What I love the most about Valentine’s Day is the opportunity to find a special way to say “I love you” in a way that goes beyond the usual “I love you” as I’m running frantically out the door for an important event. Thankfully, I’m coming up on my fourth wedding anniversary, which I’m totally excited about because I spent most of my adult life single, and a lot of that time dateless on Valentine’s Day. Poor me, I know.
Recognizing that today’s message gets to you at the heat of last minute Valentines prep work, I want you to know I’m scrambling myself to make it extra special. Since “What’s for dinner” is standard conversation in our house, I’ve decided to serve up the evening’s dinner within a formal service laced with extra décor. Maybe you want to do the same; therefore, here are my Valentine’s Day tips to help you show love with good manners.Formal vs. Informal. Going beyond the norm is what will make your gift of cooking special. A good menu primer is a three to five course meal with all the trimmings associated with the ultimate place setting. Likely, you have all you need stacked in your cabinets. Pull it out, swish your place settings through a sudsy soap bath to clear the dust, dry and off you go to the table. Lay out your best cloth or even a colorful bed sheet if that’s all you have available (nobody but you will know). And, in case the place setting has you baffled, here are some good examples you can follow. Do what works for you.
Dishing-Up a Little Scoop of Manners. When we arrive to the dining table, let’s keep in mind that cell phone usage at the dining table is the number one faux pas in the dining etiquette world. Yes, we like to be available and kill time combing Facebook and glancing at emails (like we ever just glance…) in between service, but all this kills the mood and serves up nothing but more disconnect. Arrive ready to be accessible to the people you are with. Give your love and undying attention to those who have made time to be with you, and only you.
And, if Valentine’s Day ends up being a first date, second date or part of the courting process for more potential dates remember this: He who asks pays. So, if you do the asking, count on paying. Going “Dutch” is so unromantic on Valentine’s Day, but if you insist on pitching in, discuss money before the date begins to avoid spoiling the mood.
If you think you are off the hook now, no not just yet. “A smiling face is half the meal”. This Latvian Proverb is true. Smile, smile and smile. Smile at everyone, even the ones who won’t smile back. Smile in gratitude, happiness and joy. Be happy this Valentine’s Day with anyone and everyone. Couple yourselves with the likes of happy, generous people. Snuggle with your pets. Be the gracious wonderful person you are. You are loved.
© Tiffany Nielsen. All Rights Reserved.