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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

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.

Oyster Bay High School Principal Dr. Dennis O’Hara addressed the board of education at Tuesday night’s meeting about offering a summer school program at the high school. It would be the first time the district had a summer school program in more than 12 years.

Dr. O’Hara explained that with the institution of the Common Core state standards, students are faced with a greater level of academic rigor and more challenging coursework. The program would offer remedial and enrichment classes for students both in and out of district.


Sports

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.

The conditions were as fierce as the competition earlier this month at Oakcliff Sailing’s Halloween Invitational.

Ten teams from the U.S., Canada and Bermuda battled 30-knot-plus winds, heavy rain and biting cold to see who would take top honors at Oakcliff’s final match racing event of the 2014 season.


Calendar

Raingarden Workshop

Wednesday, November 19 & Thursday, November 20

Informative Hospital Talk

November November 20

Opera Night

Sunday, November 23



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