess that I’m not the only one who thinks some time alone with someone you love and some dessert thrown in there for good measure is really all a person needs in life. No?

But you tell me. What are you all doing for the day that love calls home? 

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