By Sue Murphy
Red alert: Valentine’s Day is approaching. If you are lucky enough to have a special someone in your life, it’s time to start thinking of something special to do for them.
Oh sure, the two of you laughed and poo-pooed the idea of Valentine’s Day. You called it cliché, a blatant consumer trap. You assured yourselves that you express your love for each other every single day and that it would be so much more meaningful to surprise each other with a gift on some random Tuesday. While all that may be true, and those are the exact words that came from your sweetie’s lips, don’t you believe it for a second, mister. It’s Valentine’s Day. You need to show up – and show up with your heart in your hand.
Giftwise, you can buy your sweetie flowers and candy or go for something more specifically them, like custom car mats or a yoga brick. It really doesn’t matter. The main event will always be the card.
Now, I’m a fan of regular paper cards. They’re pretty, they’re savable and eloquent words are part of the package. But, being a more modern person, one of those folks who no longer has a landline and watches nothing but subscription TV, you might consider snail mail cards passé. All of your relationship communication might take place via text or tweet on a daily basis. That’s OK, but it means you will have to come up with the sweetie tweetie words yourself.
That’s the hard part. A simple “I Love You” is nice and all, but your special someone would really appreciate something that displays a little more thought on your part. And don’t think you can emoji your way out of this one, either. Heart, heart, heart, smiley face with more hearts – it’s still clip art and, if you recall, you used the same emoji progression when you talked about the new crop of contestants on “America’s Got Talent.”
No, these have to be your own actual words. You should speak freely from your heart, my friend – and then you should edit. Think about how you really feel about your sweetie, but choose how you express those thoughts very carefully.
“The first time I saw you, I knew we were meant to be together. Actually, it was the second time I saw you. The first time, you were playing beer pong with my roommate.” This requires another look.
“When you walked out last night wearing that red dress, it took my breath away. Not the sleeveless one, the one that covered up your tattoos.” Edit.
“I know we’ve only been going out for two weeks, but I just want to squeeze you until there’s not a breath of air left in your body.” OK, don’t send that one at all. On second thought, send it directly to your therapist.
Here’s another wrinkle: While you’re being creative, keep in mind that whatever you send could potentially be forwarded to all of your sweetie’s friends. It could be posted on Facebook. It could become a YouTube video. Don’t write anything you wouldn’t want pinned to your company bulletin board.
So, let’s review: Your words must be meaningful, yet tasteful, sincere, but safe. There’s the tightrope you’re walking. Kind of makes the paper card look more attractive, doesn’t it?
Tweets for the sweet. I think you have to ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky?” If you’re still intent on going ahead (You’re a braver man than I am, Gunga Din) let me suggest this: “You are the screensaver of my life.”