LCL Looks at the Industry
Health Benefits of Olive Oil
A Taste of the Orient
Man's View of Valentine's Day
Cooking with Herbs
Worried about Osteoporosis?
Expert Panel: Whole Grains
The Future of Low Carb
Fiber: Not Just for Breakfast
Fixing a Low Carb Disaster
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"If you have love in your life,
it can make up for a great many things that are missing.
If you don't have love in your life,
no matter what else there is, it's not enough.
— Ann Landers
As children we are often told to "remember the true meaning of Christmas." The same reminder is given for everything
from Easter to Veteran's Day... So why is it that no one ever espouses the "true meaning" of St. Valentine's Day?
Does a day of hearts and roses seem a little too "fluff"?
Let's take a look at what the holiday has come to mean... I'm in no way disparaging the more "commercial side"
of this holiday... I mean, when else could one find cut-outs for children to exchange with depictions
of cast of Survivor promising to "not vote them off the island"?! Or humorous candy hearts for Springer devotees
proclaiming such phrases as "you don't know me" and "I'm just here for the beads!" As long as I can remember,
Valentine's Day has been an opportunity to have a little fun with what's hot in pop culture.
Most of us received our first
Valentine when we were in grade school... my wife still speaks of her first card — a crayoned heart with more red outside
than in, from a cheeky boy three benches behind in the next row, who made funny faces when the teacher wasn?t looking.
For the more mature, it's still a fun day (assuming that you are not unattached) filled with expectations of gifts,
flowers, and romance. In the beginning of a relationship, it's about anticipation, and excitement! Often young
couples will judge the love their partner has for them by the amount of effort placed on this unique holiday.
And even for couples who have been together for some time, it's still a chance to do something special just to show you care.
To many — especially men who see it as a day when a need to be romantic is forced upon them — the day has
completely lost its meaning, becoming one more Hallmark holiday to resent. So let's take a few minutes to be reminded
of the history of this day... the romance, danger and lawlessness that makes up its inception.
The very origin of the word "romance" came from "romans." In its distant past, the word meant less about dreamy
feelings of love and tenderness and more about tales of heroes and adventurous, heroic, extraordinary events.
St. Valentine was a priest near Rome in 270 A.D. and he was a true romantic. He
lived in a time when new marriages were outlawed by the monarch in order to increase military
enrollment. At that time the Roman Emperor was imprisoning Christians for not worshiping the
Roman gods. During this persecution Valentine was arrested for performing marriages. And for his "crimes", St. Valentine
was beheaded — on February 14th. In the centuries that followed, the day became looked upon as specially consecrated
to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing tender, emotional letters and sending lovers' tokens.
In this day and age very few of us have experienced a love strong enough to make us risk censure, prosecution or even
death to be with the one we love.
So forget the commercial aspect. Forget the "forced" aspect. Forget the need to punctuate the day with a "typical"
Valentine's Day gift of chocolates and flowers. Let me speak to the men out there for a minute... Men need a little
nudging when it comes to understanding that women wish to be cherished and made to feel special. If they only knew how
simple it is... Being romantic is nothing more or less than appreciating and celebrating your partner. After all, a
little listening and a romantic gift on special occasions go a long way to sustaining all aspects of a healthy, lengthy,
successful relationship. But what to give?
A great rule of thumb to remember: a gift given within the confines of a romantic relationship should speak directly to
that intimacy ? make the ordinary extraordinary. Gift buying for your partner should be no different than communicating
in your relationship. The more frequently you do it, the more comfortable you will become in knowing what your loved one
likes and dislikes.
Want to pull out all the stops? Here are seven suggestions that will make you a romantic star!
- Blindfold your lover and drive to a surprise destination. Offer tantalizing clues along
the way but don't give out the secret until you arrive — whether it's a local
Bed & Breakfast or a downtown hotel.
- Gift wrap a present for your lover. Then pick a great romantic restaurant and sneakily talk
with the waiter before your food arrives, asking him to slip the present in one of the
dishes — perhaps in the bread basket in place of those high carb rolls you won't be eating!
- Surprise her after a restaurant dinner with a special low carb dessert you've pre-ordered
or made yourself!
- Surprise your lover with a one-night vacation. Rent a room at a local hotel (even a
budget motel) and decorate it with some five star goodies: a bottle of champagne, some chilled shrimp,
fresh strawberries, cheese, whatever you like. Pack an overnight bag for each of you. Pick up your
partner from work for a special surprise "night out."
- Book the honeymoon suite in a local hotel.
- Turn your home bedroom into a romantic enclave for the night. Buy satin sheets, fresh flowers,
tea candles, and a romantic CD to set the mood.
- Hire a limousine for your special evening out.
But even if you keep it simple, you'll be appreciated and remembered... you can always
write out the lyrics (or some passages) from a song that's special to you both and present it to her.
Or have a warm bubble-bath awaiting her when she gets in from a long day at work.
Consider serving her breakfast in bed! Breakfast for a low carber isn't difficult and it's such a
loving gesture. Even making a point to watch a sunset together is something she'll always remember.
The point is to show you care... show your thoughts are on her. Show her that she's still
Copyright © February 2005 Stuart Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2005 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury