My funny Valentine’s Day dilemma

Posted 2/6/18

OK guys — Yes, I mean guys, men, fellows, dudes, whatever. You know who you are. Listen up. Valentine’s Day is this coming Wednesday, Feb. 14. Write it on your hand or something. Go shopping for …

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My funny Valentine’s Day dilemma


OK guys — Yes, I mean guys, men, fellows, dudes, whatever. You know who you are. Listen up. Valentine’s Day is this coming Wednesday, Feb. 14. Write it on your hand or something. Go shopping for a present this weekend. Whatever you do, don’t forget about it. If you think that goofy groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil is a prediction of what the weather is going to be like for a while, I’ve got news for you. If you forget Valentine’s Day, the weather is going to be pretty stormy in your relationship for the next six months.

Now, for those of you who are single, and don’t have a romance going, Feb. 15th marks the day when it’s safe to start dating again. Why? Because from Christmas through Valentine’s Day it gets kind of awkward to by gifts and sign cards for someone you like a lot, aren’t in love with yet but don’t want to either jump the gun and say “I love you” too soon or look like an uncaring cheapskate with a token gift. I guess you could just sign a card with “I really like you but I don’t know if you are a psycho or not yet.” Unless your love interest has a really good sense of humor, that’s probably not going to be a big hit.

Ah, yes. Even though I am in a very happy relationship with my wife, there was a time … a long time … when I was a single guy on the prowl, dating or involved with lots of people and I pretty much became an expert on either dealing with or dodging Valentine’s Day through years of good and bad experiences. The worst was one where I took a new love interest out for a nice lunch at one of her favorite restaurants and we exchanged some gifts and cards. She got me a heart shaped box filled with Hershey’s Kisses and a sort of romantic card just signed with her name. Then after I paid the $75 lunch bill, she told me she didn’t think we should keep seeing each other and broke up with me. Yes, that was weird and awkward. Yes, I kept the gift and ate the candy. I’m not quite sure why. But hey … chocolate is chocolate.

Now, sometimes knowledge is key but other times ignorance is bliss. When I write this column I like to add a little something extra about holidays or key figures involved, things like a bit of history. So, I looked up the history of Valentine’s Day and why it was on Feb. 14. I was expecting some kind of love story or some fable involving little Cupids and arrows. Turns out it’s on that date because some Roman Emperor executed two guys, coincidentally named Valentine, but in different years. It also has to do with the Roman feast of Lupercalia which was kind of a bizarre fertility celebration 2000 years ago that was a rather extreme version of what Romans were famous for back then. Let’s just leave it at if that kind of thing happened nowadays, people would be going to prison. So much for adding a bit of history to enhance the romantic spirit of the occasion.

So, here’s a couple of tips for having a successful Valentine’s Day. First, know what your partner likes and go there. When choosing a gift, go for what someone likes, not what someone needs. I have a good musician friend who had a girlfriend that played guitar and her amp was broken. For Valentine’s Day he fixed her amp. They aren’t together anymore.

The second tip is always the option of going out to someplace special for an incredible romantic dinner. Right here in Golden there are a couple of places that have rather spectacular offerings for the day.

The Bridgewater Grill in the Golden Hotel has a special three course dinner with lots of fun extras like chocolate covered strawberries. Yes, I’ve seen those movies. This will be available from Feb. 10-14 and runs $58 per person or $69 with a wine pairing. Go to or call (303) 279-2010 for reservations.

The second one is at Schnepf’s Restaurant at Fossil Trace who are offering their terrific five course dinner on Feb. 14 that even comes with a complimentary Prosseco toast and runs $50 per person. No, I have no idea what Prosseco is but it sounds classy. Probably some kind of Champagne thing. You can find out more about that at or by calling (303) 277-8756 for reservations.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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