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    The Romance of it All

    Laura Bradford Icon


    Shhhh. Do you hear that?


    Ahhhh, yes, it’s the official countdown to Valentine’s Day. The day that strikes fear in the hearts of unprepared men all over the country, sending them off in a mad dash to the nearest grocery store where they can hit the trifecta in one quick stop (flowers, candy, card).

    But, wait.

    Must they really buy those flowers and that heart-shaped box of chocolates that have…oh…maybe four pieces that are actually consumable?

    Looking back on a few tissue-grabbing Hollywood moments, I have to say NO!

    Now, before our male readers get antsy thinking I’m talking about shopping sprees and trips to the opera ala “Pretty Woman,” or hanging from the top bar of a ferris wheel to score a date as in “The Notebook” (none of which can be self-scanned at Shop –n- Save, btw), I’m not.


    In fact, the moments that stand out to me as being incredibly romantic are the simple, yet poignant ones that have the guy investing a little bit of his inner self (this being his brain and his heart, people)…

    Exhibit A:

    John Cusack—desperate to win back his girlfriend in “Say Anything”—stands on her driveway, holding a boom box over his head. The music playing? A song, he believed, meant something to them as a couple.


    Exhibit B:

    Will Ferrell’s character in “Stranger Than Fiction” develops feelings for Ana Pascal, the owner of a local bakery. He shows up outside her shop one night with a box. Inside the box is a dozen small brown bags sealed shut with different colored tapes. She asks him what it is—he says, “I brought you flours.”

    *Sniff Sniff*

    Exhibit C:

    Then there’s Ryan Gosling’s character in “The Notebook.” During a summer romance as teenagers, his girlfriend tells him she loves to paint, that it’s the one thing she truly enjoys in life. Years later, while rehabbing his dream home, he adds a “painting room” just for her (even though he hasn’t seen her in years and he knows she’s moved on to someone else). Fast forward a few years—they reconnect…she opens a door in his home and sees the room he designed just for her. Why? Because he never gave up on them being them.


    While I can’t speak for women everywhere, I can say this…the flowers and candy are nice, but it’s the extra sweet things that make us swoon. The box of flours, the painting room, the boom box, the unexpected dance in the middle of a pub…

    The tiny, seemingly inconsequential scenes that have lasting impact. The heartfelt and spontaneous real-life moments that make us feel as if we’re someone special.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!


    Today’s comments are open for all things Valentine related…

    *Use us as a place to say something special to your sweetie (be sure to send him/her a link so they can see it). :wink:

    *Share a Hollywood exhibit I may have missed, or a moment in reality that blows my exhibits away.

    *And/or answer these/pose some of your own…

    1) Card or letter?
    2) Flowers or candy?
    3) Gift or time?
    4) Fancy restaurant or indoor picnic?
    5) Melted chocolate or whipped cream?

    20 Responses to “The Romance of it All”

    1. 1) Card or letter?
      2) Flowers or candy?
      3) Gift or time?
      4) Fancy restaurant or indoor picnic?
      Anything he cooks
      5) Melted chocolate or whipped cream?
      Whipped cream

      I just want something this year. We aren’t the best at celebrating these kind of things. I said I wanted to ride the horse drawn carriage for our wedding so he impulsed and stopped it when we went down to Soulard for Mardi Gras. Nice, sweet, yes, but then he spent all the time talking to the driver. Romantic, no.

      by Lynn on February 12th, 2008 at 8:11 am

    2. 1) Card or letter?
      Card - it shows some advanced planning
      2) Flowers or candy?
      3) Gift or time?
      Gift-what can I say I’m greedy
      4) Fancy restaurant or indoor picnic?
      5) Melted chocolate or whipped cream?
      Why not both–yum!

