Friday, February 12, 1999

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
If you're dateless on Sunday, you can always grow one.

This date’s the cheap
and silent type

s Still need a date for Valentine's Day? If you don't at least have some good prospects, it may be too late even to Grow-A-Date.

For just $3.50, the Honolulu Chocolate Company and other novelty stores were selling "incredible expanding" 3-inch men and women. It seemed a tad desperate to us, but like all good dates, they were snatched up quickly.

Those lucky enough to find one may be a little less lonely on Sunday, but only if they act fast. Although the packaging says to leave the tiny dates immersed in room-temperature water for several hours or overnight for full growth, after resting at the bottom of a tub of water for 24 hours, our female date had only grown to about 5 inches.

After one week our scantily clad woman was 9-1/2 inches tall and still growing.

Make sure your container is big enough to accommodate the size of your date or he/she will grow distorted. For awhile, our fair maiden had a big head and shriveled little legs. (What? Sounds like some of your dates? Perfect.)

Start now and by Valentine's Day, you'll have a slightly slimy date to cuddle up with.

However, once your date is removed from water, it will slowly start to shrink back to it's original size.

Once it's tiny again, pack it away and reuse it any occasion you find yourself dateless.


Love on the side

Love costs

If you're wondering about the cost of Valentine's Day, here's a guide: One-pound box of Godiva chocolates $35; card $2; 30 gram jar of Beluga caviar $67; bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne $27; dozen long-stemmed roses $67 (bargain, $40 at Rudy's, 2722 S. King St., 944-8844); dinner for two at La Mer at Halekulani $200. It all adds up to $398.

Apparently, love costs big in Honolulu. In other cities, the totals are $352.50 (New York), $363.65 (San Francisco), $311.15 (Chicago), $299.30 Denver).

Where's the loyalty?

When asked, "If you were Juliet, would you die along with Romeo, or grieve but choose life?" men and women agree: six in 10 said they'd opt to stay among the living.

-- From the 1999 Harlequin Global Romance Report

Brrr! It's chilly

Maybe you haven't noticed with all the global warming going on, that America's romantic climate registers fizzle, not sizzle.

In a recent survey of 534 women and 481 men, only 19 percent of men rank themselves as seven or higher on a romantic scale of one (not at all) to 10 (extremely romantic). And women agree. The same percentage rate their husband, boyfriend or significant other a seven or more.

If you want to know the really bad news, the highest percentage of men (20 percent) said they rank about a six on the sizzle meter. Alas, the greatest percentage of women said "I don't know" (21 percent) or rated their significant others one (16 percent), and we don't mean No. 1.

-- From a Society of American Florists survey

Don't do this

"Brad told me I was the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. He ogled me. Whatever I said, he agreed. Whatever I liked, he liked. Whatever opinions I had, he shared. He was like a parrot. 'Ice skating? I love it too.' 'Anchovies? Nothing better.'"

Finally, I began to tell him I liked things I actually can't stand. Profes-sional wrestling. Bluefish. Line dancing. He said he liked all that too.

"I'd had it. I told him he was a fool. He nodded, held my hand, and asked if I believed in love at first sight."

-- Sarah, 31, from the book, "America's Dumbest Dates" by Merry Bloch Jones (Andrews McMeel Publishing), $9.95, containing more than 500 tales of fumbled flirtations.

Learn to stay wed

Starting this year, Florida residents get a $32.50 discount on a marriage license -- full price $88.50 -- if they take a four-hour marriage course before they take the plunge.

Edward B. Houck II and his partner in Successful Unions Inc., Beth Cutler, were the first Palm Beach County mental health counselors to create a course that follows state guidelines.

"Marriage doesn't have to be hard," Houck said. The gist of his lessons: Happy marriages depend on partners figuring out what the other does that's most likely to provoke near-homicidal rage -- important things, like squeezing the toothpaste the wrong way -- then finding a solution.

A good solution: Buying two tubes of toothpaste. A bad solution: Stern lectures aimed at changing your mate's habits. Same goes for women who expect their husbands to stop playing golf or watching football, and for men who expect their wives to become June Cleaver or Donna Reed.

"You can't solve someone else's problems," he explained. "You can't change people."

-- Cox News Service

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