Thursday, February 5, 2009

Valentine's Day: Think Outside the Firebox

Sitting by the fire is romantic. But is it enough?

Not to scare you, guys, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Websites are already posting Top Ten lists filled with suggestions for showering that certain someone with your affections. The Hallmark Store is doing record business. The candy aisle is still in pretty good shape at this point, but in about a week it will look like a gang of ten-year-olds came through on a sugar high. And that restaurant where you were planning to make reservations? You probably should have called yesterday.

Of course, if you’re here at the Fireplace Decorating blogspot, you probably don’t have much to worry about. Like most fireplace enthusiasts, you already know a thing or two about romance. How else do you explain the constantly flickering flames and the shadows on the wall? When it comes to setting the mood, you know the score.

But that doesn’t mean you’ve cornered the market on suave, fellas. As romantic as you might think it is to light the kindling and pour a couple glasses of bubbly—even if you head out back to chop your own wood and make sure the missus sees you splitting those logs from the living room window—you still might not be doing quite enough. After all, didn’t you try the same stunt last year? And the year before that?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t build a fire again this Valentines Day. I’m not saying you should lay off the champagne or the candy or the flowers. And if you somehow managed to get in under the buzzer, don’t cancel those reservations, either. I’m just saying, this year, maybe it’s time to go the extra mile. Maybe it’s time to get creative. Maybe it’s time to think outside the firebox.

How about making yourself handy for once? How about refinishing your wife’s antique rocker? Or re-glazing the living room windows? Or fixing the—

No, better yet, better still. Why not just do something about the fireplace itself? As of this afternoon, February 5, you still have nine days to get your act together.

So pick up some fireplace cleaner, some fireplace paint—maybe go all out with a brand new set of glass fireplace doors. If you’ve got a little extra time, paint that ugly old brick this next week so it’s ready for the big night.

What’s that? You can’t find that much time on such short notice? You’re a busy man? Hey, no sweat. Imagine how happy your wife will be when she sees you hard at work, right there in the living room, on Valentine’s Day itself. Get that paint on before dinner and while you may have to wait a couple days to light the next fire, her heart will melt just as fast, if not faster, than it would have before the raging inferno. Under the right circumstances, even watching paint dry can be romantic.

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