SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK:
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?