Happy Valentine’s… Happy?

Although the majority of us generally accept the fact that Valentine’s Day is a just another corporate-sponsored observance designed to sell cards, flowers, and small teddy bears, you have to give the Hallmark people credit – knowing it’s a sham is one thing, but ignoring it is out of the question.

Explaining to your spouse, fiancée, boyfriend, girlfriends or significant other that Valentine’s "is a made-up day," does not get you out of your romantic obligations, but rather a one-way trip to the doghouse.

Women like romance and spontaneity, so a logically presented argument that refutes the existence and importance of Valentine’s is not going to make her melt. If anything, women are just as aware of the sham nature of Valentine’s Day as men, but that’s not really the point – if you can’t find it in you to go along with something you don’t agree with to make her happy, rising to the Valentine’s challenge with the appropriate romantic response, then you deserve what you get.

Reluctantly going through the motions isn’t going to ignite the flames of passion, either. You’re being judged whether you, or even they, know it or not.

Where’s the love?

Not sure what to do on Valentine’s Day to win that special someone over? If it’s all been done before, how does one differentiate him- or herself?

Nobody is expecting you to reinvent the wheel here, so feel free to crib some ideas from better romantics than you are – just be sure to match the idea to the girl, or you’re going to look weird.

Because money can’t buy love, some of the best ideas are the cheapest. Visit The Dollar Stretcher at for a list of affordable Valentine’s ideas.

You can find other ideas at The Romantic ( , and the St. Valentine’s Day Web Page ( ), and especially at Loving You ( http://holidays/ .

Setting the mood…

Candles, flowers and pink things are a gimme for Valentine’s Day, but nothing can set the tone of an evening like music – and Nine Inch Nails "Closer" and Eminem’s "Kim" probably won’t do it. If you have a computer, you won’t have to buy any CDs to set the mood, but you still could probably use some music suggestions. It’s not a bad time to show your worldly or sensitive side, as long as you can swear her to secrecy.

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