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Wake Me Up When Valentine's Day is Over

Wake Me Up When Valentine's Day is Over

What am I doing February 14th? Well, let’s see: There’s a meeting that day. I think I have a doctor’s appointment also, and not with the “Love Doctor”. I’ll fit an early dinner in there -- just me, with no chocolate for dessert in any form – especially not hearts.

Nor do I plan to buy myself, or anyone else, jewelry.

So yes, I do know it’s Valentine’s Day, and no, I don’t plan to “celebrate”. By the time this appears in the newspaper, the day will be thankfully over, and I don’t anticipate any changes between now and then.

What do I have against Valentine’s Day? For starters, I was one of those Charlie Brown type kids who pined away, waiting hopelessly by the mailbox for a Valentine that would never come. But don’t pity me: Eventually I found a good woman and got married – on Valentine’s Day. I’m no longer married. Get the picture? I might just as well have gotten married on Christmas and spent the rest of my life imagining shooting down Santa’s sled with a guided missile.

I’m as romantic as the next person. No, really. I’m with the hand holding, and the candlelit dinners, and the full body massages, and the lingerie. Lingerie’s questionable, of course – it’s not really romantic to get a woman lingerie, because sexy female underwear is a gift for the giver, not the wearer. Personally, I love lingerie – but I’d never wear any. It’s uncomfortable, overpriced, and under covering, but it sure looks good on women …

Where was I?

The point is, I’m not one of those guys who thinks a truly romantic gift is a microwave, or a new vacuum cleaner. Okay, once, but that was a joke, I swear. If I had a girlfriend right now, I’d do it up right, despite the fact that the conventions of Valentine’s Day don’t make a lot of sense.
But a guy can get into trouble if he’s not careful.

First of all, it is not the thought that counts. It’s very important to understand that. Guys, it doesn’t matter how much you love that pair of season tickets to your favorite sports team. Also, you get no brownie points for recognizing that your lady needs a new mop. You can put on all the lovely wrapping and pretty bows you want, and she’s still going to wrap it around your neck.

After that it gets a bit more difficult. Candy is iffy, for instance. You might get the, “I’m trying to lose weight!” cry. “Don’t you care about me? How can you torture me like this?”

Just to clarify, I’m trying to lose weight, and yet would still gladly accept chocolate as a gift. In case anyone was wondering.

We already mentioned Lingerie. Forget it, guys. It’s romantic to you – not them. And romantic to you is synonymous with sexy. This will come as a shock to men, but “romantic” is not the same as “sexy”. Go too nuts with the lingerie, and you may find it joining the mop as a strangling device.

Handing her a certificate for a free body massage might seem like a smart way to be romantic without spending money, but it can backfire badly. Chances are, your woman has had plenty of experience with what sounds like a horror movie: The Date With a Thousand Hands. You might trigger bad memories.

Cards are great, of course, but they don’t qualify as the gift – they go with the gift. Also, on this holiday one thing can be said about all funny cards: they’re not funny. Go for something with poetry in it, and not poetry that starts with, “There once was a man from Nantucket”.

Flowers are generally safe, unless she’s allergic. Buying flowers goes against a man’s basic instinct: He doesn’t understand the point of buying something that doesn’t feed anyone, doesn’t do anything, doesn’t provide entertainment, and soon becomes ugly and worthless. The parallels to a typical politician are amazing.

But unlike lingerie, Valentine’s Day -- like a wedding -- is for the women, not the men. So going for the flowers seems like a good idea, until you consider the fact that certain flowers mean certain things.

This completely flummoxes men. What do you men, yellow roses mean something different than pink roses? They’re flowers, man! Who made these rules? Who cares?

Well, the women do, that’s who. Get on the internet, go to a florist, or perpetuate a stereotype by asking a gay friend. You’ll soon find that baby’s breath has nothing to do with projectile vomiting, and that presenting a lady with black roses may not bring the reaction you’d hoped for. You might even be startled to find there actually are flowers other than roses. Carnations are more than condensed milk, fellas.

If all else fails – and it will – there’s only once choice remaining: Jewelry. I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t that expensive?”

Yes, it is. Get over it. Women like sparklies, and I’m not talking about the sparklies on the finish of your new fishing boat. Speaking of which, if you’ve bought any “boys toys” in the last year, she will inevitably compare the value of her gift with the value of the toy. She will think, “He loves his boat/gun/four wheeler/golf clubs more than me!” She’ll be right, but believe me, admitting that is not the answer. Especially if your new toy is a gun, and she knows how to use it.

So suck it up, and get her the jewelry. And if your toy is a brand new bass boat, add in the flowers and a really nice card, the one with three digits in the price. Think of it as insurance – you want to avoid those sudden glares that seem to happen out of the blue, which can lead to raging battles when you admit not knowing why she’s mad. You’re guaranteeing a peaceful home life and a contented significant other.

At least, until her birthday. You’ve got that marked on the calendar -- right?


( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)

I like flowers... because I don't get bought flowers very often. Not roses either, or carnations - cala lillies or astromeria lillies are the best... or fresias...

And I think I have enough sparkly things, but then I've been married forever, so I've pretty much got the sparkly things I've asked for hinted at.

I think Valentine's day is made a lot more of in the States than it is over here in the UK - maybe it's the English reserve...?

Have a good 'ordinary' day. Like you say, it's not for men anyway.
Feb. 10th, 2006 10:36 am (UTC)
I like lilacs -- for the scent. Three lilac trees grow in the back yard, which is just one of the many things that makes the coming of spring something to look forward to.

Valentine's Day is a big, big deal here, mostly because the retailers have made it so. Me, I could go for something a bit less ... loud.
(no subject) - kazzy_cee - Feb. 10th, 2006 10:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Secretly English - ozma914 - Feb. 10th, 2006 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2006 10:55 am (UTC)

Buying flowers goes against a man’s basic instinct: He doesn’t understand the point of buying something that doesn’t feed anyone, doesn’t do anything, doesn’t provide entertainment, and soon becomes ugly and worthless.

Ah, that's the real reason behind my husband's refusal to buy me flowers on Valentine's Day. He says it's because florists overcharge on Valentine's Day (which they also seem to do on my birthday and our wedding anniversary *g*) but I think going against his basic instinct is more likely. Restaurants also put their prices up (apparently) so he doesn't believe in going out for a Valentine's Day meal either. I might suggest jewelry, but I suspect there's also a price hike involved there too *g*.
Feb. 10th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC)
Venus and Mars
I'm sure there are price hikes all over on every holiday, where it seems appropriate to the retailers. (In other words, profitable.) For instance, they take a piece of chocolate I can get for fifty cents throughout the year, shape it into a heart, and charge two dollars for it.

Just the same, I think your husband should suck it up and take you out for a nice meal -- it's the price a man should be willing to pay for a happy relationship. :-)
Re: Venus and Mars - kathyh - Feb. 10th, 2006 10:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
don't forget the dessert - ozma914 - Feb. 11th, 2006 07:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 10th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Especially if your new toy is a gun, and she knows how to use it.  I read this thinking of Frank's friend the retired homicide cop, who awoke to his wife holding his service revolver on him.  Some women are mighty scary.

Valentine's Day is all propaganda designed to make men feel guilty and spend money.  When the jewelry ads come on TV and Frank starts to do that male foot-twisty thing, I tell him he buys me books, which I love, and lets me spend a small fortune on semi-precious rocks, crystals, and findings to make my own jewelry.

Hint: if you're thinking of something to do for a girl, the most enviable Valentine's Day gifts I've ever heard of are romantic getaways to someplace with a fireplace and a Jacuzzi.  Arrange for childcare and whisk her away!
Feb. 10th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
Wow. How long did it take Frank's friend to clean the crap out of his bedsheets?

Yes, Valentine's Day is all propoganda, but most men simply aren't going to do anything special for their women if they aren't shamed into it, somehow. They get complacent, and assume their wife/girlfriend *knows* that they love them, so why should they have to (fill in the blank)?

Having said that, I think the best thing a man and woman can do when it comes to gift giving is exactly what you describe: Discuss what she wants, instead of just guessing. It may take some of the surprise out of it, but it also avoids the whole, "but honey, I heard you say you wanted a new garbage disposal" fiasco.

I agree with the romantic getaway thing. I don't have a girl, though, so the childcare hasn't really been an issue. :-)
Feb. 10th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC)
We don't 'do' valentines day particularly, other than usually remembering to get each other a card. Occasionally though there will be a gift of some kind, but generally not flowers or chocolates. My most romantic valentines gift was four pictures, taken from a calendar I'd had the previous year and was very upset not to be able to display any longer. And no, they weren't semi naked men, but line drawings of animals on a cream background, which he had framed in beautiful bronze frames. I've got him a gift this year, but will post about that in my own LJ, so as not to take over yours.

Still, as I'm here I've added you to my flist, which I've been meaning to do for ages, hope that's OK.
Feb. 10th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
Despite what I say in my columns, it really is the thought that counts, in my opinion. Something that was clearly picked out and put together with thoughtfulness and love with always beat a store-bought trinket. Don't tell anyone, it'll ruin my reputation.

And yes, thanks for friending me! I feel loved. Or at least heavily liked, which is very cool.
Feb. 10th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
Hahaha! I've never really had a problem with Valentines Day. Sure, I don't get any Valentines either, but ever since I was a kid I've thought of it as a day for my parents. Sort of a time for themselves when they can go on a date and not have to deal with us kids. :)
Feb. 10th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
That's a great idea -- parents surely do need the break, don't they?
Feb. 10th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
Be my Valentine
lol. Actually I love Valetine's day, then again I'm as girly as they come. I've also never had a problem with recieving lingerie as a gift. I guess it depends on the female but I definitely think it can be fun for both parties. I'm also big on jewlery and flowers. Even though orchids are my favorite I like getting the red roses. One thing I've never been big on is cards, stuffed animals, or chocolate/candy (which I rarely eat).
Feb. 10th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
I'm yours
You're a lady after my own heart. A woman in lingerie is much, much more sexy than a woman completely nude. Back when I used to do model photography as a hobby, my biggest regret was never finding a model willing to do lingerie pics.

Don't tell anyone, but I'm big on flowers, myself. I lean toward roses, but I've got this thing for the scent of lilacs. There are three lilac trees in my back yard, and a sadly neglected row of rose bushes along the side of my house. As for the candy, I wouldn't give that -- I'd just eat it myself. :-)
Yummy - kittybeenbad - Feb. 10th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
hot - ozma914 - Feb. 10th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: hot - kittybeenbad - Feb. 11th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
hot & saucy - ozma914 - Feb. 11th, 2006 07:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: hot & saucy - kittybeenbad - Feb. 11th, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
nice prints - ozma914 - Feb. 11th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: nice prints - kittybeenbad - Feb. 12th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
2037 - ozma914 - Feb. 13th, 2006 01:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2006 01:54 am (UTC)
You have lilacs! I'm so jealous!

Valentine's Day usually sucked when I was single - I like it now that I'm married. Of course, the past few years (and again this year) Irish has been at an event over V-Day so I'm still by myself! This year it'll probably be with a Bollywood movie followed by Boston Legal. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday evening.
Feb. 11th, 2006 07:09 am (UTC)
By its very nature, Valentine's Day sucks for singles. It's like the whole world, for one day, laughs in your face: "Today's all about having somebody, and you've got NOBODY. Nyah!" But, as you say, there are plenty of ways to spend a Tuesday evening. It's not like Christmas or New Years, where it seems like everyone is a part of some group, somewhere. It can just be ignored.
I think I'll sleep through it.
Jan. 13th, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
OK, so now I'm getting a little cranky about all the typos.

Second try:

Firstly, I am apparently a sad case, because I won't even start on what I was thinking upon reading about “boys toys”.


Secondly, the whole Valentine's Day business was thankfully completely unknown in the country where I grew up - at least in the times when it would have mattered somehow.

Now it's becoming more and more a tradition over here as well, but I don't really have a problem with it. See, there is something much worse than a day where everyone is celebrating having somebody while you don't have said body.

What is it?
If you have to ask that, then you're a lucky guy.

It's having someone who not only doesn't give a damn about Valentine's Day, but forgets your birthday (or wedding day) as a "same procedure as every year"-tradition (and if you don't recognize the quote - which I suppose will be the case - please do tell me to send you a link for a short movie).

So I'm rather happily looking forward to the Big Day this year, because my cats will give me their snugglies like they do every day and I won't have to look at the guilty I-totally-forgot-about-you-again face.
Jan. 14th, 2007 09:51 am (UTC)
Well, it's a family paper, so boys with toys has to mean something different than my favorite subject. :-)

By all means, send me the link, but I already know the type: People (okay, men) too lazy and/or cheap to do anything for a special occasion, and searching for excuses to avoid it. Forgetting dates is something I can understand, because I'm terrible at remembering things myself -- but in America, Valentine's Day is blasted at you steadily for more than a month, so there's *no* excuse to let it slide by.

By the way, you're better off without him -- but you already knew that.
(no subject) - mygothangel - Jan. 14th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ozma914 - Jan. 14th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) - Expand
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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