"It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked."
– Kahlil Gibran
Last Monday, there was a certain holiday to attend to, and it’s pretty easy to let things sort of slide on by after that point. But here’s my advice for you:
Don’t stop there.
Yes, yes — the old canard: EVERY day is Valentine’s Day!
And I’m very aware that you may have had a budget for your expressions of love, so I’m taking a different approach.
These are some non-budget-busting ways to go "above and beyond" —
when it matters. Sure, wives may scoff at this list, and be gratified when their husbands successfully surpass it. And husbands, well, I know some are skilled at romance; and others … well, here’s some help!
You see, how nice would it be to have "come through" last week
(or, well, not, as the case may be), but then follow up with
And again, I know that many families on my list have a certain
amount of means at their disposal, and others don’t. Which
makes this list even more helpful. Because *whatever* your budget,
the simple gesture of coming back around AFTER Valentine’s Day
is how real magic happens.
So, yes — today’s Note is not about taxes, per se … but as part of my
continuing quest to serve you "above and beyond", I thought I’d offer
you a friendly reminder.
[But, on that note: Have you contacted us yet to get your taxes
in order? Because our schedule is rapidly filling up. And please remember to sendyour friends our way! Just have them let us know you sent them, and we’ll give them a special deal — just from you.]
Stephen J. Venuti’s
"Real World" Personal Strategy
Making Your Love Gestures Stick
It’s no secret that our economy is in tough shape. And whatever your particular financial situation, wouldn’t it be great to create romance "magic" without spending an arm and two legs? So, perhaps you’ve done the old "flowers, candy and chocolate" routine already last week. Well, here are a few modest and occasionally tongue-in-cheek suggestions for a sizzling follow-through … that won’t torch your wallet!
Be Green – Save Money and the Environment at the Same Time!
With the economy taking its toll on virtually every industry, even the high-rollers are looking for ways to spend their cash more effectively. One Hollywood studio saved $40,000 on cards and postage by doing e-Cards and videos for all of their clients and friends.
Seem cheap? Spin it this way – you’re being green by not using snail mail – that’s so 20th century anyway. You’re keeping with the times, utilizing powerful technology and reducing your "footprint" at the same time! What environmentally-conscious woman could resist?!
Make a Video.
You can use the video setting on your digital camera, and create a heartfelt message of love for your sweetie. Then, you can post it to YouTube, or another online video-sharing site and send it on! Um, just be sure to adjust that YouTube setting to "private" unless you want to share with the world your dying love for your honey.
Learn a Romantic Song and Sing it to Your Sweetheart.
Even if you can’t sing, your more-than-a-valentine will give you kudos for the effort! You could step it up by writing an original song and then sing it. Or, for the slightly-less courageous, you could pull a page out of Stephen Cusack’s book in Say Anything and hold a boombox (or iPod) above your head and blare Peter Gabriel’s "In Your Eyes". That seemed to work.
Not a singer? More of a writer? Or artist? For the artistically and/or musically inclined:
– You could pen a poem on nice paper
– or even paint it
– You can paint a picture of your honey. Just be sure it looks good.
The "Mix Tape" (or Playlist)
This is an old standby of high school kids everywhere. Except these days, the "tape" part is a bit less convenient. Instead, make a CD or mp3 playlist of Sweet Love Songs and make a cover list/ liner notes on the memories of you and your honey from the songs. And you can make a Personalized Photo Album using a service like Apple’s iBook service and iPhoto.
Surprise your love with a ‘picnic’ in the park, at the beach, or any other outdoor nature spot. If the weather isn’t ideal for outdoors, you could bring the outdoors inside -find a fake palm tree, flowers, sand, beach umbrella, radio, towels. Nothing says "I love you" like fake palm trees!
Write a Message To Be "Stumbled Upon"
Well, perhaps not *literally* stumbled upon, but try a nice outdoor surprise. If you do have snow outside, you could stomp out the message and fill in the letters with spray paint or flower petals or rocks. If there’s no snow, you can use sidewalk chalk to write a message to your sweetie.
You see, anybody can go out and "buy something" – but it takes effort and thoughtfulness to make it personal … and it doesn’t require a lot of money!
Just remember … follow-through is everything!