I say this with a smile on my face and a tickle in my tongue. Valentines day has gotten so out of control that its hard to keep a straight face. When someone asks what I am doing for Valentines day I want to make up some bazaar and goofy answer, but all I can do is smile that 'take over the world' smile.

Valentines day was born in 496 AD (it was deleted from the Roman calendar in 1969) , well before Mega card companies and caramel filled chocolates. It wasn't until the 15th century that a day set aside to express love turned into a time to share flowers, sweets and cards.

It seems to me that the beginning of Valentines day was innocent enough, but turned into a commercial holiday with expectations that few can really meet. Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it a day where women want to believe in fairy tales more than any other day? The truth of the matter is that fairy tales don't exist and it's only the day to day humdrum's that really require us to believe in them in the first place. Fairy tales are simple thoughts and don't come close to the real rewards of life. You can daydream your life away on a thought of some grand superficial life or you can take the ride with its joys and bumps. I prefer the bumps, a fairy tale life would bore me to the bone.

Now before you close this blog and say that D Dennison is off her rocker, please know that I do believe in love and saying I love you. I just don't believe in one day a year, for me. With that said, I do realize that its important to take a step back once in a while from the day to day grind. It is important to appreciate each other and if it takes a day like Valentines day to make it happen then I support that too.

I know that money is tight and the pressure of this holiday really drives me nuts for those on a tight budget. My suggestions are often laughed at because they don't involve a carriage ride or a surf and turf dinner in a dimly lit room, but expressing your love doesn't take mega millions. I run into couples out a lot and when we engage in conversation I find out that this night that I have run into them is the first date night they've had in six months or even a year. That's the true crime and if it takes Valentines day to get you to 'burden' your mom or sister or niece to watch your kids, then do it. You should never forget you in this life, there will always be dishes and always be bills to pay.

Night out suggestions:

  • make a picnic basket at home and drive to a nearby park-I know its cold, eat in the car with music from the time you met playing in the background.
  • go Rollerskating and pick up a foot long sub, six pack and a pound or a couple of dollar menu cheeseburgers.
  • light some candles in your bedroom and take a hot bath together and watch your favorite movie. - you can get a babysitter and never leave the house, don't forget to lock the door.
  • there is a restaurant in town that does retro night every Tuesday, if not tomorrow, make a plan to go next week and get a plate of spaghetti with the trimmings for 2.95 a plate
  • go to the bookstore, pick a travel book, get a cup of coffee and sit together and dream up a grand vacation, even if its only make believe-you'd be amazed how relaxing and fun that can be

These are just a few ideas to get the old brain a thinking. I know you think you have to spend too much on dinner and buy chocolates that may or may not get eaten and pick up a stuffed animal that will sit in the closet or worse yet a bunch of over priced flowers that will die, but you don't. The greatest part of Valentines day is just being with the one(s) you love. Take a pause to see and feel what you have and appreciate it.