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A perpetually single girl’s guide to Valentine’s Day

By M.L. Hilton

(WINECOUNTRY) -- There are certain holidays that carry high expectations. Especially, if you pay any attention to the myriad of ads that run during these times with every gift portrayed as a happy ending in disguise. Christmas is that time for the Christians; Valentine’s for the lovelorn (or is that worn?).

Pressure on the perfect romance aside, an advantageous opportunity of Valentine’s commercial assault is the sale prices offered on Champagnes and sparkling wines. Sparkling wine is a necessity in my household. I grab any excuse I can to pretend a celebration in my week and open a bottle. And once the bottle is open, the celebration is no longer pretend.

This year, my local Safeway offered Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut (2000) for under $15 a bottle, a full 50 percent off its normal retail price. I bought three bottles. That’s at least one celebration a week for three weeks. Should get me through February just fine.

I love the look and smell of chocolate, though I only indulge minimally in a month. My opinion about chocolate is: why bother with lesser goods when they all put the same weight on your thighs? This is a product where it is definitely quality over quantity. If you are overindulging on chocolates, there is something else out of balance in your life and this won’t replace it (okay, we could say that about Champagne, but lalalala, I’m not listening).

If you are going for culinary decadence, go all the way and don’t wait for someone to buy it for you. A trip to Woodhouse Chocolates in St. Helena (CA) is a sensory experience – it’s a fun visual one too, if you get them to open the back door of the shop into the kitchen. Handmade, all natural, don’t wait to eat them – you may let your romance go stale, but never your chocolates.

I can't think of cholcolates without thinking about the Whitman Sampler summer. This is the salacious moniker we have given to a girlfriend’s season of exploration and adventure. Variety, that year, was the spice of her life (okay, and through titillating conversations it was ours that year also).

If you are reading romance novels for your titallation, sister give those up. My novels of choice for recreational reading are murder mysteries. You can come out of those and believe humanity has no where else to go but up. NO MAN, however, lives up to the beautiful, sensitive, rich, and recently reformed men of the saccharine fantasies. You are only setting yourself up for emotional failure – move on.

If you find yourself depressed, or looking too longingly after couples holding hands, you may want to try the original cure for sadness – engage yourself in helping others. You get love when you give love out, and you feel a lot better about your problems when you are helping other with theirs.

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