What Do T.O. Women and Men Want?

We put celebrity couples to the test, “newlywed game” style. The results? Mars & Venus are farther apart than we thought.


Amy Sky & Marc Jordan

Married: 24 years
Anniversary: Dec. 31
Children: Zoe, 21, & Ezra, 18

My perfect Valentine’s Day would involve…

Amy: a handwritten love letter from Marc and handmade cards with poems from the kids.
Marc: watching the hockey game alone.

What I want:

Amy: Hugs, kisses and cards. No flowers, no chocolate, no dinner in a restaurant.
Marc: I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I have learned that it’s better to…

Amy: Not build it up into a big thing that it can’t live up to.
Marc: Give first and ask questions later.

The first move:

Amy: I told Marc I wanted to have his children, and he responded by burying his head in his hands and saying, “Oy!”
Marc: Neither of us got game. I made a swimming motion and the deal was done.

My favourite love song is…

Amy: “Let It Be Me,” by Ray Lamontagne.
Marc: The theme to Bonanza.

A sure way to kill a romantic evening with my spouse is to bring up…

Amy: My desire to attend ballroom dancing classes.
Marc: My dinner all over her lap.

I think my spouse’s celebrity crush is…

Amy: Margaret Atwood.
Marc: David Cassidy.

My celebrity crush is actually…

Amy: Hugh Jackman.
Marc: Margaret Atwood.

Debra McGrath & Colin Mochrie

Married: 23 years
Anniversary: Jan. 8
Children: Luke, 21

I love Valentine’s Day, because…

Deb: it is a day to get all squishy about love. I have loved it since the first time I made a little paper heart pouch and hung it on the back of my chair in Grade 1 and watched it fill up with sweet wishes.
Colin: You know how, when you were a kid, and you’d ask a parent, “Why is there a Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but no Kid’s Day?” And they would reply, “Every day is Kid’s Day?” Every day with Deb is Valentine’s Day. The actual day just means I have to buy a card.

The one thing I don’t want to do this Valentine’s Day is…

Deb: spend it apart.
Colin: clean up the basement.

If my spouse forgot to get me a gift, I would be…

Deb: Worried that something was wrong with him. Oh man, that answer reeked of my Scottish background, didn’t it?
Colin: Shocked. The woman would never forget a holiday or gift-giving opportunity. I would have her checked for a concussion.

If it were up to my spouse, Valentine’s Day would involve…

Deb: Me. Food.
Colin: A lovely breakfast, a two-hour massage, a movie followed by a romantic dinner in one of our favourite restaurants, then dancing.

Marriage has taught me that romance…

Deb: Can still surprise.
Colin: is more than sex or long lingering kisses, walking hand in hand in sweetly lit parks. Romance can be found in the most mundane day-to-day activities. It can be a laugh, it can be washing dishes, it can be anything that you are sharing with that person.

We keep the spark alive by…

Deb: Acting on it. We go on adventures together. Planned and spontaneous, away and in our home.
Colin: Taking it a priority to schedule dates for ourselves. And we work at it. We work hard at keeping the spark there and never taking each other for granted. It’s the best work ever … even though the pay sucks.

Debbie Travis & Hans Rosenstein

Owners, Whalley Abbey Media
Married: 25 years
Anniversary: July 18
Children: Two (24 & 23)

My idea of the perfect valentine’s Day:

Debbie: A lie-in with my hubby. It’s not a big day for us, but if we can use it as an excuse to have some quality time together, then that’s great.
Hans: There is not a day that passes where we do not say how much we love each other, but it would be nice if the day would start with Debbie making me breakfast in bed.

One thing I don’t want to do on Valentine’s day is…

Debbie: Eat Valentine’s chocolates as I am just getting rid of the Christmas “bulge.”
Hans: Panic over not having bought a present — we usually do not exchange presents on Valentine’s Day.

My spouse’s dream Valentine’s day would probably involve…

Debbie: His wife happy and for him to actually remember — he’s not the best at this!
Hans: Probably receiving a diamond ring. When we got married, I could not afford to buy her one, and I am still saving up.

