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Think outside the box for your love this year

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Updated: April 14, 2014 3:40AM



Have you ever been at a card shop or drug store on a late afternoon on Valentine’s Day? The Valentine rack is pathetically picked over as a herd of desperate men swarm the store.

Some will make a grab for the last remaining cards. Surely there must some way to make that lone “Dear Mom” card look like my “My Precious Wife” or “Darling Girlfriend.”

Others can be found aimlessly wandering the aisles, eyes glazed over. What’s a guy to do?

Well, at least these poor souls, late as they may be, have the good sense to know that forgetting Valentine’s Day can be a big mistake. Here are some hints what others are doing this year.

Terry Stephenson, Munster: Every year, I take the afternoon off, go grocery shopping and make a big-time gourmet dinner — at least as gourmet as my cooking skills allow. My wife Ellen works in Chicago but somehow always manages to put a hot meal on our table at night. She really looks forward to our Valentine’s meals, and, yes, I do the clean-up too.

Eric Langley, Schererville: It’s not too late guys! Because of the horrible winter weather, several of the theaters in Chicago are offering deep discounts on performances. Check it out on the Internet. All you have to do is buy a card and then tuck your confirmation into the envelope. She’ll love that you thought of something more creative than a box of candy.

Tom Hernandez, Cedar Lake: My wife and I like to go on a winter picnic. We bundle up, pack some sandwiches, cookies and a thermos of hot chocolate, leash the dog and off we go for a long walk around Lemon Lake (County Park). It feels good to get some fresh air. If it’s too cold or the weather’s bad, improvise. One year, we threw a blanket down on the living room floor and ate our lunch. It doesn’t matter where you go — even around the block is good — or what you eat, it’s the time spent together without a lot of distractions.

Jack Kristovich, Crown Point: Two years ago, I proposed to my girlfriend Ellen at a local hamburger place. I wasn’t planning to at the time but all of a sudden, I felt the timing was right.

Unfortunately, we ran into some serious health issues and family problems, so the wedding has been delayed. Our Valentine’s plans this year are to return to the same restaurant where I’ll propose anew and, hopefully, she’ll say “yes” just as enthusiastically.

Cameron Tomalski, 17, Schererville: I like photography so I’ve collected my favorite shots of my girlfriend, Sari, and myself and created an album. Since we’re going to different colleges next fall, I thought it would be something she’d like to take with her.

Ed Corrigan, Merrillville: This year I’m taking my wife ice skating at the Deep River Ice Park. We first met as teens back when they would flood the old Gleason golf course in Glen Park for skating. Even if we are in our 70s now, we’ve got some skating in us yet. I think it will bring back some fond memories.



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