      I know it wasn’t Valentine’s Day, but I loved the last episode of Bones where Booth brought the Christmas Tree to the prison parking lot and lit it up with his car battery, so Bones and her family could have a Christmas Tree. (Dad and brother were in prison and they had arranged a special Christmas in one of the prison trailers). Made me tear up. Now if those darn writers will go back to work…

      Hey Laura, I really am working on those comments. Really I am.

      by Tricia S. on February 12th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    3. Unexpected dance in a pub? Oh, yeah. For me, it’s the little things that show he listens and knows me. Arranging for me to get a Xmas card from the Green Bay Packers. Doing the dishes every night. Letting me read to him from my MS every night.

      You know, one thing I’ll say for marriage, the second-time around, we know how lucky we are to have what we’ve got, and we know how much we have to nurture it.

      1-he actually picks really good cards. I like them.
      3-time– for the two of us
      4–either are good. depending.

      by judy larsen on February 12th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    4. Lynn, talking to the driver? :| Hugs! Perhaps you need to whisper ideas in his head while he’s sleeping. Maybe something will stick!

      Hi Tricia!!! You came out of lurkdom…YAY!!! Everyone here at the GG site says “hi!” I have to say, your description of the tree being lit by a car battery got ME teary-eyed just reading it. Triple Sniff!

      Judy, oh yeah :wink: . Letting you read to him from your manuscript every night??? Awwwwww. VERY sweet. As for your other comment–it makes sense. Lots of sense!

      As for my answers to the either/or list:

      1) Cards are good, but the thought of a true love letter makes me giddy.
      2) Tough call. Flowers are great but me and candy??? If it has caramel, I’m in.
      3) Time, hands down.
      4)Indoor picnic with all the ambiance
      5) I’m thinking both, too. :mrgreen:

      by Laura on February 12th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    5. My wife, bless her, thinks Valentine’s Day is a bogus holiday made up by Hallmark, so I feel very little pressure to be overtly romantic on this one day.

      But every year I make a card and I’ll buy flowers or jewelry, nothing really expensive, and then I’ll cook dinner, which is what I do anyway, and we have a pleasant evening. Like I said, no pressure.

      After 27 years, Jenny knows my heart. Everything else is just for show.

      by David Terrenoire on February 12th, 2008 at 9:28 am

    6. 1) Card or letter?
      Letter all the way. Oh how I love letters…

      2) Flowers or candy?
      White tulips

      3) Gift or time?
      Gift of doing something fun with the other person like going on a date to the museum or the zoo. Something not everyday.

      4) Fancy restaurant or indoor picnic?
      Casual restaurant…I just want to relax and have fun.

      5) Melted chocolate or whipped cream?
      Melted chocolate!

      I just read some great v-day gift ideas from a set of really nice, soft sheets (prewashed) to a leather travel frame with a pic of the two of you to go in a briefcase of luggage. Both are nice and thoughtful.

      Tricia–I loved that episode of Bones, too!

      by Stephanie on February 12th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    7. As a wiser man than me pointed out, it is truly sad that our culture must have an official holiday to celebrate and do the things for each other that should be SOP throughout the year.

      by Guyot on February 12th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    8. 1) Card or letter?

      2) Flowers or candy?
      How about chocolate covered strawberries with some wonderfully dry Piper-Heidsieck champagne.

      3) Gift or time?
      Time! Preferably time spent at a wonderful museum, or an art gallery.

      4) Fancy restaurant or indoor picnic? Definitely the fancy restaurant. I have an “indoor picnic” every day, and I have to say, the cleanup isn’t much fun.

      5) Melted chocolate or whipped cream?
      Oh, how about whipped cream with the melted chocolate?

      by Michelle Moran on February 12th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    9. I’m a big believer in romance being in the everyday little things, not the big once-a-year gestures.

      That being said, some of those everyday gestures can include cards, flowers, my favorite chocolate bar, and perhaps time to ourselves once in a while. :)

      Nothing like contradicting myself.

      by heather on February 12th, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    10. First, I have to agree with Paul Guyot’s Wiseman. But if that isn’t enough, I think it should work out this way. [URL=][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

      If the above magic doesn’t work you can go here.

      by Will Bereswill on February 12th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    11. I threw my back out last night (again) lifting a 50-lb bag of dog chow (why we feed the damn things, I don’t know).

