Preparing for Valentine's Day

Dorothy L. Harris

Ah, it's Valentine's Day tomorrow and this means chocolate. For as long as I can remember, for me, Valentine's equals a big, heart-shaped box of confectionary goodies.

As a child, I remember watching my dad bring my mom what seemed to my young eyes as the biggest, hugest box of chocolates every year. I adore candy and knew, even at a young age, that this stuff was something special. This wasn't the mass produced, chocolate-like stuff of our Easter baskets - no this was different. Nestled inside those ribbon-adorned hearts were small pieces of fancy sugar enrobed with a thick coating of really yummy chocolate.

Mom's heart was hands-off for us kids, but it wasn't long before dad starting bringing home smaller ones for us girls too. We didn't share either, but hoarded our hearts for the whole 90 minutes or so it took us to devour them. Valentine's Day became all about the chocolate.

It's not surprisingly then that our daughter also equates Valentine's Day with boxed chocolate. Our preference is always Russell Stover, preferably dark chocolate whenever possible. There's still something about that first moment opening the box when the aroma of cocoa lifts into the air. It is pure bliss.

I suppose this makes it really easy for Mr. Harris. There are plenty of Russell Stover options and as long as they don't stop making chocolate, he's got his Valentine's shopping list all buttoned up. One heart, two heart and he's done. Don't get me wrong, flowers are lovely, perfume delightful and jewelry is never a bad choice, but forget the chocolates and my Valentine's Day is a bust.

Unfortunately for me, Mr. Harris isn't as easy to please on Valentine's Day. He's a typical guy and while chocolate is okay, it's not enjoyed at the same level, so there's not a box I can buy that makes him all happy.

Like most guys, I think he'd rather have a few less complaints from me than a big box of confections. I should probably throw in a few more smiles and maybe a little money he could blow on whatever strikes his fancy. (Sorry dear, no bass boat this year.) If we end the day with a big steak dinner and little something-something later that evening, he'll be a perfectly happy camper, even if there's a little indigestion.

This sort of sums up Valentine's Day though doesn't it? It's all about making sure you know what to do to show your love that you love them. Keeping the warm fuzzies going in a long-term relationship can be a real struggle at times. The daily routine saps our strength while the demands of life never seem to stop. Every day there's another problem, a new issue or an excuse to be lazy and forget about showing your loved one how special they are to you. It's a never-ending battle to keep the romance alive for most folks.

Let today be a day when you make a plan for your guy or gal. Spend a few moments thinking about what really makes them happy and then do it. Fill a jar with notes about how much you love them and why. Bake a cake or a lovely dinner right at home. Take her out to her favorite restaurant. Go fishing with him like he always wants you to do. Just for one night, do whatever it takes to remind them how special they are to you. You'll find that planning and preparing are what makes romance romantic and ensures your Valentine's Day is one to remember this year.