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Randi Kreiss

Valentine’s Day mission: find the real thing


Valentine’s Day, the fire sale of romantic love, seems a perfect time to push back and get real. Let’s sift through the dross of life for gold nuggets, for the small things and moments that we truly love, that give value to our days.

These are gifts that Hallmark and Godiva can’t give. Finding what I call “lovies” is a subjective exercise. So consider this an interactive column. Please write and tell me about your own good stuff, the personal experiences that warm you heart on a winter day.

My happy-place list (in random order) begins with the weather. Forecasts say it should be chilly and quite miserable as you read this column, but it will be 30 degrees warmer than it was two weeks ago. Three degrees on the outside thermometer was paralyzing, and, we hope, a meteorological unicorn. So temps of 30-something can pass as a lovie.

Other random love bombs:

Recently I got to see the blood-red super moon in Florida. The sky was nearly clear, and when one lazy cloud finally slid past the moon, we all gasped. What a show. What a reminder of how small our place is in this unknowable universe.

Two weeks ago, I attended a new ballet choreographed by Riccardo Graziano, called “Amoroso.” A latecomer to ballet appreciation, I have snoozed through many a performance, but this piece, all voluminous crimson satin juxtaposed with modern dance, made me wish I could put on a tutu.

Another lovie is MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. She makes my day, these days more than ever. She is an investigative pit bull with a smile on her face and a crisp sense of humor. Her wit is dead on, and she is rigorous in her craft. I would not want to be in her sights.

My life would be different, quieter and less joyful, without Lillybee, my 2-year-old Coton. I don’t need to explain this to dog lovers. And I can’t explain it to non-dog-lovers. Dogs carry more love per pound than any creature on earth. On Valentine’s Day especially, dog kisses count big time.

Longer days translate to elevated moods, for me and everyone else. There is just no boogieing to the 4:30 p.m.-sunset blues. All we can do is wait for the Northern Hemisphere to turn gradually to the sun, and it is, and we feel better.

Another lovie is that spaghetti is still the best, most delicious, cheapest meal in America. When I’m ready to take on some carbs, a half-box of spaghetti with olive oil, parsley, garlic and cilantro is sublime. We have this right here in America, and it is a terrific thing.

Much pleasure comes my way from Facebook. I am aware of all the privacy, hacking and political issues, but, big picture, Facebook connects me with people I care about but don’t see or speak with often enough. I see photos of my grandkids and postings from schoolmates I haven’t seen in more than 50 years. The Facebook experience makes life richer for me, and makes many of us feel more connected.

Medical cannabis is widely available, and soon recreational pot will be legal in New York — a good thing, I believe. With rigorous monitoring, marijuana could be a positive influence in our culture, especially if it leads to less alcoholism and greater pain relief without opioids.

Great literature is being written. Consider: “Devil in the Grove,” by Gilbert King; “An Artist of the Floating World,” by Kazuo Ishiguro; “Asymmetry,” by Lisa Halliday; and “Warlight,” by Michael Ondaatje.

I don’t write much about devices, but I must give a shout-out to the new iPhone XR. It is the damn Energizer bunny. The phone just goes and goes. The battery is worth the price.

Sometimes it’s the really small stuff that counts. I discovered WOW, a hair product for people like me, with big, disobedient hair. WOW is the lion tamer.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, I embrace my friends today and every day, don’t you? They can love anybody, and they choose you and me. Keep them close, as I do, every precious one.

My list of lovies got so long that I have to just mention (in no particular order) the rest of what brightens my Valentine’s Day:

Playing duplicate bridge.

Rock ’n’ roll.

Tom Yom soup.

Bustello coffee in the morning.



So, on Valentine’s Day, from the spirit in me to the spirit in you: Namaste.

Copyright 2019 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.