Am I confused, or has the Valentine's push started even earlier this year? I swear I hadn't even packed up my Christmas lights when the stores started to display little red hearts, boxes of candy, and cuddly cupid teddy bears. I don't get it. Valentine's is a fine holiday, really. But does it require six full weeks of preparation to buy your sweetie a box of chocolates and a greeting card? Of course, there is always the Grand Gesture (Paris in the springtime, perhaps?) which requires planning. And the best restaurants in town are surely booking up by now for romantic dinners. I suppose I'll just have to go with the flow. There is an upside to all this way-too-early holiday preparation, after all. Think of the shopping opportunities, right? Frolik on 32nd in Highlands is having a massive clearance sale this weekend (take note, guys - it's a great spot for snapping up cute sweaters, darling jewelry, and lacey lingerie). And for you gals who aren't planning to sit around waiting for someone to send you something fabulous, you can go out and get it yourself at the Holiday Chalet, a perfectly romantic Victorian B&B. They'll be hosting a Valentine's trunk show on February 3rd, with 10 local boutiques selling sweet lil' somethings by hard-to-find indie and local designers. By the time the actual holiday arrives, I'll have celebrated via retail therapy for weeks. Maybe I am okay with this Valentine's overkill, after all. Not that hubby is off the hook, exactly. I don't mind celebrating early, but girlie here had better at least get that box of chocolates on the big day.