by Maria Schulz
There are all sorts of news stories on about Valentine’s Day. These included a young, college-aged couple who got engaged LIVE…some sexy desserts to make for your sweetheart (the anchorman was instructed on how to fold whipped cream into chocolate pudding…not exactly rocket science), and 3 movie critics’ all-time favorite romantic movies (Annie Hall, The Way We Were, and When Harry Met Sally).
But my favorite story of all was a report about a special dinner for couples who have been married for DECADES. Not just 2 or 3 decades either…I’m talking 5, 6, and 7 decades. SEVEN DECADES!!!
The reporter asked the couple who had been married 73 years (the longest-married couple there) how he proposed.
“Did you do anything special? Did you write her a poem?”
“I said I love you.”
I don’t know about you, but I was very impressed. I admire people who don’t feel the need to create a 3-ring circus.
Next, the reporter asked another couple (married 67 years) what the secret to their success was. They looked at each other, laughed, and the wife said:
“Keep smiling, and keep your big mouth shut.”
So romantic. And so true!
I’ve been inspired by these words of wisdom from the people who have been through the wars (literally) and somehow, managed to keep their sense of humor and get through the hard parts of marriage. Those vows say, “for better or worse,” not “for better or better.” If you don’t think love requires sacrifice and tough times, you have probably never been in love…or watched Henry Fonda explain love in Yours, Mine, and Ours, to his teenage stepdaughter:
“Life isn’t a love in, it’s the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and…ground round instead of roast beef. And I’ll tell you something else: it isn’t going to a bed with a man that proves you’re in love with him; it’s getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.”
Unfortunately, love confuses some people. Not everyone is blessed with the good sense of Henry Fonda or even the words of wisdom of our long married seniors (especially the ones who said “keep smiling and shut up.”) This is especially true on Valentine’s Day. So, as a public service to others, I’m going to offer this list.
14 Things You Shouldn’t Tell Your Sweetheart on Valentine’s Day
- Happy Valentine’s Day, [insert name of old girlfriend/boyfriend here]!
- How old is that dress, anyway?
- I didn’t make a reservation because I know you love to cook for me.
- My old girlfriend/boyfriend never cared about Valentine’s Day!
- I don’t care if that outfit makes you look fat. More for me to love!
- I got you this dustbuster!
- Why do I have to buy you something? You’re a guy!
- Here’s $20. Go buy yourself something special.
- I thought you liked pots and pans!
- How was I supposed to know that an earring box looks the same as an engagement box?
- I am so head over heels in like with you.
- Instead of going to a fancy restaurant, I bought you a Fat Blaster Boot Camp class. It starts in ½ hour, so if you run, you can start blasting that fat right now!
- In this light, you look just like your mother/father.
- I didn’t get you a card or gift because I know how much you hate these made up holidays.
Shakespeare In Love:
Joseph Fiennes (young Will S.) is inspired to write Romeo and Juliet, the story of two star-crossed-lovers thanks to his romance with Lady Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow, before she was annoying, and dressed up as a man so she can act in Will’s play). Whether or not Shakespeare in Love deserved that Best Picture Oscar over Spielberg’s WWII epic, it’s definitely a better choice on Valentine’s Day.
Loretta (Cher) is ready to marry a man she doesn’t love because she thinks if she does everything by the book this time, marriage will work out for her (her first husband was hit by a bus). But then, she meets her future brother-in-law…and sparks fly. I have seen this movie approximately 147 times, and I laugh and enjoy it Every. Single. Time.
Sisters Kat and Daisy and their best friend, Jo-Jo, work together in their local pizza shop in Mystic, Connecticut. Kat, who is off to Yale in a few months, has a crush on her boss at her babysitting job; Daisy has fallen for a rich boy from the other side of town; and Jo-Jo has left her beloved boyfriend at the altar because she’s terrified of growing up. This is a sweet coming of age story that is perfect for binge watching on Valentine’s weekend when it’s snowing outside…again!
Great music! Patrick Swayze dances! Jennifer Gray falls in love with him! “Nobody puts baby in the corner!” Need I say more? Get the popcorn and a box of your Valentine’s chocolates. This one’s a keeper.
Emma (Sally Field) and Murphy (James Garner) become friends with the hope of something more…until Emma’s ex husband shows up. Here’s a charming, funny movie that shows you’re never too old to fall in love…or too young to finally recognize it.
Okay, so I still have a hard time believing that Katherine Hegl would go for Seth Rogan…but I will suspend my disbelief. As this unlikely couple gets to know each other, and their baby is on the way, they learn a lot about what they both really want out of life. It’s funny, endearing, and definitely a fun movie to watch with your sweetheart.
The Way, Way Back
Awkward teenager Duncan is stuck going with his mom, her annoying boyfriend, and the boyfriend’s obnoxious daughter to the boyfriend’s beach house. Duncan is miserable until he ends up finding a job at a local water park, befriending the cool owner, and meeting the proverbial girl-next-door, who just might like him too. This isn’t really a “date night” movie, but it does say a lot about love and commitment, and you can watch it with family (older teens) and everyone will enjoy it.
You’ve Got Mail
An anonymous online flirtation develops even as this pair—who knows and hates each other—considers themselves enemies. His giant book store is about to annihilate her tiny, beloved neighborhood book store. Will they ever learn they’re meant for each other? Could they be soul mates? It’s fun watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan realize that they don’t actually hate each other, and yes, they are meant for each other.
Why just have pudding with whipped cream folded in when you can have one of these decadent chocolate desserts? From a Towering Flourless Chocolate cake and Chocolate Covered Strawberries to Chocolate Stout Affogato Egg Cream and Chocolate Truffles, there are so many ways to delight your Valentine—any day of the year.
So, Hungry Lifers: what’s the best advice you have for others this Valentine’s Day? Do you have a favorite romantic movie? Want to share a decadent dessert? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Happy Valentine’s Day!