Jan/Feb/March can be dreary, and while we’re no suckers for the mass holiday industrial complex, there is something great about Valentine's Day, a break in the winter weeks for a chance to eat chocolate, give small tokens of our affection, and, you know, love our loved ones. Because how much do we love love? Let us count the ways.

True, making dinner plans for Feb 14 feels forced, corny, and like a rip off, plus Hallmark’s version of V-day puts too much emphasis on being coupled, but we can’t throw the whole day in the trash. Do away with the mega stuffed animals, forget the lingerie, and upcharge on roses if you must. But keep the hugs and kisses, and sweetness. Because if not love, then what?

Be a super lover this Valentine’s Day, and do it your way: stay home and cook pasta, have a movie night with a DIY candy bar, wear the hot pink sweater, drink the darkest red wine, surprise your friend and take them dancing, volunteer to help deliver food or pack toiletry kits for the shelter, sing strictly RnB ballads at karaoke, write and send a poem to yourself, be in good company. Brighten the day of all the special people in your life - your spouse, lover, mom, kiddos, babysitter, UPS guy, cranky neighbor, and friends - with sweet things to let them know they’re loved. Because what’s better than that?

Speaking of poems…here’s a lovey-dovey ditty by the one and only Maya Angelou from 1971:

Come. And Be My Baby

The highway is full of big cars

going nowhere fast

And folks is smoking anything that'll burn

Some people wrap their lives around a cocktail glass

And you sit wondering

where you're going to turn.

I got it.

Come. And be my baby.


Some prophets say the world is gonna end  


But others say we've got a week or two

The paper is full of every kind of blooming horror

And you sit wondering

what you're gonna do.

I got it.

Come. And be my baby.