Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Valentine's Day suggestions

I find it interesting that arguably the most romantic movie of all-time is about a married woman who has an affair and is ready to dump her husband. The movie is CASABLANCA.

Guys always dread Valentine’s Day because it comes with a huge heap of obligation. You have to buy her a present, you have to take her out to an expensive dinner. There’s a lot of just going-through-the-motions. And any true sentiment gets buried in a price fixed menu.

Might I make a suggestion?

Another way to show genuine affection is to make her laugh. Is there something you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day that’s fun? Any place you can go that’s a little off-beat and silly? Any way you could let your hair down and do something a bit crazy and out of character? Think of those great old romcoms – guys are always doing slightly embarrassing things to win the hearts of their Audrey Hepburns. Often they wind up fully dressed falling into pools or getting arrested for serenading in a library but the thought is there. Spontaneity can be romantic, too. Is there an Improv show you could take her to?  Goofy motel shaped like a wigwam you can stay for the night?   Drinks on the roof of a police station? A home cooked dinner then watching VOLUNTEERS on TV (that's if you REALLY want to pull out all the stops)?

When I was a teenager and wanted to really make an impression I did not take my dates to expensive restaurants. First off, I couldn’t afford them, and secondly this made more of an impact. Eckberg’s Steakhouse. This is a small excerpt from my memoir, THE ME GENERATION: GROWING UP IN THE '60s (which would make a PERFECT Valentine's Day gift that you can order here):

I took Helen to Eckberg’s Steakhouse. This was maybe my favorite restaurant in the world. It was in an actual house, on a side street off Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills. The living room had been converted to a dining room large enough for maybe six or seven tables. You could see into the kitchen where the stork-like Mr. Eckberg cooked the steaks. His dowdy wife was the waitress. All she would ever say was “ice box rolls” when she put a basket of them on your table.

They were both in their 70s, although who knows? They could have easily been in their 90s. They lived upstairs. Mr. Eckberg was a force of nature. He took your order, he cooked your steak, and all the while, cackled like an insane person. If a customer put a nickel into an old juke box, the song “I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover” would play. Mr. Eckberg would turn it up full blast and begin to dance and sing at the top of his lungs, all the while ringing dozens of bells. Helen thought this was a riot.

Mr. Eckberg would only take cash, and when you paid at his antique register he would chortle, “Money, money, money!” ring a few bells, and make you kiss a rubber chicken.

See if there’s an “Eckberg’s” somewhere in your town.

For girls, wanting to please their guys on Valentine’s Day, it’s much easier and requires much less thought. Just give them sex.


Stephen Marks said...

LOL, nice Ken. "Money, money, money", who knew Mr. Eckberg liked Abba. Okay look its a different time now then Ken writes about in his book "The Me Generation" and back then you probably wouldn't say this to a guy but times have changed so I'm going to say "Ken we love you and your blog, Happy Valentine's Day." There I said it, now I'm going to watch rugby.

Peter said...

You made her laugh and you suggest others find an Eckberg's. Are we to conclude that Helen gave you sex?

I'm flying the flag for us singletons who are happily single and won't be shelling out ridiculous sums of money. 

By the way, Happy Birthday for tomorrow Ken! 

Tim Ahern said...

When Mr. Eckerg asked if you wanted steak sauce the answer better be "no". He had a very effective stink eye.

VincentS said...

Sorry to be so anal, Ken, but in CASABLANCA Ingrid Bergman's character was told that her husband was dead when she hooks up with Bogart's character so there was nothing unsympathetic or cynical about their affair. On the other hand, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY...PS - Happy birthday.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I can't imagine why *anyone* would want to go out to dinner on Valentine's Day. Crowded, noisy, unpleasant.

Seems to me like staying home is far more romantic. Go out on a night when everyone *else* stays home.


VP81955 said...

The hot cakes at Du-par's at Farmers Market are to die for, and can be a welcome lead-in to further romantic activity.

Cap'n Bob said...

Well, VincentS beat me to my comment, and I second what he said, especially the happy birthday.

To find a restaurant around here that doesn't have lines around the block is impossible on Valentine's Day. May I suggest a nice little garage in Chicago?

VincentS said...

Sorry, Cap'n Bob

404 said...

I think I got pretty lucky, because I married a woman who thinks that Valentine's Day is ridiculous, and pretty much wants nothing to do with it.

Cap'n Bob said...

Don't be sorry, VincentS. You saved me a lot of typing.

Frustrated said...

Is the picture of the jungle room from the Madonna Inn in St. Luis Obispo? I stayed in a similar room back in the 90's. The shower was a big cave with waterfalls and everything. I took a picture of my boyfriend but cannot share it unfortunately because I aimed the camera a little too low. Fun times.