I had a playlist picked out for Valentine's Day.

Real ‘get you in the mood’ type stuff.   Marvin Gaye…Portishead…some 1960’s Coltrane. A sequence of tracks that would inspire my wife and me on our romantic trip to New York City.

READ: 10 Super Romantic Ideas For Valentine’s Day In Toronto

We were scheduled to leave this morning and had it planned down to the last detail. A lovely hotel, some lovely restaurants… The only detail we didn’t plan was the stomach flu, which our young son brought home from school yesterday and which was anything but lovely.

READ: 10 Ways To Rock Valentine’s Day When You’re Single In Toronto

So. I had to rethink the super sexy Valentine's Day playlist for one that was a little less of a sure thing.


Early this morning, I threw on this 1982 Clash classic with its, “If I go, there will be trouble…” lyric and gallantly suggested to my wife that she go to New York without me. “No,” she demurred. “You go. I’ll remain behind with the children.” Neither of us actually meant it, and after a prolonged stare-down, we decided to cancel our trip altogether and pretty up the house for a stay-at-home Valentine's Day.


A little splash of colour can brighten up any home. Less so, when it’s the result of the stomach flu. So, I began this Valentine’s Day wearing a pair of latex gloves and an apron, sanitizing the house and grooving to this funk single from the 2000 album Stankonia. If there is any chance of things getting dirty later tonight, things have got to be cleaned now. Gross.


I have read Chatelaine magazine, and none of the top ten tips for a romantic evening are ‘have a barfing kid around’. So, I told my young son he was not to come down until he could keep his food down, which in turn made him feel down. To get him to stay, I played him Rihanna’s Stay, and that seemed to cheer him up a bit. I then showed him the video to Rihanna’s Stay, and that seemed to cheer him up a lot. (Happy Valentines Day, Son!!).


I was determined to cook my wife a five-star, NYC-quality meal. And to that end, I was determined to spend the next five hours learning how to cook. As motivation, I threw on this tasty Afro-beat track by Fela Kuti drummer, Tony Allen. Tony and I were locked in a groove as I poured and mixed ingredients. I was flushed with excitement, my stomach rumbling in anticipation of a romantic home-cooked meal. Unfortunately, it was not excitement that had me flushed... Nor was it anticipation that had my stomach rumbling... It seemed that I too had the stomach flu.


“Cause there's no prescription for me. She's the one, the only remedy…” Sometimes romance shows itself in the unlikeliest of ways. By late morning, I was down for the count; and while Gregory Isaacs sang softly, my wife assumed nursing duties. I know she wasn’t planning to spend Valentine's Day attending to my needs while I lay sweating in bed. But it isn’t far from what I had in mind.