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Valentine's Day Panic!

by Amanda Forester

*Note - after comment I have removed spoilers just in case you didn't watch Downton last night.

I'm late posting a blog today, but I got so caught up in Downton Abbey I could not tear myself away to write it. I've found clips of future episodes on you tube, but I will refrain! Ok, I will mostly refrain. Mostly I said!

Anyway, the point of this blog is not to talk of star crossed lovers, but of acknowledged ones. Married people. People in relationships. You see it is Valentine's Day Eve. In other words, time to PANIC!

If you have made your reservations, arranged the babysitter, and composed a sonnet to your love, you can stop reading now. I have nothing to offer you, now go away with your smug self. If, however, you are, like me, just opening your eyes to the grey light of a Monday morning with the hope that coffee, let's make that a double, will somehow chase away grogginess, only to find that tomorrow is Valentine's Day and you've done nothing to prepare, then read on!

If you are just now beginning to plan for Valentine's Day, you have every reason to be concerned. Hate to break it to you but you're not going to get a reservation now, not at any place that doesn't ask you if you want fries with your meal. Below are some ideas of last minute gifts that hopefully won't look like you stopped off at the gas and sip on the way home (beef jerky and a slurpy are not acceptable Valentine's Day offerings).

Confession: these are mainly targeted what men can do for the women in their lives, in particular what my husband can do for me (are you reading, honey?), but perhaps they can help you too:

1) Make a picnic at home. Let's face it... you dropped the ball on the whole reservation thing, and don't even start looking for a babysitter now. Even a 12-year-old will tell you she's been booked for a month. So you need to cover your mistake by making it appear that it was all part of your master plan. Of course she will be on to you, but she'll appreciate that you tried. Whether you make something at home or bring take out, put a little effort into the ambience. Put down a table cloth (it's kept on the second shelf in the linen closet) and light a candle (kept in that drawer you never open).

2) Give a card, but for heaven's sake don't just sign it. Write something in it. Say something about the vastness of your love, the beauty of her eyes, how you hope to wake up next to her every morning of your life, etc. If you draw a blank, pick up another card and copy the sentiment from it into your card. She will think you clever and I doubt you can go to jail for plagiarism (if I'm wrong I will deny all knowledge of this piece of advice).

3) Clean the house. Seriously. Start now. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming - it's all very sexy let me assure you. If she comes home to find you on your hands and knees buffing the floor, well let's just say you are well on your way to getting what you really want for Valentine's Day.

4) A boxed set of Downton Abbey. Ok, ok, maybe I'm being a little too specific. Well, can't hurt to put it out there. But now that I've mentioned it, a gift of something your love would like, something that tells your love that you know them will always be appreciated. My man in particular likes things that require extension cords and has warning labels.

5) Give the perfect gift: chocolate. You can buy it from an expensive chocolatier if you like, just make sure you bring home sufficinet quantities. Chocolate goes with everything and nothing is more likely to bring a smile to my... ahem I mean her face.

Hope this helps with the Valentine's Day conundrum. I hope your love life is not as complicated as the twisted (but oh so addictive) plot lines of Downton Abbey. I will not cheat and watch it on you tube, I will not cheat... um yeah, gotta go!


  1. Something to keep in mind is that a lot of restaurants will do take away these days. Call them and ask. The worst they can do is say no, but odds are that they'll be happy to send you home with that special meal. Just remember dessert and that you're handling all the clean up back home.The nice thing to this is that you get the good food without the annoying crowd.

  2. Very good advice, Amanda. Your blog will most likely be printed off in many houses and left in strategic places for spouses to find today. Oh, and Wal-Mart sells roses, single and in a dozen, for anyone who gets to the florist too late!

  3. Great ideas, Amanda!

    I'm usually the one to receive and I only give a card. This year I'm changing that up and taking him out to dinner. I offered to make reservations, but nope...he wants fries with that.

  4. Valentines is not an "issue" here, but I always take Valentine's, Christmas, Easter treats to my co-workers in the "holiday" spirit!

  5. Um, hello! Spoiler alert! I didn't get to watch last night because I was at Sesame Street live. Now how am I supposed to wait all day until Baby Galen goes to bed!

    My husband surprised me by making dinner reservations. I love it when he makes an effort.

  6. And flowers! You can still order flowers!! You can pick up a basket of lotions and bath salts at Vic's Secret (where you will be mobbed with helpful sales ladies), you can go for walk somewhere quiet and hold hands, and... hold HANDS. You can take tomorrow off with white collar flu and get the kids off to school so she can sleep in, and then... hold hands some more.

  7. Virginia - yes, absolutely! Great idea to have fabulous food without the restaurant hassle.

    Carolyn - very true! I left the flowers off my list - that's a good option!

  8. Ashlyn - perfect! Sound like your honey is an uncomplicated sort of man - awesome!

    Terry - hmmm, good point. You've got me thinking there. I should do a little something too. Chocolate for everyone!

  9. Shana - ooops! I thought by the time the west coast sees it EVERYONE had seen it. I'll fix!

    Grace - good call on the flowers - I forgot that. And holding hands, and maybe even a kiss - all VERY good things!

  10. Oh, loved the post. Shared it with my husband who asked, "are we that simple?" as he is poaching lobster for our special lunch with his mom...yes, I told him we would NOT spend V's day with her so we are doing it a day early

    Thanks for the laughter, great way to start the day (although I admit ignorance of Downtown Abbey)

    I hope all of you get your well-deserved hugs and kisses...
    and chocolate! (I'm going for pineapple Jelly Bellies)

  11. I do have a funny one to share. True story!

    Three years ago, my friend's husband forgot Valentine's Day. On his way home from work, he stopped at the drug store and bought her a VERY CHEAP name brand of chocolates. He arrives home from work and says, "Happy Valentine's Day! Your present is on the kitchen counter. I'm going up to take a shower."

    While he's upstairs, she walks into the kitchen and stares at the counter. Oh, yes. There is her present.

    There sits a plastic bag with the name of the drug store on the front. She opens the bag only to find the generic box of chocolates!

    Yes, they're still married, but he will never live that one down!

  12. Ash, I'm not sure you removed all the spoilers for DA! You mentioned someone died because of Spanish flu or something like that so I stopped reading! But I'm sure your tips were very romantic and someone will find just what they need to do to make their Valentine happy!

  13. Elf2060 - funny you mentioned jelly bellies - I'm eating some now - yum! You must try Downton, I even got my hubby hooked. Oh sure, he complains, but he doesn't leave the room!

    Victoria - oh yes, it's all about at least Pretending you didn't forget! Of course I am realizing I need to do something for my dh too!

  14. Amelia - Still not enough? Ok, I'll fix again! Sorry!

  15. nice post. Now you can use this business 2 business list to promote table linen import & export business.


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