Happy Hallmark Day!

Before all the women reading this blog get their panties in a knot thinking I am anti-Valentine’s Day by saying “Happy Hallmark Day,” let me make one thing clear . . . you’re 100% correct! I am anti-Valentine’s Day.

What’s So Special About February 14th?

I for one believe that you don’t need a special day in the middle of February (or a little past the middle with there being 29 days in February this year) to celebrate your relationship and your love . . . or to give that microchip-sized diamond pendant from Kay Jewelers. Half of you are still paying off the bills you incurred at Christmas telling your sweetheart you love them.

I personally think that Valentine’s Day should be moved to April 14th – the day before tax day. Think about the headline: “Stressed out having to send the government $20,000.00 tomorrow? Celebrate today by going to Kay Jewelers and buying a microchip-sized diamond pendant!”

Not only that, I can already see the marketing campaign. Somehow Kay Jewelers and the IRS will get together and write it off. “If you buy the microchip pendant now, you can write it off on your 2007 tax return.” I know no one is going to pass that law, though, so let’s get back to my love of Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day — Old School Style

Do you know when I loved Valentine’s Day? I loved it when I was a kid and I got to go to school with my box of Valentine’s cards to give to everyone. You know the ones I’m talking about – the ones where the whole box costs about $2.00 and contains little cards that say “Be My Valentine” coming out of Snoopy’s mouth.

You also got to hand out those disgusting heart-shaped candies that tasted like fourteen year old Tums. You remember those, right? The ones where you give them to someone, and as they eat them dust comes out of their mouth when they tell you “At least I won’t have heartburn this Valentine’s Day!” Tums really should start to put slogans on their little chalky tablets that say things like “Be Acid Free,” I like No Acid,” “Care To Swap Some Stomach Acid?” or “My Heartburn Burns For You!”

Those chalky colored heart candies had sayings on them like “Melt My Heart,” Puppy Love,” “Kiss Me,” “Sweet Talk” and the classic “Get My Drift.” I remember they made a special one based on an episode of “Happy Days” where the Fonz handed ones out that said (misspelled) “You’re the ginchiest.”

While those candies haven’t gotten any better tasting over the years, at least some people have gotten a little more creative with the sayings on them. Why not check out some more … interesting sentiments to say to your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day?

Anyway, it was really fun to go into your classroom and give out 50 valentines and bags of bad candy. That was a fun Valentine’s time.

Now what do we do on Valentine’s Day? You have to make reservations at a restaurant where they double the price of same food they serve every other day. Even McDonald’s bumps up the price (and the cholesterol count) for Valentine’s Day.

A Funny Valentine’s Story

Since we’re taking a trip down memory lane, let me tell you about one of my favorite Valentine’s Days. It was the year I opened my bar in New York City, and I was broke. Let me tell you . . . opening a bar on 28th? I had no right to do that.

So it was Valentine’s Day, I only had a few bucks, and I had to get my then girlfriend a Valentine’s gift. So I’m walking down the street and see a guy selling stuffed animal bears out of a garbage bag. I asked him how much they were, and he said a couple bucks. Since that was about all I had, I said “I’ll take it!”

I was so proud of my purchase – the bear was white and really cute. So I walk in the door with the bear behind my back and said “Happy Valentine’s Day baby! Look what I found on the way home!!”

As I’m still holding the bear behind my back, my golden retriever Jessie grabs it out of my hand in one violent motion. So I said “Jessie drop it!” She did, but she kept her eyes fixated on it. So my girlfriend Jessie (God, I’m sounding like Dr. Bob now) grabbed the bear and hugged it.

All of a sudden her face contorted and she got a look of disgust on her face. I said “What’s wrong?” She answered (holding the bear toward me) “Smell this!” Meanwhile the golden retriever’s tail is going 100 mph. I took a whiff of the bear and said “It sort of smells like the zoo.”

We made the joint (and quite easy) decision at that point to give the bear to my dog Jessie, who loved “yellow bear” until the day she died. To this day, we have no idea what animal marked that bear. We had a good laugh about it, made some dinner, and created a nice Valentine’s Day memory.

Create Your Own Valentine’s Day Memories

Now I’m not telling you to find an animal, have it pee on a stuffed animal, and then give it to somebody. What I am suggesting, however, is for you to get one of those 50-count boxes of kids’ Valentine’s cards and bring them home tonight so that your sweetheart can open up every single one of them.

You could even buy her a bag of those seventeen year old dusty heart candies with such magical phrases as “Be Mine” on them. Sometimes the “M” looked like an “N,” though, so the candy looked like it read “Be Nine” and thinking you were playing Battleship yelling “B9!”

So you see, I really don’t hate Valentine’s Day. I just think it’s more fun to be creative than to make a reservation at a restaurant. So if anyone wants to “Be Mine” for Valentine’s Day, I’ll be here.

Now let me ask all of you one question. What was your favorite Valentine’s Day and why?


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