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Follow these tips for a happy Valentine's Day
Notes from an almost-military wife
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When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’ve always been a cynic. A holiday that’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year? Forget it. In reality, it’s a day for singles to sit around eating Ben and Jerry’s alone while couples end their evening with a candlelit fight about their gifts at a nice restaurant.
Of course, I’m probably cynical because I’ve never had any particularly good experiences with Valentine’s Day. Until I got engaged last year, the only time I’d ever been in a relationship on Valentine’s Day was when I was 15 and a boy had the nerve to decorate my locker with pink construction paper hearts. We had been dating two weeks — an eternity in high school time — and I’d been on the verge of breaking up with him when Feb. 14 rolled around. His homemade display of pink affection did nothing to put him back in my good graces. I waited until Feb. 15 to break up with him.
But now that I’m older and wiser, I’d like to share some tips on avoiding a Valentine’s disaster and making your Feb. 14 experiences better than mine have been in the past.
• Don’t make a grand gesture if you’re unsure whether your feelings will be reciprocated. Hiring a skywriter to write your names in a heart above town sounds romantic, but when all you’re left with is a bill and an angry phone message, you’ll rethink it.
• Do take advantage of services offered on post at your installation. If you’re short on time and cash, many post restaurants and dining facilities offer Valentine’s specials. At Fort Benning, an MWR restaurant is offering a Valentine’s dinner package.
• Don’t spend too much money. Going out for a four-course steak dinner may be romantic, but it won’t go down so easy once you realize your next 200 meals will have to contain the words “Ramen” and “instant.”
• Do pay attention to your partner’s tastes. Choosing a Valentine’s gift your sweetie will actually enjoy is much more meaningful than just a box of chocolates (unless your girl’s a chocoholic like me). If your partner is obsessed with basketball, take him to a game. If she loves to watch cooking shows, buy a cookbook or pay for a cooking class.
• Don’t forget about our service members who are far away from their loved ones on Valentine’s Day. Take the time to check out services like Valentines For Troops, which allow you to send a Valentine to a service member overseas. Go to
• Do follow these tips to help improve your Valentine’s Day experience. Hopefully, you’ll have a good one. And maybe you’ll get something better than pink hearts on your locker.

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