Celebrating VD without the guilt (Valentine’s Day. You know what I mean)

Chocolate is the old standby for Valentine’s Day, but this is 2008 for crying out loud.

Peter Parker may no longer be married to Mary Jane due to a silly twist of fate by balding Marvel executives, but that doesn’t mean you have to cave to Mephisto in a moment of deus ex machina comic book angst (Lord, I feel my Marvel stocks dropping daily).

While the typical response is to spend the day in a way that makes Hallmark’s stockholders smile, filled with chocolates and flowers, why not try some new moves for your new grooves?

1. Coupon book! Nothing says you made it yourself like coupons for things like foot rubs, their ability to rule the remote for a day (OK, now I’m going too far, I know), a date to their favorite spot, to make their favorite meal. You could also put in slips of paper in there that say things like, “You tell the naked neighbor he can’t urinate in our bushes anymore.” Thosea re the big favors in life.

2. A scavenger hunt. Take slips of paper with clues to the location of the next clues. At the end of the hunt they get their prize. What is it? This is a family board. Use your imagination. I recommend it not be a pair of socks though, ok kids? Unless the socks ROCK! Then they can rock your socks.

3. A vegetable bouquet. Nothing says “lettuce enjoy this Valentine’s Day” like a little arugula romance. A bouquet made up of fresh produce is not only colorful, but it’s a healthy way to say, “I love you”. Or at least, “I saved money at Albertson’s on produce.”

4. Spa Day! Treat yourself (or your honey) to a day of pampering at a local spa. Not only are you supporting a local business, but you’re giving something that goes beyond the momentary enjoyment a chocolate might bring. A day at the spa is something you’re likely to not forget.

5. Give something red. This year, why not have a heart by helping others? Donate to your favorite charity in your sweetheart’s name. Donating blood is also a great way to honor someone.

6. Random Acts of Chocolate. So let’s just say someone DOES give you chocolate. Unless you tie them to the chair and take great pleasure in popping confections at their forehead (which, incidentally is considered assault, not that I know this first hand and stop looking at me that way), why not surprise a neighbor with them? Leave the goodies on their doorstep with a card, signed or anonymous.

7. Think pink! Who says low-carbing it can’t be fun? Use food coloring to make your cream cheese pink, your mashed cauliflower pink, and don’t forget… you can even put a couple drops in your water for some cupid-refreshment! Yes, it sounds like everyone is drinking pepto-water, but schmaltz is Valentine’s Day.

8. Send me a sign. Pull out all the stops this year and decorate the front of your house or apartment to show the sweet baboo of your life how much you love them. Pink and red balloons, streamers, signs in the yard… the cornier and more obnoxious, the better! Tell the neighborhood! Just don’t accidentally set the lawn on fire. Don’t ask.

9. Wanted Take out a small advertisement in your local paper and proclaim your love! To your spouse. Not to cheese. Like last time.

10. Sweet note-things. Leave notes around where you know they’ll be found using small quips about things you like about them. Under the toilet seat? “You bowl me over, Valentine”. In her shoes? “You’re my heart and my sole.” You get the picture! Just don’t knock it off the wall. Again. It didn’t work last year either.

11. If you have girls, paint their nails. Paint your nails. Nail paint for everyone! Save for the mailman. He might enjoy it, but let’s face it. The Hendersons were angry the last time he delivered their TV Guide late.

12. If you have sons, do something boy-centric with them. Any ideas? I usually treat them a rousing board game where imaginary blood and guts are sprayed across a Milton-Bradley landscape. We’re Settlers of Cataan and Carcassonne fans. We play board games anyway (yeah, I’m a geek. I OWN it), but why not also make it an occasion?

13. Guitar Hero or video games–and you’re playing too. Quitcher whining. . I know the last time you tried to rock out to Guitar Hero you fell over the ottoman and crushed the dog, but Peanut is over it, and those righteous Dragon Force riffs are calling your name. Along with the insurance company. Try not to fall out of the window. Again.

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  1. Cleo you are one in a million. When you publish your book of essays will you autograph my copy?

  2. Let me tell you what.

    If ever I’m that lucky, I’d give you sock, too.

    That way one thing would always stink less than the other.

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