In honor of Valentine's Day, you should consider having a sensuous and sumptuous evening at home with Mr. Honey rather than following the herd to an overbooked, overpriced restaurant, the Chump's Delight, where your champagne and the single rose will break the bank for weeks.
This Valentine's Eve, you can be bohemian young lovers again. Rent a good movie, buy a bottle of red--and this beverage doesn't have to be of a quality to make you speak in tongues, see gold angels, titillate your spark plugs or make your boiler explode. It's just WINE, for Pete's sake. But maybe you SHOULD bring home one of those quiveringly delicious desserts from the deli, say, that dear little cake with the chocolate ganache that you've eyed all year, but feared was too precious and sinful to indulge in. Tonight is the night to indulge.
You've got your favorite romantic movies, I've got mine. Some folks love the classics, like GONE WITH THE WIND. They focus breathlessly on the scene where Rhett carries a passionately squeaking Scarlett up that endless staircase. Hubba hubba! Personally I've never felt the same about that scene, since reading that Clark Gable was forced by a sadistic director to repeat it twenty times. By the last few trudges up the staircase he was trembling, shaking, drenched with sweat, furious at the director, and terrified that he was popping a hernia. Vivien Leigh also shared with friends that she was mentally holding her nose during this scene because of Gable's unhygienic dentures. This is not romantic! Or there's CASABLANCA, but the ending still leaves me thunderstruck. Bogey and Bergman are plainly soulmates. Even their hats look perfect together, yet he forces her to fly off with the freedom-fighter Paul Henreid. Does anyone really doubt that Henreid could fight the Nazis much better without Bergman tripping after him in her spectator pumps?
Rent your choice movie, whatever it might be. Next, make a snack that rounds all bases. Personally, I always like a special popcorn that I drench not only in garlic butter but in paprika and in the deliciously sharp chedder cheese that comes in Kraft dinner mixes. In a once-a-year spirit of abandon, you might even throw away the hard little noodles.
If you're very lucky, you may have inherited from your parents an ancient, enormous hide-a-bed sofa, the original kind that's about the weight of a mammoth elephant. This is not really a sofa at all, but a boulder carved to resemble a sofa. It will probably outlive you, so you might as well enjoy this Rock of Gibralter and soften it with fuzzy afghans.
On Valentine's night, let down the hide-a-bed. Put the magnificently reeking popcorn, the wine and the chocolate delight within easy reach. (And by the way, don't be afraid of the popcorn. Garlic adds character to kisses.) Close the curtains snugly against all of those rampant black ice-gales raging through the February night--but not in here. Then turn on the movie, wrap yourself and your sweetie in the embrace of a warm comforter, and watch a couple like the two of you fall in love as though flinging themselves down a well or catapulted to the stars.