10 Valentine’s Day Ideas For The Unconventional

Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and if you’re still frantically trying to figure out the perfect way to celebrate, look no further!  I’ve complied a list of ten delightful romantic activities to present to your significant other, each of which I think will result in a special occasion he or she will never forget.  Even if they want to.

1.  Sign up for tango lessons.  Preferably with each other.  Don’t forget to stretch first–nothing ruins a good tango like a pulled hammy.

2.  Enjoy an elegant candlelight dinner on a luxurious yacht.  I do recommend that you get permission from the owner of the yacht first, or at the very least, confirm ahead of time that your pookie pie can swim in case you two will need to dive overboard to avoid an angry boat owner.

3.  Write an original poem for each other.  Set parameters in advance so one partner does not present the other with an epic work of multiple verses only to discover that his or her sweetie has chosen to go with a limerick and a few questionable choices in rhyme.

4.  Have a friend plan a “mystery date” for you and your honey bun.  Be sure this friend is someone you trust completely and who does not owe you such a significant amount of money that he or she would benefit if you never returned from said mystery date.

5.  Discover the hidden romance in yodeling.  In public.  Go ahead, I dare you.

6.  Give dining at a revolving restaurant a try.  Do pack Dramamine in case something goes horribly wrong.

7.  Play matchmaker with your single friends.  For added fun, do it without their knowledge and then laugh and laugh and laugh…

8.  Dance cheek-to-cheek.  Which cheeks you use are entirely up to you.

9.  Snuggle together with hot buttered rum in front of a roaring fire.  If you or your sweetheart don’t drink, just have hot butter.

10.  Role play “Pirate Captain” and “Saucy Wench.”  Flip a coin to see who gets which role.

There you go!  If those 10 activities don’t just scream “romance,” then I don’t know what does.  Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!  😉

Heeeeeeere It Comes!

Valentine’s Day, that is.  Every year I think I’ll do something really sweet or romantic or pyrotechnic for Valentine’s Day, but then I usually wind up settling for something like fluffy handcuffs—er, a card.  I mean a card.

(Sorry, Mom…)

Valentine’s Day is on a weekday this year.  That could be trouble.  Who has the energy to stir up a little romance after spending all day wrangling—I mean, educating—small children?  And supervising not one, but two classroom parties?  There’ll be cookie crumbs flying through the air, valentines underfoot everywhere I turn, and kids bouncing off the walls even before the sugar highs hit.  You know what’s romantic after that?  A foot rub, followed by a second foot rub.  And maybe one more.

But it’s Valentine’s Day.  Even if you decide to postpone festivities until the weekend because restaurants will be less crowded, you’ll have more energy, and all that practical stuff…you still want to do a little something on the actual day, don’t you?  It doesn’t have to be fancy.  At least, not if you’re me, it doesn’t.  That’s why I’m planning on giving my hubby a “Mr. Right” t-shirt and curling up on the sofa with him, a bowl of popcorn, and a re-run of Whose Line Is It Anyway because, to us, laughing so hard that a popcorn kernel flies out of your nose IS romantic.  We’re just kind of weird that way.

Either that or we’ll get matching tattoos.

Romance vs. The Flu Bug

Despite the fact that we’re really not all that far away from Valentine’s Day—and the fact that I have a romance novel being published in a couple of months (nice little plug there, don’t you think?)—I’m finding it difficult to get into the spirit of romance right now.  I can’t be sure, but I think it might have something to do with the fact that I spend five days a week surrounded by runny noses and hacking coughs.  And occasional incidents of projectile vomiting.

Triage nurse, you wonder?  Or maybe a doctor with the CDC?

No.  Kindergarten teacher.

My poor kiddos have been dropping like flies this past month.  I’ve gone through so many Clorox wipes that I should have bought stock in the company, but it still feels like the germs are winning.  I’m tempted to issue my students facemasks and daily rations of chicken soup; my husband swears by its curative powers.

So it’s a little hard to come home from work right now, fire up my computer, and create a scene that sparkles with romance and wonder.  I keep wanting to write something more like this:

Her eyes, so bright with fever, were like heavenly constellations that dazzled Roderigo as he gazed into their glassy depths.  Beads of sweat glistened on her brow as she reached with tremulous fingers to bring a tissue to her nose and blow it.  Crumpling the used tissue, she let it fall to the floor to join the others that were sprinkled there like magnolia blossoms dotting the ground after a breezy spring day.

“Darling,” she whispered, her voice congested and hoarse from coughing.  “I hab neber felt this way about ady man.  Come to me, and bring the Vick’s vapor rub.”

 Doesn’t quite work, does it?  Well, perhaps in the rewrite…

If You Dig Jane Austen…

If you’re the type of person who occasionally finds herself in heated arguments over things like whether or not it’s sacrilege to have anyone but Colin Firth play Mr. Darcy, or whether Heathcliff was more of a tortured soul than Mr. Rochester—then have I got a movie for you!

Well, a miniseries actually.  So if you’ve got four hours to kill (yep, four hours) and a penchant for 19th century British romance, check out the BBC’s North and South (2004).

It’s based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell, and apparently I need to get out more because I’d never heard of it before a couple of weeks ago.  When I looked it up, I found out that when it first aired, it was so popular that people who saw it literally overwhelmed the message board on its website and caused it to crash.  Sounds like a ringing endorsement to me!

So I watched it, and I loved it, and I’ll bet you will, too.  It’s got a hero and heroine who are both flawed but likeable, and the romance that develops between them despite obstacles is one of the sweetest I’ve seen on film in a long time.

You can find it on Amazon or even watch it in parts on YouTube.  If you do see it, let me know what you think!