I told someone recently that I didn’t even know what the word “romantic” really meant.
We were talking about the best and worst dates we had been on. I told him about the guy who asked me out for weeks, only to take me to Denny’s on our first date. And then there was the guy who was a lot of fun, until he dropped me off and proceeded to tell me a bunch of things inappropriate to print in this newspaper.
The word makes me think of all those things it’s assumed women should like, except I don’t.
For me, it’s not flowers — I like those living and in their natural state. Long, moonlit walks on the beach don’t sound very appealing. And dinners by candlelight just make it so I can’t see my food.
So it’s probably not surprising that I’ve never cared for Valentine’s Day, or the traditional gifts many men think women want to receive on the holiday.
First, unless your relationship involves a funny, inside joke about a heart shaped box of chocolates, know that the chocolates that usually come in those boxes taste much like their cardboard packaging.
Second, no adult woman needs a stuffed bear that says, “Be Mine.”
Third, despite what many men may think, lingerie isn’t really a gift for the ladies.
Finally, Denny’s is not the best choice for a first date.
Years of bad dates and horrible Valentine’s Day gifts haven’t made me bitter. Instead, those experiences made me look forward to, and appreciate the unexpected.
Feelings can’t be expressed in a card that took you 30 seconds to pick out, or the bunch of flowers you purchased because you felt you were supposed to.
It is however found in the gifts and gestures that most times, don’t cost a penny.
It’s when that person sends you a text message out of the blue that just says, “Hi.” Or a summer evening spent outside on a blanket, eating Jujyfruits and telling funny stories. Coming home to find a cooked meal waiting for you and a clean house isn’t too bad either.
It’s those moments that make the best gifts of all.
This Valentine’s Day, I won’t buy that special person anything, and I don’t expect anything either. But I will tell him that he makes me smile each day, and look forward to those unexpected moments that come when I’m least expecting it.
Because there’s no gift in any store aisle as romantic as that.
News-Review reporter, Rachel Brougham, will spend Valentine’s Day like any other — working, followed by cooking dinner for her family and going to bed early. And she’ll use the money she saved on a gift by buying herself chocolate — the good kind. If you have questions you want answers to — such as “what does the European economic crisis mean to me” or “What is better to use on roads, asphalt or cement?” — send them to Brougham at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will find the answers for you.
Each Thursday reporter Rachel Brougham will attempt to answer questions in this column. If you have suggestions, or have a topic you think needs to be addressed, email Rachel at email@example.com.