Over the past few months I’ve been keeping my eyes open for romantic ideas, browsing sites such as this one. An idea that kept coming up in a variety of creative ways was to shower your beloved with compliments–things you love about them–whether in balloons, stuck to pieces of candy, written on sticky-notes, paper hearts, a poster, a card, etc. It was pretty common for people to come up with 100. That thought’s been percolating for a while…
Then I saw this in our closet.
It’s been there for years–my prince got it in a popcorn gift box, possibly even before we were married…but in context, I had a sudden flash of inspiration (thank you, guardian angel :)!). My prince has periodically gotten a complimentary bag of popcorn at a certain gas station. Since he can’t have the butter, he’s always given it to me. Well, now I can return the favor!
First I set up this page with 12 “Butter spots.” Then I cut out each one (leaving plenty of white at the edges) with scalloped scissors for a popcorn look, wrote a compliment on the back & crumpled it into a popcorn-sized wad, “butter” side out. I wasn’t at all sure I’d make it to 100, but I figured I’d see how close I could get. Over the next couple of days, I printed the same page over & over until I had 96 compliments (then cut the last 4 from scraps of plain white paper). *whew*! Especially toward the end it was hard to not resort to, “You’re great,” “You’re special,” “You’re wonderful,” but I wanted quality compliments for my prince :). I tried to give specifics and examples, making it personal (these don’t apply to just anybody!).
At first I’d hoped to fill the plastic “popcorn bag”, but it soon became clear that even 100 crumpled bits of paper were going to look pretty skimpy in there. So I designed my own bag I scored the light gray lines, folded the sides in & out (like a grocery bag), glued the sides together, cut the bottom into flaps & glued those together, then cut the top with the scalloped edge scissors. It’s the perfect size :).
(This was my first try at a spiral popup)
The left side reads:
Hark! my lover–behold he comes
leaping across the mountains,
springing over the hills
-Song of Songs 2:8
…and the right:
I wanna butter you up 🙂
–and corny puns–
When my prince read it, he said he’d been thinking of dressing up for this date already :).
Now, what does one do at a popcorn party? I remembered running across ideas in previous internet searches, so I went looking again. Flavored popcorn wasn’t going to work–besides the food allergy issues, whenever I’ve proposed trying different seasonings, my prince requested that I leave his plain. I did find a couple of games that sounded manageable. One was a simple popcorn toss, the other, making popcorn fly on a parachute. We don’t have a parachute, but my silk dancing veil’s the next best thing… I found songs too, and prepared this lyrics sheet.
…but I kept hitting recommendations for movies (of course!)…
If you’ve been reading here for a while, you already know that movies & I just don’t mix. Sooo, I went looking for popcorn-related videos on YouTube. That worked! I found Popcorn Kittens, Popcorn Popping in Slow Motion, and the coup de grace, a popcorn skit by the Muppets’ Swedish Chef! In one of our recent conversational dates, my prince got a question card asking about his favorite TV character & said he really enjoyed the Swedish Chef (he then showed me a couple of YouTube videos of him). Perfect!
What about the meal? I rued not being able to serve popcorn shrimp :P! I did find a napkin fold (scroll down to the “crown”) that reminds me of an ear of corn. And meatballs (which my prince is fond of) are sort of popcorn-shaped (I added sausage seasoning to ground beef & made meatballs of that). Corn would be appropriate as a vegetable. On a lark I went looking for recipes for potato puffs (maybe they’d look a little like popcorn?). I ended up cobbling together my own ideas, based on what I found. I wasn’t up to deep frying, but I was willing to pan fry. They didn’t look much like popcorn, but they were quite tasty :). For a finishing touch, I filled the plastic “popcorn bag” with popcorn & set it out as a “centerpiece.”
We ate as soon as my prince got home (the potato puffs were almost done). I had the complimentary popcorn at his place on the table, but at first he thought it was just a decoration. When I pointed out the compliments, he said he’d read them later. I offered to read them to him (he’s auditory–he likes to hear things).
After supper we showered & changed into our formal attire. Since I was done first, I started reading the “complimentary popcorn” to my prince while he got ready. As an unexpected bonus, having to carefully uncrumple each piece and then crumple it back up again left a pause between compliments. My prince made use of these to respond with a comment, a smile, a kiss, a caress–it varied :). As I kept reading and reading he asked, “How many of these are there, anyway?!” When I told him there were 100, he remarked that I’d been busy! Indeed! That was about the time he finally figured out the pun–this complimentary popcorn is a bag of compliments in the shape of popcorn!
When he was ready I’d gotten about halfway through, so I set the bag aside for a bit while we took in the music, games & videos (with a bowl of popcorn to eat on the side, of course!). My prince didn’t know the “I’m a Little Teapot” melody, so I soloed on that one, but he joined me for the others :).
When I said, “I think it’s time for a movie,” my prince exclaimed, “That’s something I never thought I’d hear you say!” ;). He got a chuckle out of the kittens & seemed to enjoy the other two as well :).
For the popcorn toss, we took turns trying to toss popcorn into the plastic “popcorn bag” from a couple of feet away (neither of us are basketball stars! ;)). Each time one of us made it, the other cheered & we kissed :). We decided to keep going until we each got three in–that kept us busy for a while! The kitties were interested. My prince quipped that whether we “won” or not, the kitties would ;)! We wouldn’t mind letting them have a few pieces except that they don’t eat it–they just get it all slobbery & leave it for us to clean up (eyish!).
Then I got out the veil, gave my prince two corners, took the other two myself & threw a handful of popcorn in the middle (I left some dry for this–we use an air-popper). Then we both waved our ends up & down to make the popcorn bounce until it all flew off. I had fun, but when I asked my prince if he wanted to try again, he said he’d gotten the idea. We then made a dash to pick up the pieces before the kitties got to them!
Once those festivities were over, we retired to the couch. There was still a little of the dry (popped) popcorn left, so I finished that, tossing a piece at my prince on a lark. It seemed harmless enough. He threw it back. I threw another. He threw it back & I caught it in my bowl. That went on ’till that handful was gone–I think that’s my first ever “food fight”! Then I finished reading the compliments and eating the salted popcorn (I had to make sure I kept track of which was which! ;)). As I went on & on, I could feel my prince quietly growing more and more radiant :).
That was the icing on the cake!
I’d had a lot of fun putting the date together already,
but my prince’s response was simply priceless :).