Happy Valentine’s Day … All You Beekeepers

In my part of the world we’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day this week, a day for lovers, married couples, and the greeting card and candy industries. So Happy Valentine’s Day to you all, especially the Beekeepers. Yes, Beekeepers – seems St. Valentine, besides being the patron saint of lovers and married couples, is also the patron saint of Beekeepers. In addition, he’s the patron saint of the plague, fainting and  traveling. I think how you feel about the plague/married couples connection will say a lot about the health of your marriage – just my opinion.

The Invention Of Valentine’s Day

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Truth is, St. Valentine may have been more than one person. Some sources will tell you that he may be an amalgam of up to twelve different holy folk from bygone times. No one is even quite sure who invented Valentine’s Day, although Geoffrey Chaucer, that spinner of saucy tales, may have had a hand in it. I mention these tidbits because if you’re like me, you’ve spent your share of Valentine’s Days bemoaning the fact that you aren’t out enjoying an overpriced romantic meal with your honey – anticipating the hot V-Day sex you’ll have for dessert. So I take chocolate-filled heart in the fact that it’s an invented holiday, based on the legend of … well … who really knows.

Celebrate Anyway

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Snarkiness and Medieval history aside, I have to say I still enjoy celebrating this holiday. I just find it easier to celebrate knowing the murky facts of the saint himself. I don’t feel I have to be part of a “couple” to enjoy the day. I can have any kind of fun I want with the day, even solo.

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I have a few reasons for being a Valentine’s Day fan. First of all, it’s February for God’s sake! It’s cold and nasty outside and any holiday that calls for  warm hugs and kisses is OK in my book – even if I’m not getting any of that at the time. Try it, hug a friend or your kids or parents and see if you don’t feel lighter and happier. Second, as a chocolholic I use the day to salivate in anticipation of February 15th, when all the chocolate hearts are HALF PRICE!

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I also like to use this day as an excuse to be my own valentine. It’s just the perfect day to pamper myself. Maybe I’ll get a massage, treat myself to those too-cute-for-words shoes, relax in a hot tub all night, whatever my self-indulgent self wants. When I’m in more of a party mood, I’ve been known to grab a few girl friends and head out for a night of dinner, drinks and gossip.

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The point is, Valentine’s Day is what you make it. I will be the first to admit that when I’m one half of a couple I go overboard with the sappy romantic mushy stuff … and I LIKE IT. I don’t care if St. Valentine was twelve different people or just one guy in multi-tasking overdrive (who knew that fainting has a patron saint!), it’s a fun little holiday.

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So, to one and all Happy Valentine’s Day! This year let’s get together and prank call our local card stores to ask them if they have St. Valentines’ Plague cards.

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Oh yes, and if you are planning a real date for V-Day, or any day, I’ve got a book for you to read!

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Love it..or Hate it…V-Day is here “again”.

Valentine's Day...Love It Or Hate ItMy track record: Around this time of year I’m either just broken up with someone, am in the process of breaking up with someone, or am about to experience a surprise breakup by that ex who’d been seeing the woman who would later become his first (Yeah…it didn’t last. Not that I’m gloating, heheheh) wife. So is it any wonder I have an intense love/hate relationship with Valentine’s Day?

One year, I was in the middle of a new relationship and THAT V-Day was sweet, romantic, fun and hot, all rolled into one spectacular day. THEN…the next year, we broke up on Feb. 16th. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.

Most year’s I just want to hide under the covers and eat all the chocolate covered caramels from the heart-shaped box of candies…that I’d bought for my son. He’s too old to get candy from Mom anymore so I’ve taken to buying candy for myself. I have the routine down to an Oscar-winning performance. Stroll into the Hallmark store, looking bemused, besotted and bewilderingly in love. Pick a velvet-flocked heart box, glide over to the register and ask if this brand has a LOT of chocolate covered caramels in it.

“My valentine has a thing for caramel”, I say, with a perfectly demure little blush.

One year…OMG…I found a heart-box filled with ALL caramels. I really was in love that year, well with the candy anyway.

