How Close Can You Cut Valentine's Day?

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Photograph by GalleryStock

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Photograph by GalleryStock

Do you find yourself, at this critical moment, unarmed with flowers, champagne or chocolate? The Department of Heartland Security recognizes three levels of preparedness:

Not

Well, there's dinner. Restaurants are offering special Valentine's Day prix-fixe menus. But there's an unsung fixed-price dining option, called "cooking at home," which can be more intimate than eating amid a scrum of other couples. We're not talking about a 10-course meal, with two hours of dining preceded by three hours of panic. We're talking about finding some easy, delicious recipes. A good place to start looking is the Saveur website, maybe followed by an excellent homemade dessert. Try the Pastry Studio blog, which has a variety of sweet, easy-to-follow options.

Not at All

There's entertainment. Film Forum is showing the 1968 film "Je T'aime, Je T'aime," a weirdly touching, dystopian science fiction film. Or, if you want to see something live, Sarah Neufeld, a touring member of Arcade Fire, will perform pieces from her first solo album at the Kitchen. Coppelia is being danced by the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. You have 60 minutes.

Really Not Very Prepared at All

A little late for a diamond necklace. Go with some clean, earnest sentiment, like "Letter to D" by Andre Gorz; ask Amazon for the express drone. Or see if you can still swing a surprise weekend upstate. Or, maybe, an orange tree? Look, we're not the ones who left this to the last minute.

Happy Valentine's Day, and let this be a lesson, of some sort, to you.

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