, Salem, MA


February 14, 2013

Talk is cheap — and works great


For most women, a relationship with good communication is like a brownie sundae with hot fudge sauce. When you have it, you don’t need much else. Lingerie is nice, but old flannels are warmer. Who needs a limo ride and dinner at a fancy restaurant when Super Sub delivers mushroom cheesesteaks? Who needs the bottle of Dom when there’s Bud Light Lime? And who needs an overnight stay at a five-star resort without spouse and kids? (Sorry, I digress.)

Personally, I’d like to time-travel from our 2013 texting world to the “Downton Abbey” era, when romance relied on the long-lost art of conversation: “Lady Mary, that gown is fetching on you, and I love the way your ladies’ maid has styled your hair. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I married you, and into your wonderful family, and no matter what happens, fortune or no fortune, I intend to make you the happiest woman alive, until the end of my days — that is, if you’ll allow me.”

If men talked like this, they wouldn’t need to spend money on Valentine cards. In fact, they could skip Valentine’s Day altogether and women would be perfectly happy.


Mary Alice Cookson is a Beverly-based columnist. She welcomes comments at




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