      The hubby loaded the dishwasher for me last night so I didn’t have to bend. What a big sweetie!

      Now, if he finds a pair of earrings exactly like the pair from which I lost one on the bus last month (my favorite pair, no lie), he’ll have my heart forever. :wink:

      by Regina Harvey on February 12th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    12. Your plans for V-day still sound nice, David!

      Stephanie, loved all your answers! I think if I had to pick a flower, I’d say something yellow.

      Maybe, if nothing else, it prompts those who are clueless, Paul.

      Michelle, so with you on the time!

      Heather, yup, the extra special surprises just because you’re loved and you’re special. Those are, hands down, the best.

      Regina…I lost one earring from a very special pair during an MRI. I’d forgotten to take them out, so I set them down and one disappeared. Still, to this day, makes me very sad. They were the most beautiful earrings I’ve ever owned because of the sentiment behind them.

      by Laura on February 12th, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    13. I’m just so happy to have found my husband, I don’t really need anything else. *shrug* I guess I’m horribly un-romantic that way.

      I like a card, but my husband wrote me the best letters when we were courting. (We lived 600 miles apart, so it was more courting than dating really.)

      Candy all the way, or a plant. Flowers are nice, but they die too quickly.

      Nowadays, he’s so busy at work, I think I’d prefer some time alone with him.

      It’s been so long since I was at a fancy restaurant, I’ve almost forgetten what one’s like, so I’d like that best.

      Melted chocolate with whipped cream over ice cream and a brownie. Oh! You meant… :blush:

      by B.E. Sanderson on February 12th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    14. BE, The ice cream and brownie would work too as an appetizer… :)

      I love that episode of Bones too.

      As for the BF, he’s a great guy and can be romantic sometimes. But sometimes he’s just a guy…. I think whispering in his ear would just get me swat at. :)

      by Lynn on February 12th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    15. “After 27 years, Jenny knows my heart. Everything else is just for show.”

      This is lovely, David. You must be a writer!

      by JennieB on February 12th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    16. Okay, how about a Valentine’s day poll for the fellas…

      1) Beer or single malt scotch?
      2) Mini skirt or cleavage?
      3) French maid or cheerleader?
      4) Skis or boards?
      5) Giants win or Patriots lose?

      Happy Valentine’s to all the ‘good-girls’ and here’s to many more unexpected pub dances.

      by Jim on February 12th, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    17. 1) Beer or single malt scotch?

      Jack Daniels.

      2) Mini skirt or cleavage?


      3) French maid or cheerleader?

      ooh la la!

      4) Skis or boards?

      Jack Daniels by the fire in the lodge.

      5) Giants win or Patriots lose?

      I refuse to live in the past.

      by J.D. Rhoades on February 12th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    18. 1) Beer or single malt scotch?

      Neither. I like Rum. Rum’s good

      2) Mini skirt or cleavage?

      Short is good.

      3) French maid or cheerleader?

      Yes, please

      4) Skis or boards?

      Boards, preferrably of the 1/4 mile ET variety

      5) Giants win or Patriots lose?

      Giants creaming Tom Brady

      *And I just wanted to say that any day can be a “Valentine’s Day” as long as you care about someone. I don’t do Hallmark Holidays. On that note, have a great 14th :)

      by Derek on February 12th, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    19. Men. :roll:


      by Laura on February 12th, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    20. I’m not sure what happened to my response, but I did weigh in yesterday. Had to agree with Paul.

      Awesome list, Jim.

      1) Beer or single malt scotch?
      I’m simple. Give me a good beer.
      2) Mini skirt or cleavage?
      Hmmm, tough one. I was sad to see mini skirts go out of style.
      3) French maid or cheerleader?
      Give me the maid. Cheerleaders are, well, just too cheery.
      4) Skis or boards?
      5) Giants win or Patriots lose?
      Pats lose.

      by Will Bereswill on February 13th, 2008 at 9:09 am

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