Occasionally the clerk will ask if I want to pick out a card to go with it.

“No,” I say, “I making a very special home-made greeting this year”, this said with a slight wink and a nod. Hey, might as well play it up big, right? I know I could just stroll in, buy a box and boldly proclaim that I’m buying it for myself but I am, after all, an actress deep down…these theatrical moments feed my soul:)

So, on Valentine’s Day, armed with candy and a glass of wine and wrapped in my purple Snuggie, I celebrate the fact that I’m loving two of my favorite foods.

Valentine’s Day is after all just a consumer holiday meant to keep the greeting card and candy industries in business. What, you’re not buying that?? Have you EVER seen these industries in need of a government bail-out? I think not!

What I love about V-Day is being able to hate it if I so choose. I’ve had plenty of warm, romantic times during the other 364 days in the year. I’ve had Valentine’s Day dinners with other single friends that were way more fun than candlelight for two. So this year I will once again dine on sugar and liquor…and enjoy the hell out of it. Because really, you don’t need a holiday to appreciate the person you love (even if that person is you).

Do you agree? Have any tales of Valentine’s Day ups and downs of your own to share?


Be Your Own Valentine

It’s Valentine’s Day and no one is showing up at your door tonight with roses and Godiva’s in hand and you will not be carried off to a candlelit dinner at your favorite bistro. What do you do when the entire (or so it seems to you) world is kissing and cuddling and you’re home. Alone. Totally. Alone.

Yes, deep down we all know it’s a made up holiday. Just another excuse for Hallmark, Godiva, Victoria’s Secret and the little bakery down on the corner – you know the one that makes the awesome cupcakes – to improve their bottom lines for the fiscal quarter. Still, there’s something about having a special “faux holiday” dedicated to letting someone know that they’re loved. And here we are spending VeeDay alone.

This would lead one to believe that the only choices are: Cry, drink lots of wine and cry, nuke a Lean Cuisine meal and then cry, watch Sleepless In Seattle for the eight-hundredth time…and have a good cry. …..OR…. you can just be your own Valentine. Yes…you. What makes Valentine’s Day so much fun is being just a bit pampered by someone who cares. And who cares about you more than you? So show yourself the love, smile – a smile is a powerful thing and can lift your spirits, lower your blood pressure and just make you….happy. So how do you get smiley and happy, when all you really want to do is bury your face in a bucket of ice cream and then eat your way out of it? Like this:

Stop and smell the roses. Buy yourself a bunch of the prettiest flowers, and while you’re at it throw in a box of chocolates. When you do this for yourself you can be absolutely sure that you will be getting your favorite flowers and candy. Don’t like chocolate? Get gummi bears, or whatever your heart desires. After all who knows what you like better than you do yourself?

Put on your fleeciest PJs and hog the TV all night. Watch all the movies that you and no one else but you loves. Watch the entire set of Die Hard movies ad nauseum because YOU like em, dammit! It’s all about you tonight baby!!

Call your unattached friends and have a “Lonely Hearts” dinner. I did this once years ago. I had just been through a bad breakup and wanted nothing more than to curl up in a ball and die for Valentine’s Day. My friends had other plans for me though. My buddy Rob brought heart stickers for us. Made us tear them in half and paste our “broken hearts” on our lapels. Five of us then went out to dinner wearing our badges and I have to tell you – this was one of the best nights out I’ve ever had. I really can’t say that I’ve ever laughed more than I did that VeeDay….and I usually laugh a lot.

Pay the love forward. Show the world you care by making a donation to your favorite charity. Give blood or take a CPR class. What better way to pay the love forward than by possibly saving a life. You could also save the sanity of your married-with-children friends by offering to baby sit on Valentine’s Day so they can go out and celebrate. Best part of this is, they can repay you by house- or dog-sitting for you when you DO have a new love in your life and you’re headed to the Bahamas for a romantic weekend!

