Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One More Day 'til V-Day!

Here's a column I wrote for the AJC last year:

I labored for months developing my first screenplay before finally sending it to top-notch producers in L.A. I waited patiently for the multi-million dollar offer I was certain would arrive in the mail.

When I received a letter from Steven Spielberg, I ripped into it, telling myself “Yes, I will move to California and join DreamWorks.”

“You have relied too heavily on tired clichés,” the letter read. I had been rejected.

I was seeing red. This guy wouldn’t know a great screenplay if it hit him in the head. I remembered Rome wasn’t built in a day, I would try and try again until I succeeded; my time will come, I reassured myself.

It never did. That’s why I now avoid clichés like the plague.

That’s why when I recently stood in a checkout line and overheard the cashier admonish the bagboy for planning to give his girlfriend roses for Valentine’s Day, I felt qualified to step into the debate.

“Roses are so cliché,” I said. “Be original. Show her you put some thought into it. Tradition is so yesterday.”

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” the cashier exclaimed, reaching out to give me a high-five and accidentally knocking a bloom off the bundle of roses I was about to purchase for Jill (They’re okay when not expected).

Let’s cut to the chase guys, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Do you want to show that you put some time into selecting the perfect token of love and affection for your sweetie, or leave her wondering if you pulled over at a corner store for a cola and saw a bundle of roses in a mop bucket next to the cash register?

Avoid cliché, get original. Give her red tulips or gladiolus, write a letter rather than buy a card, cook dinner for her instead of going out, massage her feet to candlelight and Barry White, or read to her from a book about love until she falls asleep. I host a chocolate party for Jill; she and our friends look forward to it all year long. And I get my just desserts, too.

Ladies, let me know next week if he got the picture. I'd like to hear how your man expressed himself on the day that celebrates you. And for those who already know how to avoid the cliché on Valentine's Day, please share your original ideas with us.

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