It is an illusion, a whiff of attention, a momentary feeling of being special to someone, provoked by any of the senses. It is reverie. For one person, romance might be poetry, and for another it could simply be being able to get an extra hour of sleep in the morning. It is less about the particular item or activity, and more about how it is delivered. And it is well to deliver it with flourish and loving sighs.
To those vacillating suitors, or the solitary among us, Valentine's Day might be uncomfortable - no smooching sounds left on the answering machine and nothing but bills and flyers in the mailbox.
But living on the Vineyard, it's hard not to develop a romantic nature. We are confronted on a daily basis by scenes of beauty and sanctuary, spectacles of nature, landscapes, and seascapes that inspire songs, books, and films. Martha's Vineyard actually hums a romantic tune, and even without being aware of it, we are affected.
So, what is your idea of being romantic? We asked some Islanders to share their feelings. Sigh.
Eric Godbout, recently married bartender at Sharky's Cantina "Stay at home, go online and find a new recipe and make it together."
Melanie Lane, bartender at Park Corner Bistro "Not having dinner on Valentine's Day. Maybe a sunset on the beach."
Photos by Sam Decker
Donald Herman, regional high school football coach: "Friendship, warm hugs, unconditional love, understanding. I've been married for 24 years."
Michael Hunter, owner of PIKNIK Art and Apparel "My idea of being romantic is being home with friends. I like to be with other couples, and be with someone less fortunate without a significant other. It can be a pretty lonely holiday. It's nicer to go to a home than to go out to a restaurant with a whole bunch of deuce tables."
Sandra Dawley, Oak Bluffs mother of two "Having a babysitter once in awhile. Going out for dinner. Taking a drive."
Kyle Garelo, chef at Offshore Ale Co. "An intimate dinner with a special someone. Obviously we'd have some chocolate covered strawberries, a nice steak, fingerling potatoes, and asparagus."
Guinevere Cramer, development director, Island Affordable Housing "My idea of being romantic is doing something so unexpected for your significant other. Whether it's wearing sexy underwear, whisking away to Boston for the night - something thoughtful and unexpected."