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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Valentine's Day Tips
For Ten-Minute Romance

Your man is more than that vaguely familiar-looking chap in Smash Pants headed out the door each morning with the jogging stroller and hopefully the baby as you stumble toward the coffeepot. More than the goodhearted fellow whose sumptuous paychecks are faithfully direct-deposited to your joint account. And what better occasion than Valentine's Day to show him just how much—er, whatever it is that he does all the time really means? But the problem is, you're busy. Busier than Kofi Annan. Busier than Britney Spears. Well, maybe not that busy. But still, busy.

So how will you manage to fit in a few displays of devotion this Valentine's Day? Just follow these tips for ten-minute romance!

Romantic amble. A stroll by the ocean under a moonlit sky is just the thing to bring some romantic closure to your hectic day. But perhaps you live someplace like Saskatchewan where oceans are rare, and you both work 12-hour days in towns 30 miles apart. No matter. Grab your cells, synchronize your watches, and take a walk "together."

You: Hello? Honey? Isn't the moon beautiful? Him: The—what? (static)

You: MOON.

Him: Where?

You: It's over . . . it's over . . . it's in the east, isn't it? Rises in the east and sets in the west?

Him: I think that's the sun. Maybe it's behind the Prytzscki Building. Wait—there might be a compass on my Eddie Bauer Mini Pocket Multi-Tool . . .

You: And the stars.

Him: The—what? (static)

You: STARS.

Him: (static) . . . light pollution . . . can't see . . .

You: Oh, never mind. I'm heading through the park now.

Him: The —what? The park at night? Are you crazy?

You: Oh, but it's so romantic. I love you (kissy sounds)

.Him: I love you, too. (static) Don't forget to pick up the dry cleaning.

You: Aaaaargh . . . (sounds of mugger relieving you of your designer bag and jewelry)

Romantic talk. Can't find the time for an amorous chat? Catch a red-hot trend and phone him from a stall in the ladies' lav. Just as when you are roaring along in your Range Rover talking to yourself or engaging in a little personal grooming, no one can see or hear you when you are in the can, and the reverberations are better, too. There is nothing like discussing the most intimate details of your personal life while 600 unseen strangers tromp in and out, to the tune of swishing water and humming hand dryers. May we note that this is also the ultimate in multitasking?

Romantic massage. Try a swift, unexpected massage to put the spark back in the electronic ignition of your relationship. Force his face into the pillow and prod his neck vigorously with your other hand. Tug on his earlobes; then squeeze each upper arm like a lemon you're trying to juice. Run nimbly up and down the length of his spine. Pummel his back and rake it with your fingernails. Wrench each leg until you hear it pop from its socket; then flex his feet forward until his toes point to his knees and he screams.

Romantic night. You have somehow managed to clear away an hour for romantic pursuits. Begin by sandbagging the baby with Benadryl and indulging yourself with a luxurious 30-second shower.

For instant allure, dab steak sauce on your wrists and behind your ears (kennel the dog first). Grab your pinking shears and fashion a skimpy little outfit like the one you saw in Elle last week from a satin pillowcase, spray frosting, and tin foil. Use toothpicks to make a trail of arrows pointing the way to your bedroom.

Light a candle, and queue your favorite romantic movies in the DVD player. When your handsome hubby joins you, rip open your Passion Truffle Gift Box from Govida, uncork the cooking sherry, and use the remote to scene-skip to the best lines:

"What is it you want, Mary? Do you want the moon? If you do, I'll—"

"—all the gin joints in all the—"

"—what she's having."

"—aren't too bright. I like that in a—"

"—long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses—"

"—closest thing to heaven. You were —"

"—make me want to be a better—"

"—even better when you help."

"—know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just—"

We tiptoe off, dear reader, closing the door softly on our way out, with ten minutes left in your romantic evening. The rest is up to you!

© 2005 Elaine Langlois