Love for Sale
Valentine's Day was a disaster. She Who Brooks No Nonsense was highly critical of the bar of Toblerone I gave her. But the chocolate was only part of it. A day earlier, she'd asked right out of the blue if I thought we should get married. And I, not understanding the question, said, "Maybe we should. But who would have us?"
I know better now. Next year, I'll sign up for one of those Valentine's Day packages. I particularly like the one the Omni Hotel offered. An Affair to Remember, they called it. Talk about luxury. Here's the deal: You get red roses, afternoon tea, champagne and caviar, a candlelight dinner (if the tea and the caviar haven't filled you), a tour of Houston in a limousine (always a treat -- to really appreciate Macy's, you have to see it from the back of a stretch), a ride in a horse and carriage (romantic if the horse doesn't bolt) and your very own luxury suite. All for a modest $5,000 (tax not included). No, you don't keep the suite. It's yours only for the night. But the price does include a nice breakfast.
I think it's worth every penny. At least for those who own a car. I don't, which means schlepping out there on the bus. Let me see: Two people, there and back.... Hey, that's another four bucks. Spending $5,000 is one thing. But $5,004? That's a little much.
I think what I'll do next year is offer An Affair to Remember of my own: cold duck and canned sardines (olive oil or tomato sauce, it's your choice), a tour of Montrose in my borrowed 1988 Honda Accord -- assuming, that is, I can get it to start -- a Victoria's Secret gift certificate valued at $5, a private screening of Emmanuelle on Taboo Island ("a beautiful woman is introduced to an uninhibited world of sensual delights") and a night on my sofa bed. The price? A mere $4,900. And that includes everything. Bus fares, a shoe shine, even the services of a chiropractor. And believe me, after a night on my sofa bed, you'll need a chiropractor.
True, it doesn't have the grandeur of the Omni event. But neither has it the airs and graces. At Lawlor Towers, all are treated as one of the family -- as long as you have a platinum card and an excellent line of credit.
A word of warning, though: Accommodation is limited, so book early and avoid disappointment.
-- Eric Lawlor
Omni Houston Hotel, Four Riverway, 871-8181.
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