I never really understood the draw of St. Valentine's Day. Perhaps it is good that I am a celibate priest, because I don't see the charm in society dictating that you have to be romantic on a certain day. With a cultural gun to their temples, couples are told that the way to really love someone is submit to this norm.

It seems to me that it would be much more romantic to give flowers or chocolates on a random Tuesday with a love note. Being forced to say I love you is a lot like the apologies my parents used to force from us when my siblings and I were in a tussle. A gritted, "I am sorry" through clenched teeth hardly indicates true contrition.

I may go down in the annals of history as a Grinch that stole Valentine's Day. As my dog and I lug a sleigh full of hearts and bows up to our mountain cave, I will do so convinced that true romance should happen every day. I offer you 5 ways to be romantic everyday.

1. Pen and Paper - A pen and paper are two of the most romantic tools in love's arsenal. Which is more sure to please, a store bought card or words written from you heart? If you're not sure what to say, go to the card shop, take a cell phone photo of a mushy card and copy it out in your own handwriting. It's not illegal, I think, if you don't try to sell it. Change a few words and add your beloved's name. You are sure to melt a heart.

2. Romantic Dinner DISHES - While a romantic dinner is always a great gift, doing the dishes really says, "I love you enough to doing something I dislike." For courting couples, the way to the altar should be lined with soap bubbles.

3. Gifts of Love - Presents are a fabulous way to say, "I love you" but make sure that your beloved hears "I love you" with gifts. You may scrimp and save your way to a beautiful and romantic whatever, and what your dear-heart really wanted from you was to take out the trash. Be very careful, if your sweetie does like gifts and you give the gift of the emptying of the bin, you may be wearing its contents. Give your dearests what they want, not what you like.

4. A Bouquet - I think flowers are always a winner, but don't just show up with a bunch of roses and think that you're done. Also, include a spiritual bouquet. For each rose, promise to say a rosary.

5. Chocolate and Vino - Chocolate and good wine are both proofs of God's existence. If your doll-baby doesn't like either, you may want to look for another mate. Just kidding! (Important note: If your doll-baby is just on a diet, simply drop the wine and chocolates by the rectory, and your pastor will make sure they go to good use.)