Hold the mush

Keep the syrupy poetry. Don't send Godiva. And please no long-stem roses.

I'm all for romance - ask my wife. And there's plenty of it in the following pages. But this slim column is for those who are less than enamored with Valentine's Day. They're not unsentimental - just without beau or belle.

Jews don't celebrate Christmas. Why should singles embrace the hoopla of Feb. 14?

"We brace ourselves. Here it comes again: a Hallmark holiday," says Cheryl Rosner.

She and her single friends were bemoaning the coming gushfest when they decided to get proactive. On the 14th, they'll gather to burn old cards and letters, to purge themselves of past relationships gone bad.

"Hmmm," thought Ms. Rosner, director of marketing at the Barbizon Hotel & Towers in New York City. "We may be on to something."

No doubt.

Even at $350 a night, the Barbizon is doing a brisk trade in the "Dis your Ex" Valentine's package.

Guests can use the hotel's paper shredder for old love sonnets or take a kickboxing class with photos taped to a punching bag. Women can pamper themselves with a variety of special perks, including bath salts, a copy of Cosmopolitan, chocolates, and an in-house movie. Top choice, so far: "Ever After" - a Cinderella story. No requests yet for "Thelma and Louise."

Guys also get a variety of in-room extras, including a pair of boxer shorts, a pay-per-view sporting event, and Mallomars.

Mallomars? "It's a Northeast thing. Comfort food for guys," explains Rosner.

*We're home. Tell us how we're doing. Write the Homefront, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail us at home@csps.com

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