Love Thyself with Sweet Steals

Valentine’s Day, we all know, is associated with courtly love. From History Channel segments and my very Catholic late grandmother, I've learned that Valentine, a priest in Rome, was executed on February 14 — on or about the year 278 A.D., they say. Roman ruler Claudius the Cruel assumed eligible men weren’t joining his bloody army because of their wives and families, so he took the logical approach and banned all engagements and marriages. Valentine thought this was nonsense, and so he performed marriages for young Roman lovers in secret. That’s how our dear martyr of love lost his head and rose to sainthood.

Great story, right? But this is 2013, people. Let’s celebrate equal opportunity this Valentine’s Day, where every person, coupled up or single, can indulge — sans the impossibly expensive restaurant bill or bowlful of instant mac and cheese.

1. Let love feed your laziness.

Smyle in East Greenwich will deliver any item from the “Love: Delivered!” Facebook photo album free of charge on Tuesday and Wednesday. Just message them with your information and item of choice. At $25–$30 and with free shipping, I’d gladly shower myself with a couple pairs of the Margarita vintage glass earrings. 233 Main St., East Greenwich, 398-8700,

2. You'll catch more flies with honey, but vinegar sure tastes good.

Who really wants to catch flies anyhow? Olive Del Mundo in Providence is offering up a basket filled with tasty goodies — including the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, the strawberry balsamic vinegar, the exquisite blood orange extra virgin olive oil and the basil extra virgin olive oil, plus a gluten and dairy-free chocolate bar and an Italian olive oil-based soap — for just $50. 815 Hope St., Providence, 383-5733,

3. A facial, massage, chocolate-dipped strawberries and bubbly.

Need I say more? Shimmer Salon and Day Spa is offering a day with all of the above for $139, plus options for couples and mani-pedi packages. I’m there, with or without you. 500 Main St., East Greenwich, 738-4941,

4. (S)Hop for keeps.  

Studio Hop in Providence, home to great art, jewelry and crafts by local and international artisans, is offering 10 percent off all items in-store through Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I Love Me” like an extraordinary piece of art, to have and to gaze at so long as you both shall live. 810 Hope St., Providence, 621-2262,

5. Sweets and sips: These are two of my favorite things.

Grapes and Grains in Barrington clearly aims to please. From 5–8 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, feast on chocolate raspberry, strawberry champagne and pink velvet cupcakes, compliments of The Sweet Shoppe, while you sip on perfectly paired dessert, sparkling and still wines. Mull over your sips while getting a free chair massage, then get 15 percent off your favorite featured bottle. 24 Bosworth St., Barrington, 245-2100,

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