I’m with Cupid
Valentine’s advice for literature snobs
While our favorite thing to do in bed will always be reading (sexy, we know), we suppose this is the week to consider our other romantic relationships.
We put our most pressing Valentine?s-themed questions to Jack Murnighan and Maura Kelly, the literary love gurus behind Much Ado About Loving.
My boyfriend told me he has plans to see his mother on February 14. Is this weird?
Short answer: Uh-huh. Long answer: Read Proust. OK, that?s a really long answer, but what you?d find over the 3,400 pages of Remembrance of Things Past is that the consummate mama?s boy ends up being a pretty immature boyfriend. When a man?s mom insists on being overly present in his life--and when he allows it to happen--it?s likely to stunt his emotional and relationship growth. Hard for someone else?s flower to bloom if Mom is still casting a long shadow. --Jack
My husband and I do the same thing every year (California rolls and whatever?s next on Netflix). Any suggestions for ways to spice things up?
Research psychologists have found that doing a novel activity with your partner is a great way to rekindle your chemistry. Why not try something new, like going to a local bookstore and picking out books for each other? Maybe a book of poems by Rilke--or Jack Gilbert, if you?re looking for something romantic and modern.
I?m thinking of breaking out the L word on V Day. Good idea? Bad idea? Help, please!
I assume you?re speaking of using it for the first time, in which case I?d say be very, very careful. Mistimed, it can be disastrous, and saying it right after sex is also a no-no (which, incidentally, Lady Chatterley does in Lady Chatterley?s Lover--and, no, it doesn?t go well). That said, if you?re having a truly incredible day and both of you are clearly caught up in the moment, then go for it. As the cherry on a perfect-day sundae, great; otherwise, don?t force the issue. --Jack
My Valentine?s date has suggested going to a whiskey tasting, but I?m a terrible lightweight. Should I risk getting sloppy?
No way. It sounds like you don?t know this guy too well; tell him swilling whiskey isn?t really your thing but that you?d be happy to go along if it?s something he?s really gung-ho about. Need further dissuading? Read Bright Lights, Big City. --Maura