Can someone please explain to me what giving roses, chocolate and diamonds has to do with building true, everlasting, unconditional love?

Can someone please explain to me what giving roses, chocolate and diamonds has to do with building true, everlasting, unconditional love?

Every year we pull out this recipe and every year the great majority is left with compost, five more pounds to lose before bikini season and rocks that have to be insured.

Roses never did it for me. Maybe that was because to me they are similar to an overplayed song on the radio. When songs are overplayed, I become frustrated. Then I project my frustration on that song, which results in me disliking the song for all of eternity.

Roses are so overplayed that they do absolutely nothing for me. If you were to bring me a dozen roses, I’d cynically assume you were going to ask me for money or tell me you just dropped an anvil on my car.

Chocolate, however, is wonderful. I love chocolate, and I do admit to using chocolate to express my love. I make chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pancakes and chocolate brownies regularly for my family. When we are stuck home because of snow, I head to the kitchen to make gallons of hot chocolate.

But I don’t want an overpriced heart-shaped box of manufactured chocolates from my husband or children on Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather have them volunteer to make the chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pancakes and chocolate brownies.

Such a gesture would give me a much-needed break. As a result, I’d be more rested and happier. A rested happier me balances the universe that exists within our household. Balance leads to harmony and fulfillment. Humankind could achieve world peace simply by offering to give moms a break in the kitchen.

Many of you ladies would be ecstatic to receive a rock hard enough to cut glass on this annual day of romance. Some of you will be presented with the mineral packaged with the question for which you’d been waiting since he met your parents and your dad didn’t try to hit him with the car or otherwise threaten his life expectancy.

Ladies, I know diamonds are expensive and sparkly. I used to think the act of spending money and making my neck or finger shine like the sun equated to everlasting love. However, I’ve since learned that there is so much more to love than a cold, hard rock.

I’m not suggesting you say no if the question is popped and a ring presented. I’m simply proposing you don’t let the expensive piece of jewelry influence your decision. Seriously, would you marry him if he didn’t offer a flashy ring?

Better yet, can you look him in the eyes and honestly say you wouldn’t mind being stranded on an island, just you and him, with no contact from the civilized world, including your grown kids, and no television or air freshener, for decades? If you can say yes without hesitation, then by all means accept the ring, chocolates, roses and proposal.

Truth be told, I believe love would have a fighting chance if the flower, confection and jewelry industries didn’t have a stronghold on the general public in February. If we were more creative in how we expressed our love, we could impart more sincerity and form a deeper connection with our beloveds.

Not only should we be more creative, but we should also celebrate February 14th more often. There is only one day each year during which couples are challenged and motivated to do something to prove their love to each other. If we really want the seed of love to sprout and grow into a giant, gnarly tree with roots deep enough to destroy the foundation of a skyscraper, we need to observe a day of love at least once a month.

Incorporating Valentine’s Day into our lives on a monthly basis could do wonders for romance and relationships. For one day each and every month — a mere 12 days a year —couples should focus on each other.

Some of us call this date night and create rules such as making the topics of kids and work off limits. Hubby and I used to cook a meal together and light a candle. While the candle was lit, the boys weren’t allowed to enter the kitchen or bother us unless they were bleeding or the house was on fire.

Another romantic, meaningful activity that can boost pheromone levels and help couples reconnect is taking a long walk together. Not only can you discuss dreams and goals together, walking also offers a healthy way to process a decadent date-night meal.

Buy into the red roses, high-calorie chocolates and expensive diamond jewelry if you must. I’m sure if Hubby shows up with these on Thursday, I will graciously accept them with love. But please promise me that if you are truly committed to love, you will escape together to your deserted island for a few moments each month and fertilize your relationship.


Micki Bare is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau and the Courier-Tribune in Asheboro, N.C., and author of “Thurston T. Turtle Moves to Hubbleville.” She lives in Asheboro with her husband, three children and mother. Her e-mail address is• • •

Micki Bare is a columnist for the Arkansas News Bureau. Her email address is