Standing in line at the grocery store it becomes abundantly obvious that Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
Aside from the rack of generic Valentine cards and boxes of chocolate that clog the aisles, I have another Valentine indicator, the monthly magazine for women.
Yes, you know exactly what holiday is approaching by the headlines screaming out at your from the magazine rack.
If the headline promises you a way to lose 15lbs in 3 days without changing your diet, you know that summer is here. If the headline is 100 gifts you can make with rubber bands, then Christmas is rapidly approaching.
As sure as god made little green apples, if the magazine shouts "Make Your Man Bare his Soul", "Re-tune Your Love Life", and "5 Steps to Ensure Intimacy" you know Valentines Day can't be far off.
No matter what publication, whether geared towards the working woman, the fashionable woman or the young woman, they all contain endless tips and tricks guaranteed to renew or extend your love life.
Women seem to be inordinately concerned with the state of their love life. I mean compare what headlines in the magazines for women with the headlines on those geared towards men.
Men get interviews with dashing actors like Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman, they get a list of 100 hot women and cool gadget reviews.
They also get useful information like movie reviews and exercises for rock hard abs.
Imagine that, not one single article devoted to putting the fire back into your marriage, or making sure your marriage doesn't crumble.
Apparently, men fail to realize the effort that goes into being in love. They really should read some of the female orientated articles; it would be a rude awakening to them.
According, to the magazines you must work at love 24/7. Instead of enjoying your special someone's company, why you should be relentlessly working on your relationship.
If you are wondering, why I, of all people should know what is contained in these magazines, I admit I have read a few.
It was under duress, really it was. Recently, I found myself without a good book to read and in a weak moment, I grabbed a woman's magazine.
I was so desperate for reading matter, I had been contemplating reading the back of cereal box and after perusing the woman's mag, I wish I had opted for the cereal box instead.
For example, one article insisted that no marriage could survive without the couple taking huge steps to ensure couple time. Therefore, if you haven't been out on a date with your spouse in awhile you are going to find yourself in divorce court soon.
I had to laugh at the articles strict guidelines for a date. You could not run errands with your spouse and consider that a date.
Well, that was news to me. The hubby and I frequently squeeze errands into the few dates we have. I guess this means certain doom for us.
Not everyone has the time, money or inclination to go out for dinner and a movie. Let's face it, dinner and a show these days costs the equivalent of your kids first semester of college.
Remember the good old days, if you liked someone you made them a construction paper heart. If you were really handy with the scissors and glue your valentine might have included a little paper doily in the center.
You can't get any more romantic then that, chances are this bowled your inamorata over.
Maybe you ramped it up a little by giving them a box of conversation hearts.
Unless their heart was kryptonite, it melted at those chalky little hearts sporting sassy sayings like U Rock and Luv Bug.
Maybe as you got older you saved up all your allowance to buy the one you loved a fuzzy heart shaped box, wrapped in red cellophane that contained an assortment gooey chocolates filled with odd flavored creme.
I am not saying love is easy, but I don't think we need to spend quite as much time working at it. We need to spend more time enjoying the love we have. We may never find the perfect lover, but nothing in life is ever perfect.
Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.
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