Ask Shuli: What's a Cupid Cohen to Do?

Dear Shuli:
I’m feeling pretty intimidated by the impending Valentine’s Day, especially since I’ve only been in this relationship for a month. How much do you think my new girlfriend expects?
– Cupid Cohen
Dear Cupid Cohen:
I’ve said it before: Jewish people generally don’t celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day (although in America, who can avoid the frenzy of cards and jewelry??), but I’m not sure that excuse will fly with your new sweetheart—especially if she’s not Jewish! Either way, I find it a tad disillusioning that this much importance and pressure is placed on just one day.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to clear the air with your gal. Tell her that you’d like to show her how much you appreciate her, but you feel intimidated by the overblown, commercial expectations of this Hallmark holiday—and you’re not sure what’s an appropriate gesture so early in your relationship. See what she says … Perhaps you can suggest a romantic dinner at your favorite restaurant (or, at one month, you might need to come up with a favorite), but on another day.
If she tells you she loves this holiday and has great memories of swapping Barbie-themed valentines in the fourth grade, this is your cue for action, Romeo. Does she love flowers? Drop by with a thoughtful bouquet next Shabbas (“erev Valentine’s”), perhaps with tickets to one of her favorite activities—whether it’s theater, a concert at First Ave or a Gopher basketball game (my personal idea of romance). And don’t forget the card: cute, but not too sappy.
On the other hand, she might tell you she’d rather take it easy on this V-Day, given your fledgling relationship. In that case, please don’t try to buy her jewelry or chocolates. A couple of her favorite DVDs and treats from Cupcake could be more than enough to warm her heart and make it yours.
(Photo: hint of plum)