Commentator Emily Wylie isn't looking for macaroons or chocolate or flowers this Valentine's Day. She is wondering if many couples in the Mid-Atlantic ought to give each other something else: some time apart. Like many on the East Coast, she has cabin fever after the record-setting snowfall and she says the upcoming Valentine's Day now looks like too much of a good thing.

Ms. EMILY WYLIE (Commentator): I hate everything right now. Not just the usual things like litterbugs and wet cat food and when all the pencils in your pencil cup are broken. Now I also hate the things I used to love, the things that were good to me like the color of my bedroom walls, instant cranberry oatmeal, the city I live in, and my husband and child. Wading back home through the post-blizzard gazpacho, I'm suddenly dreading the bodies that will crowd my apartment in a few hours, their hearts beating not Valentine-y love but a fleshy tattoo more like the one that drove Poe's murderer crazy in "The Tell-Tale Heart."

I know, in this scenario I am the murderer. I'm not proud of myself. It's just that they're everywhere I am. On the last snow day, my husband and four-year-old son took turns following me from room to room. I eventually surrendered and we ended up on the couch for part of the afternoon, me sandwiched between them, both of them idly stroking their favorite parts of me as we watched "Babe." About 20 minutes in, I couldn't take it any more and scuttled out of the room, hissing like Rasputin. I know, you're thinking, fool, ingrate - someday you'll be old, and no one will want to go anywhere near your bitter soul and withered, clump-of-raisins body. I get it.

But it's all in the timing. Right now, I am full of love and companionship -overfull. I am a foie gras goose. I stare down my husband, Mr. Handsome, Mr. Charming, and all I can see are the three blackheads on his forehead that he won't let me get anymore. And that the next thing out of his mouth will be some helpful advice about how we might do the dishes better, and that he will talk about this while puttering around cleaning our already clean house.

I'm worried that if he gives me any more instructions that begin with, can you do me a favor, or if he asks me, anytime in the next two weeks, if I smell something funny or if his suit goes with his tie, I'm going to become that Edgar Allan Poe guy in "The Tell-Tale Heart." I'm going to take that guitar, the one he plonk plonks on while I'm writing, the one that helped me get into this marriage, and garrote him with the strings and then bury him under the floorboards.

I think this weekend it might be a good idea to prescribe a little time apart. I'm not going to be anyone's valentine. Try me again on April Fool's.

BLOCK: Commentator Emily Wylie lives and writes in New York City. She is looking into vitamin D and light therapy and, of course, apology cards once the Valentine's shelves clear next week.

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