HALLIE EPHRON: Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. It's a tricky holiday. Not one to be ignored, but in our house more sweet than significant. I always hope for candy and get flowers. Or maybe it's the other way around. My favorite thing is always the valentine card that my husband draws for me.
The best valentine I've ever given was inspired by my husband's ratty old bedroom slippers. I bought him a pair of bright red LL Bean fleece slipper socks. He always leaves his slippers by the bed when he goes to sleep and when he woke up that Valentine's day, the new ones were right there for him to slip them on.
His best gift to me? Letting me throw away the old slippers. He gets very attached to his things.
So what are your best Valentine's gifts, given or received?
LUCY BURDETTE: that's such a cute story Hallie! and we envy your adorable cards. I may have told you all this a hundred times, but John proposed on Valentine's Day, back in 1992. He did it with a hand-crafted poem that started out something like:
"On the court,
A girl named Bert,
Played across the net
In a bright red skirt."
And it ended with a flourish: "Honey-bunny don't leave me in the lurch, let's go do it in the church."
Now how could he ever top that? He doesn't have to--he's good for the duration of the marriage. LOL Which we hope is a long, long time....
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Lucy, that's adorable! And Hallie, I love the slipper story! Noel and I try to be romantic all year long, so we don't really do a big thing on Valentine's Day, specifically. I must say the idea of going to an overcrowded/overpriced restaurant on that particular day doesn't appeal. I'd rather go somewhere on a whim on a random Tuesday. Because we both freelance and Kiddo is in school, we tend to do lunch dates!
What I do like about Valentine's day is helping Kiddo buy Valentines for kids in his class (usually Snoopy) and then doing something special for the three of us (usually involving heart-shaped cookies with red icing.)
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Susan, I think your Valentine's Day sounds great. We don't usually do much. I don't eat a lot of chocolate, flowers are twice the price of normal, and restaurants are over-crowded. Trying to remember if we've ever gone out on Valentine's Day... I usually try to cook something nice, and this year will be celebrating our little sweetheart Wren, new addition to the family.
Favorite Valentine's prezzy? Heart-shaped, raspberry-filled Linzer torte cookies from La Madeleine French Cafe and Bakery!
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: My celebration is on the day after, when all the candy goes on sale for half-price! No, Ross and I are more like Susan and Noel; we'll skip the hard-to-get reservations on Feb 14 and have a more relaxing meal another day.
I don't know about BEST Valentine's Day gift, but I can share the (inadvertently) funniest: I had been grumbling about losing weight and getting in shape, and Ross gave me a pretty heart-shaped box of sugar-free chocolates. I didn't even open them until one of my besties came calling a few days later. She and I sat by the woodstove, talking and eating chocolates, eating chocolates and talking... we were two-thirds of the way through the box before we turned it over and saw the warning on the bottom label: RECOMMENDED SERVING SIZE - 3 CANDIES. SUGAR FREE CANDIES MAY HAVE A LAXATIVE EFFECT.
So that was the year Ross gave me sweets AND a colon cleanse.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Oh, Julia. Yes, indeed, memorable.
Valentines Day. I got nuthin. Jonathan and I pretty much ignore it...we are very cozy all the time (you know, all the Reds relationships are like that, it's pretty interesting), and we just never latched on to it.
My best Valentine story was for TV. I did a big experiment about two things: First, whether putting roses in plain water, aspirin water, sugar water, or floral stuff water made a difference in their staying power. I put one rose from the same bouquet of 12 into a separate vial, in the same place with the same light and temp, and changed the water and food every day, and took video every day over two weeks. It was a great experiment.
I also checked the price of a dozen roses a month before and then compared the price of the SAME bouquets on Valentine's Day. HIGHWAY ROBBERY. (Buying champagne on New Year's Eve, too. Ripoff.)
RHYS BOWEN: As we are always in Arizona for Valentine's Day we have an ongoing joke. Our first year here,2007" John bought me a balloon and fake roses at the dollar store. They have lasted to this day so every year he dusts them off and presents them to me again! The balloon refuses to collapse!
We never go out to eat as the service is terrible but I think we will console ourselves with lobster tail and lamb chops and maybe chocolate. And the night before we are going to Bruno's Desert Light exhibit at the Botanical Garden. So no complaints.
HALLIE: AND AND AND?? Hank, which rose lasted the longest? Deb, linzer cookes are my all-time favorites. I make them with hazelnuts and raspberry jam.
So we're dying to hear what do you hope the Valentine bunny is bringing you this year? And what are your fondest memories of Valentine's Days past?