This year, i’m expecting to get…

Debbie: Not a lot. If I am lucky and have reminded him, maybe I will get a bunch of roses.
Hans: The usual — nothing.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I have learned that it’s better to…

Debbie: Not collapse in tears when he forgets — he is my valentine all year round, so I forgive him if he is not too romantic on this particular day.
Hans: Remember when it is.

My favourite love song is...

Debbie: “Calico Skies,” by Paul McCartney.
Hans: “When a Man Loves a Woman,” by Percy Sledge.

A sure way to kill a romantic evening with my spouse is to bring up…

Debbie: Money.… It is always guaranteed to spoil a good night out.
Hans: Martha Stewart.

If I could change one thing about my spouse, it would be...

Debbie: His snoring.
Hans: Her driving habits.

Erin Davis & Rob Whitehead

Radio host & manager
Married: 24 years
Anniversary: Feb. 20
Children: Lauren, 20

Our Valentine’s Day plans:

Erin: Being a school night, it’ll be quiet and early, probably with a simple dinner in. Maybe we’ll pick up some Japanese, enjoy a pot of decaf green tea and watch the previous night’s Daily Show.
Rob: A quiet, romantic dinner with my sweetie would be nice.

The one thing I don’t want to do this Valentine’s Day is…

Erin: be out in a crowded restaurant or club. Our preferred dress code is “super casual,” as in bathrobes.
Rob: go to a Leafs game.

What I want:

Erin: Sounds cliche, but flowers. I know Rob always means to give them, but it seems the only time I get flowers is as a “thanks” from event organizers, and they usually arrive the day before we’re about to leave on a trip!
Rob: We don’t generally exchange gifts, and I already have more than I need. Although Erin has given me some splendid hockey jerseys in past years.

The secret to making the most out of the holiday is…

Erin: not to fall into the “no one tells me when to be romantic!” attitude. Sure, it’s a commercial holiday, but accept it as a fun reminder to show the person you love that you do — and then be creative!
Rob: to not leave all of your thoughts and efforts to one day — try to spread it throughout the year. We try to do things to show our love for each other every day.

If my spouse could have a “free pass” with any celebrity, it would be…

Erin: Mariska Hargitay from Law and Order: SVU. But he’d still probably rather have tea with Simon Baker, who plays Patrick Jane on The Mentalist.
Rob: George Clooney.

My celebrity crush is actually:

Erin: George Clooney — to infinity and beyond.
Rob: Sandra Bullock.

Liza Fromer & Josh Gerstein

TV host & managing director
Married: 6 years
Anniversary: Sept. 18
Children: Samson, 5, & Ever, 2

Our Valentine’s Day plans:

Liza: We’ve never made a huge production on Valentine’s Day. It feels like a lot of pressure. We’ll celebrate it on that weekend and probably after. Plan a meal we’re both excited about. Shop together, cook together. Have some really great wine. A quiet evening in.
Josh: In our situation, it’s a bit tricky, with Liza getting up early in the morning, because we can’t have a proper evening. So we might do the weekend before, make a dinner at home. And then the following weekend, I’ve arranged for Liza to go away for a night or two to Niagara to chill out.

If it were up to my spouse, Valentine’s Day would involve…

Liza: Front row seats at the UFC with me in Vegas. Then the two of us going for a phenomenal meal afterwards.
Josh: Being whisked away for an evening or two to a romantic food-shopping city, like New York, New Orleans or L.A.  

If my spouse forgot to get me a gift, I would be…

Liza: Sshocked because he’s so organized. It would be like, “Really? You don’t do that kind of stuff!”
Josh: OK if she forgot the day entirely. It would work the opposite if she bought a gift and I didn’t have anything. Then I would be sad.

One simple thing my spouse could do to make this holiday special is…

Liza: Find an hour for me to just read a book alone. I don’t get much time to do that anymore.
Josh: Take the next day off work so we can stay up and enjoy the whole evening together.

The first move:

Liza: It was me. I was the one who spotted him and managed to find my way beside him at a bar, but he was the one who asked for my number.
Josh: It’s up for a debate. She claims she made the effort to meet me, and I suggest that we kind of both did. And I also have a couple of friends who try to take credit for it.

If my spouse could have a “free pass” with any celebrity, it would be...

Liza: Angelina Jolie. He likes people who are the best at their abilities.
Josh: Johnny Depp.

My celebrity crush is actually...

Liza: Johnny Depp.
Josh: Other than the obvious? Angelina Jolie. You can’t go wrong with mentioning her.

Linda Frum & Howard Sokolowski

Member of Senate & CEO, Metropia Urban Development
Married: 10 years
Anniversary: April 22
Children: 5

On gift giving:

Linda: Early on, I told Howard that I don’t believe in Valentine’s Day gifts. It’s one of my bigger regrets.
Howard: I give. Linda receives. That’s our pattern. I’m good with that.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’ve learned that it’s better to…

Linda: just give in and embrace it. You can try to rise above the commercialism and fake sentimentality, but it’s difficult to win that battle.
Howard: ignore Linda’s protests that she doesn’t care about valentines. She cares.

I’d love to spend this Valentine’s Day at…

Linda: Mistura Restaurant — the location of my first-ever date with Howard.
Howard: Langdon Hall in Kitchener, Ont. We’ve had many romantic getaways there.

My spouse’s dream Valentine’s Day would involve…

Linda: A 1982 Mouton Rothschild.
Howard: Baubles.

Our ideal date night:

Linda: Since I’m away so much for work my absolute favourite thing to do is stay home together.
Howard: Reading our Kindle Fires lying side by side. It’s actually very romantic.

Biana Zorich & Marc Thuet

Proprietor & chef, Petite Thuet
Together: 14 years
Anniversary: Sept. 5
Children: Emilia, 11, & Eva, 10

For Valentine’s Day dinner, I want…

Biana: A home-cooked meal, for sure! I don’t often get Marc all to myself in the kitchen. That way I can dictate the exact meal I want on that table — for once, that menu is all mine.
Marc: A night out. For once, I wouldn’t have to cook.

Our favourite romantic food to share:

Biana: Marc thinks it’s oysters because “it puts me in the mood.” Ridiculous. I love food. Any good food “puts me in the mood.” Especially when he creates something and we taste it together, next to his stove. Works every time.
Marc: Oysters. We can eat them all night long. But I think any shared meal is romantic — if the food is delicious and the company is your wife. Bee tastes everything I create, tirelessly. She’s my soundboard and my number-one cheerleader.

On gift giving:

Biana: I’m a chef’s wife. I’m lucky to get a card on Valentine’s Day. But he makes it up. Always. A month later.
Marc: I buy her Chantelle lingerie. It’s the best gift in the universe.

I think my spouse’s dream Valentine’s Day would be…

Biana: like a Penthouse letter.
Marc: an afternoon at Bergdorf’s.

Date night:

Biana: I wear a short skirt, and we go out for dinner. Then, I take out my notes, get my menus finalized, and we talk about our business for most of the night. Because of the short skirt, I get a lot achieved.
Marc: I think there might be food involved at some point. But there’s definitely a short skirt.

We keep the spark alive with…

Biana: Many heated arguments followed by massive amounts of decadent food. I must admit, sharing a love for business and a passion for food keeps this fire burning.
Marc: A few trips throughout the year where we can share great food and some well-deserved alone time. None of her notes, no deadlines, no “strategic development,” as she likes to call it. Just my wife, the person.

If I could change one thing about my spouse it would be…

Biana: To organize his time better. He could stop living in the creatively chaotic bubble that is Marc Thuet for an hour a day. He could give me menus on the deadlines that I have to meet. He could.… What’s the point after 14 years?
Marc: No man in his right mind would answer this question. I like where I sleep.

Randy Taylor & Dr. Joey Shulman

Nutritionist/author & entrepreneur
Married: Eight years
Anniversary: Aug. 3
Children: Two (ages 7 & 3)

This Valentine’s Day, I’m hoping to…

Joey: In a perfect world, stay in bed all day long! With two little kids, there is no way that is going to happen.
Randy: Get a sitter and go out for dinner to our favourite Italian restaurant.

My spouse will probably want to…

Joey: Go for a drive. He loves driving, exploring new neighborhoods. I am far too restless and impatient and can’t wait to get out of the car!
Randy: Stay home. I never want to miss the important days, we don’t get them back.

I’m expecting to get…

Joey: A poem. Each Valentine’s Day Randy writes me a poem. I frame and keep each one.
Randy: Clothes (Joey is my fashion advisor). And something homemade from the kids. I love those. I keep them all and they are my favourite gifts.

If my spouse forgets to get me something…

Joey: I would be surprised! He is actually the more romantic one of the two of us.
Randy: I would laugh. She forgets something most days.

If I could spend Valentine’s Day anywhere in the world, I’d go to…

Joey: Windermere on Lake Rosseau — it is our favourite spot on the planet. I swear, there is something healing in that water.
Randy: Windermere resort on Lake Rosseau. It’s our favourite place in the world.

Our most memorable Valentine’s Day was…

Joey: Our second Valentine’s Day together — Randy showered me with many gifts to open. I presented him with one small box containing a baby sweater. It was my way of telling him I was pregnant with our son. I won that year!
Randy: I went all out and bought Joey a bunch of great gifts. I thought I was going to really surprise her until she gave me a little sweater wrapped up in a box. The card read, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Daddy.” It was how she told me she was pregnant with our son. It will likely remain the greatest surprise of my life.

Tracy Moore & Lionel Perron

CityLine host & small business owner
Married: Five years
Anniversary: July 1
Children: Sidney, 3, & Eva, 1

To me, Valentine’s Day is…

Tracy: A great excuse to have dinner alone with my husband.
Lio: Not much.

This year, I’m hoping to get…

Tracy: One-on-one time!
Lio: A card and a few kisses.

I think my spouse is hoping for…

Tracy: A hockey game, steak and sex (possibly in that order).
Lio: A mountain of chocolate.

Meeting my spouse’s parent for the first time was…

Tracy: Somewhat awkward and nerve-racking.
Lio: Pleasantly surprising.

I think my bachelor/ette party…

Tracy: Killed his!
Lio: Was so lame.

Date night for us usually involves…

Tracy: Eating at one of our favourite restaurants.
Lio: Good, drinks and a (chick) flick.

When my spouse is “in the mood”…

Tracy: He offers to take my pants off.
Lio: She tells me.

Candace & Eric Alper

Canada AM music correspondent & creator, Name Your Tune
Married: 11 years
Anniversary: Sept. 24
Children: Hannah, 9

Our Valentine’s Day plans:

Eric: This year, we’re going out to dinner — where we’ll talk about our daughter Hannah, her school, our work lives — then I’ll surprise her with a trip to Paris for dessert. One of these plans may not happen.
Candace: Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday this year — we'll spend it together as a family with our daughter. I'll make the favourite meal that we can all agree on (spaghetti and meat sauce), Eric will make popcorn, and the three of us will snuggle on the couch and watch American Idol. Not exactly romantic — but it's perfect.

My spouse’s ideal Valentine’s Day would probably involve…

Eric: Getting all dressed up with her new clothes just bought at her fave store, a dab of perfume, her hair neatly done, a breath of excitement and romance in the air — and a goodbye as she goes out to dinner with Matt Damon while I watch our daughter Hannah.
Candace: His Genesis DVDs, a bottle of red (for me), a bottle of Coke (for him) and popcorn. It's the next best thing to getting tickets to see Genesis live, which, obviously, is not going to happen for him.

The best Valentine’s Day gift I ever received:

Eric: Candace and I made our own spectacular and shiny rings from a drab, dirty piece of gold one year. I have yet to take it off. From Hannah, a guitar pick that reads, “I couldn’t pick a better dad.”
Candace: A few years ago, Eric worked with a jeweller and designed a necklace for me. It's a heart of diamonds with three that are just a bit bigger than the rest to represent our family. Doesn't get better than that — Oh, the pressure!

This year, I’m hoping to get…

Eric: Nothing, to tell you the truth. Candace showers me with compliments and affection on a daily basis.
Candace: To play hooky, take the day off work and just hang out together — no computers, no BlackBerrys or iPhones.…

Our song is…

Eric: “Power of Two” by The Indigo Girls. But my favourite love song is “Falling Slowly” by the Swell Season.
Candace: “The Power of Two” by The Indigo Girls. Eric totally gave me that one — they're my favourite band, our first live show together. The song is lovely … “multiply life by the power of two.” It's us.

Pat Mastroianni & Carmela Scalzi

Actor & insurance case manager
Married: 10 years
Anniversary: Aug. 11
Children: None

To me Valentine’s Day means…

Pat: A typical commercial go out and get the flowers and have dinner.
Carmela: Usually nothing really special. I'm not really a flowers and jewellery type. It's more important to treat each other lovingly every day instead of once a year.

I think the secret to making the most out of the holiday is…

Pat: Just reminding each other why you’re together in the first place. Not taking the relationship for granted, saying, “You make me happy because.…”
Carmela: Remembering the less pressure the better. I sound so boring, but it's true.

I think my spouse is hoping to get…

Pat: Nothing. She has everything, she never expects anything. She doesn’t crave jewellery or material things. She’s happy that she has her health, a loving relationship and her family.
Carmela: Amazing Fantasy #15. To regular people it sounds like porn. But it's a comic book.

The first move:

Pat: We met in high school, and it took four years for me to build the courage to ask her out. Then we broke up after the prom. We went our separate ways and met up eight years later, and it took three months of hanging out and casual dinners.
Carmela: I got tired of waiting and made the first move. And, in true guy fashion, he was confused by the whole thing.

My spouse’s favourite love  song is…

Pat: “With or Without You” by U2.
Carmela: I don't think he has one. He tends to butcher the lyrics of every song. Kinda takes the whole romance thing out of it.

My favourite love song is…

Pat: “Rubber Duckie, You’re the One.” It’s a special song to us. I used it as I proposed to her:
Carmela: “One” by U2.

We keep the spark alive by…

Pat: Just my physical presence. My wife can’t control herself around me. I always remind her how many women want this.
Carmela: Not taking each other too seriously. And laughing … a lot.

Adam Lind & Lakeyshia Bertie

Baseball player & stay-at-home mom
Married: One year
Anniversary: Nov. 13
Children: Martynne Adele, 4 months

I would like to spend this Valentine’s Day…

Adam: Like most people, with my wife.
Lakeyshia: Going to a movie and then maybe to a sushi dinner. Now that we have a baby, our flexibility is pretty limited.

I think my spouse probably wants to spend Valentine’s Day…

Adam: Having some “grown up” time.
Lakeyshia: At home with the ladies in his life. Oh yeah, no poopy diapers — and breakfast in bed served to him, for a change.

One thing i know my spouse won’t want to do is…

Adam: Go to bed to early.
Lakeyshia: Ballroom dance. I love to dance and I've tried everything I can think of to persuade him to come along with me, but nothing works.

For my Valentine’s Day gift, I’m hoping to get…

Adam: A luxurious villa in the Caribbean!
Lakeyshia: Nothing special. Just a hug and a kiss and an “I love you” are about all I really need.

I think my spouse is hoping for…

Adam: Time together. She’s not into material things, that’s why I love her.
Lakeyshia: Candy of some sort. He's Mr. Sweet Tooth, so I just have to get him a heart-shaped Jolly Rancher and he’s happy.

I think my spouse’s favourite romantic movie is…

Adam: Avatar.
Lakeyshia: Pearl Harbor?

My favourite romantic movie is actually…

Adam: Titanic.
Lakeyshia: Forrest Gump.

Paul Cook & Stephanie Smyth

News anchors
Married: Four years
Anniversary: May 22
Children: Spencer, Honor, Reed and Harrison

My idea of the perfect valentine’s day is…

Stephanie: Having a nice dinner together that we didn’t prepare!
Paul: Dirty martinis and dinner at home in front of the fire.

One thing I don’t want this Valentine’s Day is…

Stephanie: One of those corny cards with the sentiment (I call it “sediment”) already written!
Paul: To be stuffed into a crowded understaffed restaurant.

