The best love song ever is Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." The best date movie, "Say Anything." And the best, cheap romantic gesture has to be standing outside your beloved's window with a boom box over your head blaring said best song.
That's just me and, OK, maybe a few million other 30-something women.
But you? You had picks of your own.
For Valentine's Day, readers offered their love songs and movie favorites, the stories behind them, and a gesture or two that it's not too late to duplicate.
I mean, if the boom box isn't available.
Best love song:
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack: "You can envision every word of the song and just melt into it. Totally romantic." — Polly Austin, Wilton
"Because of You" by Tony Bennett: "My grandparents are about to celebrate 60 years of marriage, while my fiance and I plan to marry this spring! I am making a mix CD for our ceremony and honeymoon and had to include my grandparents' song. I love hearing about their first dates back in the early '50s. There was a local Chinese restaurant that had a jukebox with this song on it. Sixty years later, it still represents their love and I could only hope that my fiance and I find such long-lasting happiness, as well." — Jennifer Mercier, Lewiston
"Just A Kiss" by Lady Antebellum: "My boyfriend dedicated (it) to me when we first began seeing each other in 2011. We had met online and been talking non-stop for weeks, but when we finally met in person (which I was so nervous for I could feel the whole car shake) we spent hours walking around the Maine Mall and sharing information about our family, friends, school, past relationships, just about everything.
"As we said our goodbyes, he kissed me for the first time and we agreed this was going to be slow if it was going to build into a relationship. As I watched him drive away, he sent me a text saying, 'Just a Kiss by Lady A that's my song for you :).' He restored my faith in people, men especially, but I couldn't imagine my life without him now." — Brittany Wood, Sabattus
"Lady" by Kenny Rogers: "Right song and right place." — Bob Leclerc, Livermore Falls
"How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life" by Fred Astaire and Jane Powell in "Royal Wedding": "'Royal Wedding' was a musical, something I've loved ever since being a small child. When you look at the title, your first reaction is 'gimmick,' and it probably should be. But within the context of the movie and the production number that went with it, it really is a wonderful song. And it did hit the charts for a short while. I just always have had very warm memories of it. And that was a long time ago. I was 13 when the movie came out, living in Livermore Falls." — Bob Woodbury, Winslow
Best date movie:
"The Notebook": "If you've seen it, you'd know why. That is the kind of love everyone deserves. The devotion depicted in that movie makes me cry every time I watch it, and I'm a bit envious. Who wouldn’t want a man who would go through everything he had to just to be with her . . . and then to die together in each other's arms . . . Totally romantic!!! That’s the kind of love I want." — Austin
"Love Story": "Tear-jerker all the way." — Leclerc
"A few years ago, when my grandfather first became ill, I witnessed the most romantic gesture he could’ve presented my grandmother. Each year, he took pride in his Valentine’s Day gifts. Knowing there weren’t many holidays left, he needed to make this one extra special. Their last Valentine's Day was spent with him in and out of the hospital. Not expecting much, my grandmother was thrilled solely for getting another day with her husband.
However, he had one last trick up his sleeve. He presented my grandmother with a dozen roses. The bouquet was different than those in the past. These were wooden flowers, ensuring that she’d have roses from him forever. So now, with Valentine’s Day approaching, she’s gifted with flowers from her one and only true Valentine." — Brianna DeGone, Turner
"One red rose. We were broke at the time and took her by surprise." — Leclerc
And finally, from Jacqueline Violette of Lewiston:
Last Feb. 15, she walked into Rite Aid and spied a $20 singing, dancing stuffed monkey marked 75 percent off and scooped it up for her husband, John. The monkey sang: "You're Amazing Just the Way You Are."
"At the time, my husband was recovering, and is still recovering, from a brain injury," Violette said. "He had no real sense of time and had severe memory loss; he didn't realize he was getting a belated gift."
John loved it and they nicknamed the monkey Buddy.
"For the first few weeks this guy would bring a lot of smiles to his face," Violette said. "The song, 'You're Amazing Just the Way You Are,' it was kind of my way of reassuring him that he meant more to me than he could remember. It was my cheapest, and I think most meaningful thing, I've ever given him."
They'll celebrate their 42nd anniversary this summer.
Some responses were edited for length.