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February 14th, 2008

Since I am a real, honest-to-God romance novelist, I should be the go-to gal, on a day like this. I am not just a hopeless romantic. I am a ‘professional’ romantic. I should be packing this blog with suggestions to make your day a little more romantic, and your night a little more special.

Good luck with that. I’m on break.

The truth is, I forgot this was Valentine’s Day. Sure, I had a vague idea. I understood the concept. But it wasn’t until I was pulling out of the driveway this morning taking #2 son to school, and saw my husband heading into the house with a card, a bag of bakery, and a bouquet of flowers, that I remembered I had done absolutely nothing.

Well, not exactly nothing. I’d made an appointment with the accountant to have the taxes done. I am a very pragmatic romantic. No greater love has man (or woman) than to keep an accurate record of business mileage and a file of deducible receipts, and then pull the whole thing together, and have it dealt with in such a way that one’s spouse only has to sign the dotted line and wait for the refund.

Am I winning anyone over?

Ok. But I should do, something romantic. So I was considering my options on the way home. If I knew exactly what he wanted, I’d have stopped off at Cabela’s.

For those of you across the pond, and in various point’s distant: Cabela’s is a sporting goods megastore. If you like hunting or fishing, or wandering around outdoors, you can get everything you need there.

If you know someone who likes the outdoors, but prefer looking at it through the closed window of a hotel with turndown service, Cabela’s is still damn entertaining.

They have a clothing department with styles that are rugged but functional.

They have a cooking department, where you can see demonstrations on how to keep your half grilled elk from falling into your campfire.

Some of them have indoor trout streams, where you can fish, flanked by And taxidermed big game animals. And rooms full of animatronic hunters talking about record size antlers.

And, most importantly, a fudge shop.

It’s like Disneyworld, with a gun rack.

Appropriate. But still not romantic. Romantic would be a trip to Cabela’s “for two.” Well, that would be romantic at casa de dos quesos.

But I decided to go for something more conventional. Mainly, because there was a balloon store right next to the Half Price Books, and the window was decorated with inflatable hearts, and it was starting to snow again. I figured I’d better put two an two together on a Valentine’s gift, and get home before the driveway drifted shut.

So, I bought a card, and an enormous mylar heart, that plays music when you touch it.

It turns out, it plays music, even if you touch it very gently, and the ribbon is slippery, and refuses to stay tied to the passenger seat. And I had an hour’s drive to get home.

So, in front, my Ipod was playing my new favorite playlist, which includes the Dropkick Murphys playing ‘Skinhead on the MBTA’, The Transplants ‘Tall Cans in the Air’, the theme from the movie ‘Halloween’ and Joan Jett and the Black Hearts ‘Cherry Bomb’ and theme from ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show’.

And in the back seat, David Cassidy was singing I THINK I LOVE YOU. BUT WHAT AM I SO AFRAID OF? every time I hit a pothole.

Isn’t it romantic?

PS: If there are any husbands reading this: red roses are nice but generic. If you want to make a statement, give her the flowers that were in her wedding bouquet. Trust me. I’m a professional.

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