HG: Annie Payne Column February 14, 2009

VALENTINE ANNIE-GRAM Tips and tidbits for you with love

I know what happened.

You woke up this morning, opened the newspaper and realized that Valentine’s Day has arrived without a single thought of preparation on your part.

Then, you opened your wallet and noticed that we are in a recession.

Don’t hide your head in shame and disappointment just yet. Your ever-faithful love doctor/domestic doyenne is here!

If you are a regular reader of my articles, you know how much I love a good anagram. So, here is my Valentine’s-themed Annie-gram chock-full of tips and tidbits for the most romantic day of the year.

V is for votives

These dainty little candles are easy to find and are an inexpensive way to set the right tone for a romantic evening.

Imagine the effect of a few dozen little lights in your boudoir, lining the dressers, nightstands and windowsills. Remember, the more votives, the bigger the impact.

But this mother of multiples gives you fair warning. According to this Chinese proverb, ”It is
not economical to go to bed early to save candles if the result is twins.”

Truer words have not been spoken, o’ ye wise one of the Orient.

A is for apology

What better day than today to let bygones be bygones and wipe the slate clean?

Empty your heavy heart of remorse, regret and rancor and make peace with someone with a sincere apology. A simple “I’m sorry” goes a long way, and it won’t cost you a thing.

Well, maybe just your pride, but pride never kept anyone warm at night.

L is for light

I’m not talking about just any old light, but red light.

Perhaps you are a pyrophobiac and lighting a bajillion little candles will only set the mood for your next anxiety attack.

Instead, light up the night with a string of red lights across your headboard. I’m sure you have a set in your Christmas decoration box.

What? No red? No problem. Along with the other light bulbs at the grocery store, there are
red bulbs for your bedside lamp.

I bet you have never noticed them before, because you’ve never looked, but they are there, waiting for you.

And everyone, I don’t care who you are, looks better in red light. Everyone.

E is for express

Express your love for your sweetheart with poetry. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a literary or romantic bone in your body. Visit http://www.poemhunter.com.

All you have to do is enter in some keywords and it will find a poem to match. I wanted a poem with the words “field” and “sunflower” in it, and I found a beautiful one from a
Colorado poet, no less.

It was so easy, that I tried to be a little more creative. I picked the words “monkey” and “waffles” and wouldn’t you know it, there was a poem with that exact title, “Monkeys and Waffles.”

Time to start wearing my tinfoil hat again; someone is in my head.

(Warning: Unpaid endorsements to follow.)

N is for now

Now that I am a mother of three children, the romance factor of Valentine’s Day has diminished, somewhat.

I think less about what I am going to wear on my hot date and more about whether my kids
remembered to make a Valentine for each child in their class. But, I love it.

I love that Valentine’s Day is now a family affair. You won’t find my husband, Secret Agent
Man, and me holding hands across a candlelit table in an expensive restaurant tonight.

Instead, we will be dining at home with the kids on Nick-N-Willy’s heart-shaped pizza that is easy on the family budget. Saturday is pizza and movie night in the Payne home. Tonight will be made that much more special with a take-and-bake pizza made not just with love, but in the shape of love.

T is for Target

This has got to be the most romantic store in town. I was there earlier this week and I couldn’t believe the selection of Valentine’s items: placemats, movies, even T-shirts.
I know what you’re thinking. “But, Annie, can’t I get all the same stuff at Wal-Mart? Why Target?”

Because Target has red carts. And it’s Valentine’s Day. Hello?

Besides, I needed something for the letter “T” in my anagram. It’s not “Valenwine’s” Day.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t planned or prepared until now. There are still a few hours left. Your sweetheart doesn’t have to know you forgot.

After you read my article, go to Target for one-stop shopping on candy, cards and romantic comedy.

I is for insane

Plato said, “Love is a mental disease.” In that case, put me in a padded room because I am completely insane for Secret Agent Man.

People criticize Tom Cruise for jumping on Oprah’s couch, but I saw a man who was just loco bananas for his woman. Do something crazy and unexpected for your Valentine.

N is for neglect

Slough off the weekend projects and focus on your loved ones. The mess in the garage will wait and so will your closet organization project.

Give the gift of your undivided attention. Aside from love, nothing is more priceless than time.

E is for every day

Every day is Valentine’s Day when you are with the ones you love.

Valentine’s Day is the only holiday that can actually be celebrated day after day. Show that your love is more than just a massed-produced card with someone else’s words by giving daily acts of service, thoughtfulness and kindness.

For more on an unpredictable variety of other topics, visit Annie Payne’s “Anniethology” blog online at Anniethology.blogspot.com.


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