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A Look On The Light Side: February 15, 2013

Let’s Forget Valentine’s Day

I’ll just come out and say it:  I hate Valentine’s Day.  As far as I’m concerned, it exists purely to make some people look bad, and almost everybody feel awful.  

When I was single, Valentine’s Day seemed tailor-made to highlight the flaws in your relationship, if you had one, and in your entire life, if you didn’t.  Now that I am married, Valentine’s Day just makes both of us crazy, running around to make sure we buy SOMEthing so as not to come home covered in guilt.  But of course, all the somethings are way over-priced – they saw us coming a month away – so that even when I come home with one, I still feel taken advantage of.  No “good love” there!

Starting in elementary school, it seemed as if this one day in the calendar existed just to show that some girls were WAY more popular than me (nobody then had a rule that “you must send one to everyone”).  I still remember enviously eyeing the heaping mountain of valentines on the desk of one little girl, and comparing it with my own little pile.   

When I grew up, V-Day became conspicuous as the day for which you didn’t have a date.  It was like a tacky re-run of New Year’s Eve — except you can’t hide from all your friends by taking a convenient “ski trip” on a Thursday evening and be back at work the next day.  

Once or twice I did have a date for the big night – which always served to kill the relationship, because at some point during the evening, I always felt compelled to ask, “So – are we a couple?”  And, as J.P. Morgan can tell you, “If you have to ask, the answer is No.”  (To be completely fair, his remark was about asking if you can afford a yacht, which is almost as expensive as a relationship, but the concept is there.)

I began to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Groundhog Day, instead.  For one thing, it was a lot cheaper, since all I required was a weather report and a cup of hot chocolate. When the Bill Murray movie about Groundhog Day came along, that just helped me pull off the transformation.

I evolved my own rule of thumb for the day:  If, first thing in the morning on Groundhog Day, you saw somebody’s shadow on your bedroom floor, well then, you might have six more weeks of a relationship…as long as you both stay scrupulously away from anything to do with Valentines!

Judy Epstein plans to stay in bed with her eyes shut until Valentine’s Day is safely past … but you can always reach her at alookonthelightside.com.

News

“Visitation is up 300 percent,” said Harriet Gerard Clark, Raynham Hall Museum director.

“Two-thirds of them come because of reading the book by Brian Kilmeade, George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution, and seeing the series ‘Turn’ on A&E,” added Tom Valentine, docent, who keeps the list of visitors. Soon the series will include the story of Robert Townsend of Oyster Bay who was known as Culper, Jr. when he was a spy for George Washington.

Alex Sutherland, director of education, nailed his definition. “He was the most important spy for George Washington because he had the perfect cover. He was pretending to be a Loyalist and writing for a Loyalist newspaper and befriending British officers at his coffee shop in downtown New York while secretly collecting information.

As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 13 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”


Sports

Hard work paid off for local athletes Christine Grippo of Locust Valley, Kelly Pickard of Oyster Bay, Bernadette Winnubst of Locust Valley, Steven Quigley of Bayville, Catherine Soler of Oyster Bay, Maria Elinger of Oyster Bay, and Armand D’Amato of Oyster Bay Cove, each of whom won awards in a field of some of the best triathletes from all of Long Island and beyond in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon, held in and around Oyster Bay’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park on Saturday morning, Aug. 23.

Grippo earned top honors in the women’s 30-34 age group with a time of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Pickard (1:17:39) scored first among the women in the 35-39 age group. Winnubst scored in 1:38:48 to earn third place honors in the Masters Athena Weight Division. Quigley earned the second place award in the Masters Clydesdale Weight Division in 1:23:23. Soler (1:29:12) scored 5th among the women in the 20-24 age group. Ehlinger (1:39:23) was the 4th place award winner in the women’s 55-59 age group. D’Amato (1:42:44) earned top honors in the 70-74 age group.

Ice Dreams, an Olympic Ice Show starring 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist Jason Brown and aspiring local skaters, is coming to Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Sept. 20.

Isabella Skvarla, 13, Julia Tauter, 12, and Chiara Vlacich, 12, all of Oyster Bay, Julia Forte, 12, of Locust Valley and Riley Stein, 11, of Bayville will be skating in the world class show to celebrate the opening of the best figure skating facility Long Island has ever seen.


Calendar

Art In A Meadow

Saturday, Sept. 13

Bayville Oktoberfest

Saturday, Sept. 13 - Sunday, Sept. 14

Hurricane Preparedness

Tuesday, Sept. 16



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com