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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

The Raise The Roof Concert, held at Christ Church on Nov. 9, was an intergenerational event to benefit the Life Enrichment Center of Oyster Bay’s seniors.

Board member Suzanne Paolucci explained the center’s wish to get iPods for the seniors as a source of musical therapy. She brought the idea to the center from a talk by social worker Dan Cohen, the founder of Music & Memory. He has produced a film, Alive Inside, that tells the story of music as being restorative. Music is like therapy for the elderly, in particular for those with dementia, as it has been shown to awaken memories of happier times in life, when energy and enthusiasm were boundless.

Driving rain and an early start time did not deter 600 people who arrived at Crest Hollow Country Club recently to celebrate the Women’s Fund of Long Island’s 20th year and to honor four exceptional women.

The breakfast started with a meet and greet and a chance to showcase Women’s Fund contest winner Patti Hogarty, designer of “Women as Bamboo.” Inspired by her neighbor’s bamboo, she entered the contest drawing a design of the bamboo, which Ambalu Jewelers of Roslyn then turned into various pendants of which 40-percent of the profits would go to WFLI. Hogarty wrote a short essay comparing women to bamboo in that they are strong and can weather difficult storms, yet remain graceful and continue to grow sending out new shoots.


Sports

On the weekend of Nov. 8, the Oyster Bay High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams traveled to the State University of New York at Canton just a few miles from the Canadian border to compete in the New York State Cross Country Championships.

Alex Tosi became the first Bayman since Joe Jazwinski and Justin Nakrin (2008) to become All-State, placing 16th with a time of 16:53. Most runners ran about 20 seconds slower than their Bethpage times because of the muddy conditions on the course. Tosi’s time was basically equivalent to his best Bethpage time, as he powered through the toughest parts of the race. He led the Baymen to a seventh place finish in the Class C race, an improvement from their 11th place finish last year, which ties the highest place at the New York State Championships of a Baymen team since 2009.

In the history of Oyster Bay High School athletics, no one has ever won a Girls’ Tennis New York State Championship. Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky became the first when they won the 2014 New York State Doubles Championship in Latham on Nov. 3. What makes this tremendous achievement even more remarkable is that Matute is a junior and Kowalsky is a sophomore.

The girls, who are usually singles players, teamed up to take on the very best players in Nassau County and New York State. They won all 10 matches in the section XIII and NYSPHSAA tournaments and left Latham as the 2014 New York State doubles champions.


Calendar

Annual Turkey Trot

Thursday, Nov. 27

Turkey Detox Workshop

Friday, Nov. 28

East Norwich Holiday

Sunday, Nov. 30



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