It’s taken me years to wean Mrs Romance off Valentine’s Day. I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, but I really don’t enjoy being held over the Hallmark barrel while restaurants and florists pull my pants down.
I also know it’s supposed to be the one time of year when all us red-blooded males get to show our softer sides without being mocked by our mates. Call me an extremist but I don’t like being told when I should be romantic. Seems quite, well, unromantic to me.
Instead of doing the usual of paying a fortune to go to an over-packed, over-priced, understaffed restaurant this Feb 14th, take a look at some of our suggestions for a Valentine’s revamp.
1. Against my general rule of no floor dining, take your beloved on a picnic. No need for bookings, no need to over-pay for a poorly cooked set menu, no need to share space with other suckers whose arms are being forced.
2. Take it in turns each year to cook a three course meal for your significant other. You can choose the menu or even better, put together things your sweetheart loves to eat.
3. Move away from food, take the day off and spend it with your lover. Go to a couple of galleries, the cinema, a park… it’s Valentine’s Day after all, not Valentine’s Night!
4. Go into the city for the day. The best thing about going into the CBD is that it’s just business as usual for most cafes and restaurants during office hours, so places shouldn’t be too busy or over-priced.
5. They tell us to say it with flowers, but the flowers just die. Take your better half to a botanic garden or ornamental garden for the day instead. See the flowers growing rather than curling up in dirty water on your dining room table. If it’s too cold, how about a trip to a butterfly park? They’re always lovely and warm.
6. Why does it have to be on the 14th? When we first got together on September 15 2000, Mrs Romance and I didn’t know how much longer we’d be able to see each other. We have been celebrating the 15th of every month for years. Make your Valentine’s Day whenever you want to, even if it’s just a couple of days either side of the 14th.
7. If you want to go all out, give your partner something special they can do in their own time. There are loads of online stores you can buy vouchers. Get him a day driving a racing car or get her a day at a beauty spa… or the other way round, who are we to pigeon-hole?! Try redballoon.com.au, adrenalin.com.au, giftsthatthrill.com.au, smartbox.com, greatamericandays.com, cloud9living.com, redletterdays.co.uk, experiencedays.co.uk or just try a Google search for ‘experience gift ideas’.
Whatever you end up doing with your heart’s desire, have a lovely lovers’ day. Cherish each other… and try not to argue!
Tell me, what are your plans for this Valentine’s Day?