Send the Right Message on Valentine’s Day

by Ray Linville

February has the distinction of being the most romantic month. The brainstorming for finding a special Valentine’s Day present begins as soon as January is over.
I thought I had hit the creative jackpot when I learned that Bojangles’ serves heart-shaped Bo-Berry biscuits on Valentine’s Day. What could be more sentimental?

Wrong. Although it’s the meaning behind the gift,  Bo-Berry biscuits may be hard to explain.

“Bojangles’ is always looking for fun ways to celebrate the holidays,” says Randy Poindexter, senior vice president of marketing. I agree with him, but the message on my wife’s face tells a different story.
Time magazine even identifies the really bad ideas for Feb. 14: a scale, fake flowers (is your love also artificial?), and lingerie in the wrong size (too big is worse than too small).

To that list I can add one more: a snake. If you give one, can you explain your message?

Although I’m avoiding those ideas, I’m tempted to try Waffle House on Valentine’s Day. Seriously. It rolls out nice tablecloths and candles, plays special music and adds a rib-eye dinner to the menu. Isn’t that the message you want to convey?

Although not usually known for its romantic atmosphere, Waffle House is so popular on Feb. 14 that reservations are a must; otherwise, you may join the standing-room only crowd. Only 140 locations nationwide participate, so check before you pick this idea.

A more romantic present may be the answer to this question, What has eight legs and sings? A quartet.

Members of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the largest all-male singing organization in the world, span the globe offering singing Valentines.

In the Sandhills, the Golf Capital Chorus (contact Dick Curl, and the Cross Creek Cordsmen (contact Bill Pope, do an amazing task of matching quartets to requests.

Two choruses spread love in the Triangle area. Quartets of the General Assembly Chorus (contact Jerry Picard, even dress up in tuxedos. The Heart of Carolina Chorus (contact Arlene Bridges, schedules quartets over four days, Feb. 12-15.

Having a quartet serenade your honey with romantic songs such as “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” or “Heart of My Heart” guarantees the day will be special and long remembered.

Deliveries can be at home, work, a restaurant or a special place. The order usually includes two love songs, a box of chocolates and a rose.

Stumped on what to do this Valentine’s Day? Order a quartet. Anything that has eight legs and sings is sure to convey the right message for you.


Retired from the N.C. Community College System, Linville is a contributing writer for the N.C. Folklife Institute and conducts programs on Southern food, history and culture. He can be reached at