Jackie Summers offers inspiring Valentine’s Day advice for would-be Cupids.
She stared quizzically at the gigantic red box sitting on her desk. Her weight rested on one hip, her head tilted to one side, her eyebrows cocked, and a look of bemusement adorned her face. When curiosity overcame surprise, she removed the oversized ribbon and accepted the box’s dare, only to discover a smaller box inside of it. She giggled to herself, and opened the smaller box, only to reveal a miniscule box within. By now a small crowd had gathered, her co-workers were enjoying the spectacle. The final box surrendered its secrets to her; wherein she found a note, written in a familiar hand. Inscribed upon it were four simple words:
“Look behind your computer.”
She blushed. Sitting behind her computer she found her Valentine’s day present; an iPod Nano, in her favorite color, preloaded with her favorite songs, all of her favorite movies, photos of her family, a special playlist dedicated to her, and a personalized video greeting.
My phone rang; it was her ring tone. “I knew you’d do this” she purred. “I knew you’d know exactly what I wanted, without me having to say. But more than that, I knew you’d find a way to make it… special.”
With Valentine’s day less than a weekw away, there’s been much chatter about what constitutes a great gift. I myself have never been a fan of forced affection; I’m preferential to no-special occasion gifting. That said, I appreciate the significance the day has for many: it’s a opportunity to put the daily routine aside, and go above and beyond to show your beloved how much they mean to you.
Hallmark, Godiva, DeBeers, Victoria’s Secret and FTD will all be happy with generic, jejune offerings, but will your lover? If any truth is beyond debate, it’s this: what is most appreciated is the gift of thoughtfulness, of your time, of yourself. By all means, give flowers, chocolate, lingerie and jewelry. But if you are blessed to have love in your life on February 14, surpass yourself. Celebrate romance; make it personal, mystical, magical. Be original. Be creative. Pull a rabbit from a hat. Lasso the moon. Become the Fakir.
Your lover has probably already intonated either in clear or muted tones, the precise way to play their heartstrings. If you’ve been applying Jack’s Rule #7 of Dating, and you’ve been paying attention, you should know what this is already. As each individual and relationship is unique unto itself, creativity and personalization give depth to even simple things. A handwritten letter, a dedicated song or poem, a home-cooked meal, a symbolic gesture, or surrender to some esoteric request—anything that demonstrates that your lover spoke—with or without words—and you heard, can have great meaning.
In order to appear the conjurer, you may need to enlist a co-conspirator. A best friend, co-worker or sibling, who can keep a secret, may be willing to help assist in your alchemy. Surprise and sleight of hand will add wonder and delight to even the tiniest gesture.
If this year finds you single, perform an act of kindness to someone deserving: a fellow single, a child, the elderly. Come back here after you’ve dazzled your loves—or after they’ve dazzled you—with your supernatural feats of romance. Describe in the comments how you gave someone the Valentine’s Day they’ve ever had, or how someone made it special for you.
Because even The Fakir needs inspiration.