Mutant Love: Valentines Day Plans?

I suck at gift-giving and surprise planning. Being a bit stuck between the real and fantasy realms I have trouble focusing enough to plan grand gestures of love, despite being very much in both real and fantastical love with my partner of 17 years. My greatest hits were an Etsy buddhist charm bracelet and the time I learned “If It’s Magic” on the classical guitar right under her nose and sang it shakily to her on our anniversary.

Any tales of success or woe in gestures of love big or small, occasional or ongoing? This a bit cheesy for these mutant boards, but so curious what you all do in the romance department, given my struggles.


one year i had some of my students with spare time help me with something that became part of a grand gesture. i provided the volunteers with scissors and 20 different shades of pink and red paper. i taught them about 8 different ways to cut out a heart and then we made an estimated 4000 hearts in sizes ranging from 8 inches across down to less than half an inch across. simultaneously i had our florist save red rose petals for a week ahead. starting with our sheltered porch and leading to her seat in the living room i laid down first a layer of hearts and then a layer of rose petals. on her seat i set a small box of choclates from la maison du chocolat, then a pile of hearts, then a pile of rose petals, and finally one, single, absolutely perfect, red rose.

it was very nice.

edited to add a space between maison and du.


That is super very sweet! The sheer quantity, forethought and simplicity are super classy, plus getting kids in on the game is very real. Hmmmm. I just so happened to have made a couple of “volunteers” over the last few years, one of which can probably handle safety scissors at this point…


there’s a saying “quantity creates a quality of its own” that can be useful. simplicity is often key to that. having cultivated a great relationship with a single florist over a long period of time made it possible for my concept to really pop.


This, obviously, relied on a certain amount of happenstance over planning; but I got someone the first ladybug of spring once. The longer, colder, winter had been getting her down so, when I ran across a very early emerging ladybug, the first I had seen, I carefully collected it and brought it back as a surprise for her. A small thing; but it worked well with the context.

Another time I got together the materials and equipment so we could make prince rupert’s drops together. In my earlier experiments with them I’d been struck by the strange, delicate, translucent fire of the glass as it came to temperature. I’m not sure how you’d give that to someone; but I wanted to share it with them. As an unexpected extra that glow casts a light that makes candles look harsh and garish by comparison. I can still remember how it swelled in her face and eyes as she focused on the forming droplets, moving from a hint of dull red until suffused with a sort of ethereal rose.

In…slightly…less conventionally romantic tone(and not as a sole gift) I made a π tin: given the recipient’s interest in cooking and epistemology and tolerance for egregious puns it seemed like a good idea. I thought she’d find the tidbit of a case where you can produce a statistical approximation of a mathematical constant by empirical methods to be interesting; so I put together all the bits needed for Buffon’s Needle in a maximally baking-themed package. Parallel lines on parchment paper, procedure written up as a recipe card; all packaged in a pie tin. It went over well; though I suspect that was ultimately more a matter of the fact that she was awesome than the virtue of the idea.

Unfortunately, these instances are pretty ancient history at this point. But I remember them fondly.


Depending on individual circumstances
But when a father gives the kids a bath
and tucks them into bed with/a story,
(W/o being asked)
The mother really really will show you
a lot of
appreciation in return.
Nothing causes a woman to love
her man
More than watching her man
Love on the kids.


Cooking dinner has seemed to go over as well as anything. Various garments I’ve purchased for the occasion seem to have been at least as much a gift to me.

BB has published a gift guide in years past but I don’t recall that they did one last Feb.

I’m reminded of the time when the Buena Vista Social Club happened to be performing on Valentine’s Day. I managed to get 2 seats together, but they were in one of the last rows of the upper balcony, despite me buying the tickets the morning they went on sale.

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