Happy Valentine's Day to all our dear friends, clients, followers, and family! With Valentine's Day a little over a week away, we're wondering if you've made plans yet...
Valentine's Day, Schmalentine's Day
Valentine's Day is traditionally a day for lovers, and there are plenty of people who would tell you that it's a made-up holiday designed to increase first quarter profits for the candy, jewelry, and greeting card industries...but hey we're not that exclusionary or cynical! Like all holidays, Valentine's Day to us is another excuse to slow down and appreciate those people in your life that make you happy, and ifyou can do it around the pool, even better! You don't need a soul mate, an award winning score by James Horner, or the entirety of the Portland International Rose Test Garden to make a splash this Valentine's Day. All you need is a good sense of humor and some creativity. If you're lucky to have a special someone in your life, awesome! This section is not for you; I urge you to skip to the next section. If you're "alone" on V-Day, don't fret! For starters, you are not "alone". According to this article posted in September 2014 in the New York Post, single adults now outnumber married adults in the U.S., making up 50.2% of the population aged 16 and older. Marriage ain't what it used to be, and probably for good reason- not only has the number of singles gone up, but the incidence of divorce has gone down. Because so many of us are putting off marriage until later in life, those who do marry later are likely better matched with their loves than their younger counterparts, thus less marriages that end in divorce. So hey, high five on taking your time to find the right One!
So what do you do when you're single on V-Day? Well, start with adding some people to your holiday! Since more than half of the population is single, you shouldn't have any trouble finding those friends who are not coupled this holiday. Call up your girls (or guys or both) and plan a friends' night. If your pool is heated, turn that baby up and have a mid-winter pool party! Feeling a little bitter at the ex? Have your friends bring pics of their worst exes and have a small, CONTROLLED burn in your fire pit or fireplace of all the reminders of these lame-os who OBVIOUSLY couldn't see a good thing if it hit them in the face. Always burn responsibly though, and in a proper receptacle.
L is For the Way You Look at Me....
Just because we spent more than the first half of this post talking about all the people who make up more than half the population (see what I did there?) doesn't mean we're going to be all Grumpy Gus about Valentine's Day! We know that V-Day is a shared holiday for both couples and singles, and couples definitely dominate the Valentine's industry. However, all that added pressure can sometimes make your mind simply go blank when it comes to planning for the big day. Is this you? Well worry not, my friends, we have you covered!
Start with the setting. Do you want to go out for dinner, or have a romantic dinner at home? If you haven't made a reservation, do it NOW. Valentine's Day is one of the busiest holidays in the restaurant industry (on par with Christmas Eve, Mother's Day, and Easter Sunday), so making a reservation as early as possible will keep you from looking ill-prepared the night of. If you're going to stay in...well, number one, I applaud your decision. Not only is V-Day one of the busiest nights of the year in any restaurant in the U.S., it's also one of the loudest, and there's nothing less romantic than having to shout across the table to your date. Staying in can be a much better idea, especially if the night goes well (...wink wink...), but don't let your partner down by leaving up the same ho-hum décor as everyday. Sprinkle some rose petals around, light some candles, and fire up the spa. Have a bottle of chilled champagne (or whatever your drink of choice is) set up next to the spa so that you guys can stay cozy in the water without having to go fetch a refill. If you have an outdoor sound system, make sure your playlist is full of mood music (whatever that translates to for you...not everyone is into Miles Davis...). Finish the preparations off with some romantic outdoor lighting. Candles, luminaries, soft-white string lights...all things us girls think we look good in, so if you want your special lady friend to feel her most beautiful, make sure the lighting can enhance this, and not detract from it (the way a harsh, bright floodlight might).
O is For...Oh Did You Get a Gift Receipt?
Whether you're married or single, everyone deserves a gift on Valentine's Day, and one that hopefully you love! This can be tricky. Some people are super easy to shop for, others not so much. Again, we can help! No one wants to return a new backyard, so if you're stuck on a gift, and you've been thinking about upgrading your outdoor living spaces, give us a call! If you're looking for jewelry, sorry we can't help you, but they can...
So regardless of how you spend it, all of us at Natural Stone Pools wish you a very Happy Valentine's Day!