Valentine’s Day, demystified |

Valentine’s Day, demystified

Sarah L. Stewart

She probably started dropping reminders a few weeks ago, but in case you weren’t paying attention, guys, Valentine’s Day is Thursday. Which presents the annual question: What to get her?

We women aren’t always the easiest to read. “Don’t get me anything” usually translates to “I want something, I just want you to figure out what.” And we probably won’t tell you that we’d rather not ruin our diet with that box of chocolates.

What we really want for Valentine’s Day is to feel special ” and that’s simpler than you might think, no matter the budget.

A fancy dinner.

“I love going out for a nice meal just the two of us,” says Cheryl Jensen of Valentine’s Day with her husband, Bill. “It doesn’t happen very often.”

Some area restaurants are offering Valentine’s Day specials ” just be sure to make a reservation.

“Love Week” at Larkspur runs Tuesday through Saturday, with a multi-course tasting menu, chocolate fondue for two and optional flowers waiting on the table when you get there. Or, try La Tour’s five-course aphrodisiac menu, with such supposedly scintillating selections as oysters, beets and chocolate.


Beth Slifer’s most sentimental Valentine’s Day gift from her husband of 24 years, Rod, is a Tiffany’s gold heart necklace. This year, jewelry is again on the wish list.

“Besides a heart-shaped diamond…” she says with a laugh, “a romantic dinner for two with champagne and dark chocolate.”

But she’s quick to request that the bit about the heart-shaped diamond make it into the newspaper.

“Maybe my husband will read it,” she says.

A getaway.

We already live in a place others get away to, so take advantage of our romantic resort-town offerings.

Try a 90-minute couple’s massage, a vanilla-bourbon milk bath in a copper soaking tub and two glasses of champagne or mimosas with The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s “romance package” ($560).

The Arrabelle Valentine’s Day Special ($1075) includes a deluxe room, parking and a three-course tasting menu for two.

Or, enjoy “Romance in the Rockies” with two nights in a suite at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera, including one dinner and daily breakfast at Restaurant Mirador, a 50-minute spa treatment for each person and a bottle of wine in your room upon arrival ($869 per night).

Ski together.

Assuming you already have your gear and ski pass, you can spend a memorable day together for no more than the cost of an on-mountain lunch (or a few trail bars). Score extra points by getting her boots ready and having her skis tuned.

“I would like my husband to whisk me away for a ski date or even just a lunch together on Valentine’s Day,” says Avon Town Council Member Kristi Ferraro. “We often have separate lunch or ski dates for work or with friends, but we don’t think about making plans for the two of us to meet on a week day. It would be a real treat to play hooky with my husband on a ‘school day.'”

Send flowers to her office.

She might be ashamed to admit it, but deep down your lady loves nothing more than a big, bright reminder of your love sitting on her desk for all to see.

Watch a chick flick (without complaining).

“Sleepless in Seattle,” “Steel Magnolias” and “When Harry Met Sally,” are all good, girly choices if you want to go the rental route. If you’re heading to the theater, a sure bet is “Definitely, Maybe,” from the makers of “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually,” which opens ” you guessed it ” Feb. 14.

Make something.

An album of prized photos, a mix CD of her favorite songs, a crayon-and-construction paper valentine. Pretty much anything that says “I tried” is a sure bet.

Ceil Folz’s favorite Valentine’s Day gift came from her husband, Steve, during their first year of dating. She opened her door that morning to an enormous cardboard envelope addressed to her, made from a refrigerator box. The envelope bore three hand-painted “LOVE” stamps and inside was a huge hand-painted heart.

“I knew Steve had spent a lot of time and thought in designing and creating the card,” Folz says. “The stamps were so beautiful and special, I cut each of them from the cardboard and have them still today.”


Light some candles, turn out the lights and turn on a soft song. Most of us women don’t slow dance nearly as much as we’d like, so here’s a chance to sweep us off our feet. Don’t be intimidated: even the least-coordinated man can rock back and forth to music.

Clean the house.

Behold, our practical side. A co-worker remembers her favorite Valentine’s gift as the year her husband took part of the day off work to clean house.


When it comes down to it, all she really wants is you.

“(My husband) Bill is a former professional chef, so my gift for the past seven years has been that he doesn’t have to work,” says Avon Town Council Member Amy Phillips.

Sue Barham, marketing director for Larkspur, just wants a night off together with her husband, who works for Game Creek Club. Their special night will likely be a few days before Valentine’s Day, though, since they’ll both be working on the holiday.

And Jensen’s top wish is similar.

“Just spending time with each other is the greatest gift,” she says. “It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.”

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