So, how are you going to be your own Valentine this year? The phone lines are open…

I Heart You All,

Recession Dating

It’s no secret that the economy is in terrible condition. People are out of jobs, earning less money, losing their homes and suffering from the stress of a difficult financial environment.

Regardless who pays for a date, times are tough and it becomes hard to nurture and pursue your future love when you are lacking money. What is a man to do?

It is a humbling experience for everyone. But, there are ways to search for your love and be entertained without a lot of money.

Some suggestions that have arisen are wine tastings at a Liquor store, perusing art galleries, free concerts in the park, an inexpensive picnic, hiking and of course, a bottle of 2 buck chuck and a video.


Some of my female friends claim they will not date a guy without a job. I think this is harsh. In this environment, too many intelligent, sharp and well-educated people are searching for employment. What is more important is ambition and how one deals with unemployment. Is the person actively pursuing a job and thinking outside the box? Or, are they hanging around the house watching the last season of Oprah THINKING about possibly looking for a job? Or, are they sulking and toasting at their own pity party. I prefer the guy who looks forward with resolve, determination and a positive attitude.

Men so identify themselves with their job that it goes to the core of who they are and this can be a devastating blow to their ego, wallets and self-esteem. I personally find women do not tie their identity a job as much as men do and therefore, they seem to rebound a bit quicker.

When the economy turns around, we will not have to ponder these issues so readily. But, in the meantime, please share your economically restrained ideas for a date.

While the economy and employment markets may be letting us down, you can’t give up on love!

Share your stories. We would love to hear them.


Single for Valentine’s Day

This week we feature a guest post from relationship expert, Maryanne Camarota. Be sure to visit her at Maryanne Live for great relationship advice and to listen to her radio broadcasts! – Enjoy, Sharon and Mariann

The other day a reporter asked if I would help him with his column, and when I agreed, the first thing he asked me was to suggest places that single people can go to meet other single people.

“There’s no one place that would work well for everyone,” I said. “That’s like saying that everyone should go to eat at a specific seafood restaurant, when there are lots of people who don’t like seafood, or are even allergic to it! We have to stop thinking that a perfect relationship means the same thing to everyone. If you think you can just meet anyone and be happy, then you could try that any any singles bar, any night of the week.

“But the truth is,” I continued, “most of us want something more specific than that, but we haven’t taken the time to discover and state exactly what that s pecific thing is. It’s different for each person, and yet we tend to just go out there and try different people and hope we get lucky finding a good match. We could save a lot of wasted time and effort by first looking inward instead. Ask yourself what you really want, and be clear in stating the answers. Then set an intention to have those things, and go out and live your life accordingly. Hang out in the kinds of places where you’re likely to meet people who have the same values and interests as you have. You’d be surprised at how much of the rest takes care of itself.”

“But what can single people do to get through the loneliness of Valentine’s Day?” he asked. This is entirely down to your attitude as a single person. If you think that it’s a holiday to be tolerated, then that’s exactly what you’ll get. But if you celebrate Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to love yourself and to put that message out into the universe, suddenly there’s nothing lonely about it. Treat yourself to all the things you want, have that massage you’ve been thinking about, and do for yourself all the wonderful things you know you deserve. Don’t wait for someone else to do them for you. If you treat yourself with love, that love will come back to you sooner than you expect.

“So where are the hottest meeting places for singles?” he asked.

“As I said before, there’s no particular place out there – you have to find the answer according to your real self,” I repeated. “For example, eight years before I met my husband, I had a dream about him, and I knew he was coming to me someday. I concentrated on the things that made me happy, and the rest fell into place. So focus your energies on yourself and what makes you happy, and then go out into the world with that message on your sleeve.”

If you look at your relationship history, you probably want to avoid the failures of the past, right? So get yourself ready by aligning with your true desires, and then just go out and do the things that fulfill those desires.

“In other words,” I said, “finding out what you love to do and then doing it is the key!”

Any more questions? Email us at info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)
and we’ll answer them on the air every Tuesday morning from 10-11 am on

To find out if you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, watch Maryanne’s video on the subject: