Jerry Davich. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 12, 2013 6:18AM
Jessica Daly led me into the warm, darkened room with soft music and even softer lighting.
She showed me which heated, blanketed table was mine, and told me matter-of-factly, “Dress down to your own comfort level, lay down, and I will be back in a few minutes.”
You must be wondering where this took place. Relax, it was a massage parlor. No, wait. Not that kind of massage parlor. I mean a professional and reputable massage therapy business, specifically Harmony Massage Therapy, 306 E. Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
There, I experienced my first-ever full body hour-long massage, complete with warm essential oil, heated towels, and candlelight ambiance.
It was an early Valentine’s Day gift from my Valentine, who joined me for a similar massage from Daly. We both agreed that the experience was the epitome of pleasure and pampering with a capital P.
The business offers several different massages and related services, such as a Swedish massage, deep-tissue massage, chair massage, face mask, and body scrub. This massage was a first for me, so I went with “light to medium” pressure from Roxanna Ramos, who co-owns and co-operates the business with Daly.
Inside the cozy and quiet room, my lady and I received the special “couple’s massage,” where we blissfully escaped from reality. We also received a personalized and decorative gift bag with a candle, take-home oil and other goodies.
I don’t tell you all this to prompt envy, jealousy or comparisons, but to help anyone looking for a fresh and relaxing gift idea for your Valentine.
In previous years, readers have told me that my annual Valentine’s Day column was published too close to the “holiday” for them to utilize my ideas or suggestions. So this year, I’m giving you a few days’ notice beforehand.
Better yet, I want to help one lucky reader this year by giving away a gift card for a free “couple’s massage” at Harmony Massage Therapy, just like the one we received (a $120 value).
Here’s what you need to do to win the gift card: Be the 10th reader to email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me your full name, address and phone number. I’ll reply to the winner, and you’ll have it in your hands by Valentine’s Day.
For those of you who don’t win, here’s how to contact Harmony Massage Therapy for similar gift ideas: Call 548-4627, email email@example.com, or visit www.experienceharmony.net.
Come on, guys, what girl doesn’t like to be pampered like a princess, right?
Need other ideas?
Upon request, here are a few other gift ideas for your sweetie, your honey, your guy, your girlfriend, your hubby, your wife or that person you simply co-exist with until someone better comes along.
It’s a sampling of my all-time favorite, top-notch, can’t miss romantic gifts and gestures for the Valentine’s Day challenged. (For more, visit jerrydavich.wordpress.com.)
Write an old-fashioned love letter, complete with fond, heartfelt and detailed memories of your first date, first kiss or wedding day. Use fancy paper, put it in a fancy envelope and seal it with wax drippings from a red candle with your initials carved on top.
Make a personalized CD of his favorite songs and secretly insert it in his car radio that morning before he drives to work. Then turn the radio on. This way, when he starts his car he has no choice but to listen, and appreciate you.
Meet him at the door after work with a s-l-o-w dance to “your song.”
Take your partner on a short tour of the places where you both first met, first kissed, first dated, got married, (got pregnant?!) and so on, complete with a map as a Valentine’s Day 2013 souvenir.
Call each other off from work and play hooky, just like you did in high school.
Freedom to Marry event
With gay rights and same-sex marriage in the news more than ever these days, I want to share with you an upcoming event designed to draw attention to the inequalities of both issues (especially in our socially backward state).
I couldn’t imagine being in love with my Valentine but having to hide our love, our affection and even our attention to each other in public for fear of intolerance, retaliation or hatred. Talk about the Dark Ages in the 21st century.
Anyway, at 2 p.m. Sunday, a Freedom to Marry event will take place at Unity Church of Northwest Indiana, 740 River Drive in Hammond.
The welcoming committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Hobart has sponsored this event the past four years but it has outgrown their cozy church. A good sign I say.
For additional info, contact Gail Thomas at 801-8180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Owner of a lonely heart?
For those of you dreading Valentine’s Day and its sweet, syrupy trappings, this day may be just another unwelcome reminder that you have yet to find your “soul mate,” if you believe in such a thing.
Not only are there “anti-Valentine’s Day” parties taking place in most every community, you can create your own. Or you can take heed of these three tips from Care2.com.
First, you don’t need a date on that date. It’s better to be alone than to scramble for a date for the sake of simply not being alone, or to remain in an unhealthy relationship.
Second, why not instead plan a girls’ night out or guys’ night out with like-minded single and unattached friends? Have dinner, see a movie, get a drink and laugh at all those delusional “Valentines” who think they’ve found “true love,” whatever that means.
Third, go online and give your digital dating profile a “facelift,” knowing that the month leading up the Valentine’s Day is the busiest one for many dating websites.
But, as one of my radio show listeners told me, she found a guy via an online dating site and he ended up stalking her. She had to file a restraining order. You’ve been warned.