My spouse’s dream date:

Stephanie: Not sure it’s PG-13!
Paul: Watching Love Actually for the 25th time from start to finish without falling asleep!

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I have learned that it’s better to…

Stephanie: Go to Victoria’s Secret!
Paul: Under promise and over deliver!

My favourite love song is…

Stephanie: Johnny Coltrane, “My One and Only Love.”
Paul: “All You Need Is Love.”

A sure way to kill a romantic evening with my spouse is to bring up…

Stephanie: The news. No shop talk allowed.
Paul: The Visa bill.

If I could change one thing about my spouse, it would be:

Stephanie: Not a single thing!
Paul: To make her love curling as much as she loves indoor winter tennis.

Alan Frew & Marcy Mihalcheon

Singer-songwriter & manufacturer, Marcy’s Gourmet Products
Married: Five years
Anniversary: Sept. 23
Children: One

To me, Valentine’s day is…

Alan: like the sort of “reminder,” if you will, of the choice I made many years ago that this was the woman I love and whom I wanted to spend my life with. I love her that way every day of the year, but it’s fun to have a little day to acknowledge that fact.
marcy: a fun day to make a fuss over your loved ones.

I’m hoping to spend this valentine’s day…

Alan: With the girls in my life (I have a seven-year-old daughter), then after my little one's bedtime, a romantic hour or two with my wife.
Marcy: Cooking a beautiful dinner with my family.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, I’ve learned that it’s better to…

Alan: Give than receive.
Marcy: Focus on the simple pleasures.

If I could spend this Valentine’s Day anywhere in the world, I would choose…

Alan: Southern Italy.
Marcy: Some place hot!

My spouse’s dream valentine’s day would probably involve…

Alan: My daughter as well as me. And all three of us would be on a cooking adventure in Italy or France. They would be taking a marvellous cooking course, and all three of us would enjoy fabulous food, fabulous wines and lots of love and friendship with great people.
Marcy: a Rangers soccer match, then in the evening, dinner with his girls. After dark — pillow talk with moi.

Who made the first move?

Alan: She did.
Marcy: Alan definitely made the first move when he brought me home from our blind date. He then planted a kiss on me that I will never forget.

During the proposal I thought:

Alan: “You are definitely going to have to do this one all over again, pal.”
Marcy: “He’s proposing here?!”

Marriage has taught me…

Alan: That it wants no part of romance. You have to take care of that part yourself.
Marcy: That it’s not just about us, like when we were dating. It’s about building a life together.

Anne-Marie and Peter Basmadjian

Owners, Armadillo Shoes
Married: 18 years
Anniversary: Feb 6
Children: One

This Valentine’s Day, I’m hoping to...

Anne-Marie: have a nice romantic dinner with my husband.
Peter: play hockey.

If I had a choice between going out or staying in, I’d choose...

Anne-Marie: a romantic, home-cooked meal, because it’s a special night between my husband and me.
Peter: to go out. She doesn’t have to cook.

The most thoughtful gift I ever received was...

Anne-Marie: a big white musical teddy bear. He surprised me on our first Valentine’s Day together. 

Peter: a romantic trip to Las Vegas.

I think my spouse’s ideal Valentine’s Day would involve...

Anne-Marie: the day in Vegas. 
Peter: a romantic trip.

Who made the first move:

Anne-Marie: My spouse.
Peter: My wife.

During the proposal, I thought...

Anne-Marie: yes, finally. They all thought he would never ask.
Peter: I hope I don’t get whacked.

Our typical date night involves...

Anne-Marie: going to the movies, out for nice dinners or meeting up with our friends.
Peter: What’s date night?

My favourite romantic movie is:

Anne-Marie: Love Actually.
Peter: Titanic.

Marriage has taught me that...

Anne-Marie: it doesn’t matter how busy you are, there’s time for each other. 
Peter: romance is a lot of work and men are not mind readers. 

We keep the spark alive by...

Anne-Marie: spending time just the two of us.
Peter: my wife is half Sicilian and half Calabrese — there is always spark in our lives.

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