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Valentine's Day surprises unlikely to disappoint
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Forsyth County News

Happy Valentine’s Day! How many readers celebrate this holiday?

I suppose the biggest fans of Valentine’s Day are young children and teenage girls. I well remember making my shoebox Valentine’s mailbox for school and carefully addressing all of those cards.

Our children were fond of the holiday. Of course, who doesn’t want something to look forward to after the festivities of December and the monotony of winter?

Our daughters loved making heart-shaped cookies, candies and chocolate truffles.

As they get older, little boys tend to dismiss the occasion and are really only interested in the candy.

In fact, I am pretty sure there were several years in elementary school when I addressed both of our sons Valentines for their entire classes.

As an adult, most of my friends say they never really cared about the day, but said it was a good excuse to get a baby-sitter and go out to a nice dinner with their spouse.

I recently saw a funny commercial where a couple was sitting on the couch and the husband says, “What do you want for Valentine’s Day?” The wife casually says, “Oh, nothing.”

Then, an alarm goes off, loudly warning that is not true and the husband had better buy her something or he will be in big trouble.

Ever been in the grocery store the night of Valentine’s Day or the night before if it falls on a Sunday, as it does this year?

It’s quite funny to see the husbands scurrying about, grabbing bouquets of roses and chocolates, perhaps a bottle of champagne too.

I do think it is sweet that they are not going to arrive home empty-handed.

While I don’t think we have to spend a ton of money on our sweethearts on this day, I do think doing something special is always appreciated.

Perhaps go out to a nice brunch after church or — guys — offer to cook her a big breakfast. And by all means, offer to clean the kitchen. Or go out to dinner tonight, or decide on some special meal to prepare together tonight.

We never go out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but do enjoy a special dinner together. When the children were young, that was much more challenging, but it is easy to do now.

I usually make something fairly rich and decadent. This year, our menu includes shrimp bisque, filets and sea scallops, along with some beautiful asparagus I found that remind me spring is not too far off.

We also watch some sort of romantic comedy, something Paul doesn’t even complain about once a year.

As far as gifts go, I love that I almost always get a few candles from Juls, my favorite local candle shop.

If I do get flowers, Paul knows I like a living plant, flowering or not. Dying flowers are too depressing in the winter.

My favorite gift? Paul writes me a handwritten note.

The first year or so of our marriage, he gave me store-bought cards. Although they were no doubt carefully chosen, I always wanted to hear his words.

I finally got up the nerve to tell him as much, and ever since then he writes me handwritten cards, complete with the “PaulMark” insignia on the back. I have kept every card and love re-reading them.

So for those sitting there drinking coffee and reading the newspaper, who maybe weren’t planning on doing anything very “Valentine’s-like,” why not surprise the spouse and make a date? No one will be disappointed.


Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at