Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine's Day for Dummies

Historically, my Valentine's Days have been. . .unremarkable.  I have never had a boyfriend give me so much as control of the TV remote, let alone a card or flowers, and my husband of ten years deemed Valentine's Day "a shitty Hallmark holiday".*

*Translation?  Too cheap to buy a card or spring for dinner.  I swear to God, that man could pinch a penny so tightly it gave Abe Lincoln hemorrhoids.

Looking at my past, and acknowledging that my future will most likely involve my solitary death with about fourteen cats, one would think I'd be pissing all over Valentine's Day like a drunk with a bad prostate.  One would think that. . .one would be wrong.

I love Valentine's Day.  L-O-V-E it.  I love the flowers, and the chocolate, and the cheaply mass-produced Dora the Explorer cards my kids schlep home; even the sight of those shitty conversation heart candies get my pulse skipping faster than Neil Patrick Harris on his way to see "Magic Mike".

I am fortunate to live in a state where, despite weather that would have Leo Buscaglia free-basing Prozac, the people are warm, friendly, and accepting.  Oregonians tend to have a "live and let live" mentality and are pretty open to any and all expressions of affection.*

*Unlike many of the southern states I've encountered. Did you know that in North Carolina it's illegal to have sex standing up?  And in Georgia, blow jobs are strictly verboten.  No wonder they lost the War.

As such, you would assume that most of the men I know are aces at "gifting" their loved ones on Valentine's Day.  Although, I think we all know what happens when you "assume".*

*You make an ass out of Uma Thurman. . .or something like that. . .I really wasn't paying attention in English class that day. . .or ever.

Buying just the right Valentine's Day gift can turn a simple shopping trip into a Heironymous Bosch-like odyssey more terrifying than Stephen King's dream journal.  There are so very, very many ways that you can screw it up, my friends.  And trust me, there are a lot of women out there who take Valentine's Day VERY seriously and will cut you like last night's meatloaf if you mess it up.  Granted, most of these women are nuttier than a squirrel turd, but for whatever reason, you chose them, so try to remember that if you buy her the wrong gift, she's going to wind up more pissed off than Taylor Swift at a Jonas Brothers concert.  As I am a "giver". . .*

*And have an unholy amount of evenings free to ponder this shit.

. . .I have decided to lean into the strike zone and take one for the guys' team here.  Are you listening, gentlemen?  These are the three gifts I strongly advise AGAINST giving your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.


I know, it sounds counter-intuitive, but red roses show a complete and utter lack of imaginative thought on your part.  Red roses say "cliche". . .they say "last minute thought". . .and they couldn't scream "convenience" any louder if they had a SlurPee machine and copies of "Busted" thrown in.  And Sweet Baby Jeebus help you if you show up with fake roses or (perish the thought) ones that still have the price tag from the 7-11 on them.  You will then see your chances of ever getting laid disappear faster than a box of doughnuts at an A.A. meeting.


Romantic?  For you, perhaps.  But your average American woman is not going to be driven into a lust-filled frenzy at the thought of jamming her tits into a corset that's stiffer than a priest at a Vatican summer camp and chafing her chocolate starfish with a lace thong wedgie.  And if you happen to get the size wrong then you can pretty much file your chances of forgiveness under the "Jeopardy" category of "Things That Will Never Happen".*

*"I'll take 'Peace in the Middle East' for 1200, Alex."

There is a fine line between "I want to make love with you all night long" and "I want to make you feel like a cheap whore" and the wrong lingerie can make that line more blurred than the camera lens at a "Real Housewives" photo shoot.  Don't even try.


Your girlfriend has probably been dieting for February 14th for the last six months.  Handing a 2300 calorie box of truffles to a woman with the blood sugar level of a hypoglycemic supermodel will only end in violence and you will spend the remainder of the evening cleaning ganache out of the carpet and being ignored like a busboy in a strip club.  No.  Just. . .no.

So, my best advice is as follows:  Men.  Keep it simple.  A hand-made Valentine or a bouquet of freshly-picked wildflowers will touch a woman's heart so much more than a store-bought afterthought.  You don't have to blow out your bank account on some craptacular Jane Seymour "Open Hearts" necklace at Kay Jewelers; she will always remember the time you spent with her long after she's forgotten about the money spent on her.

And, ladies?  Lighten.  The hell.  UP!  I understand that you are paid less on the dollar in the workplace and that you are currently underrepresented in government and that you are constantly banging your head against more glass ceilings than a Malibu beach house, but cool your tits, Alanis.  If your man screws up on the Valentine's Day gift, guess what?  It's one day.  ONE.  Instead of focusing on the Precious Moments kissing figurines he gave you on February 14th, try looking at all of the nice stuff he does for you the other 364 days of the year.  He's trying.  So, unless you're more self-absorbed than SpongeBob in a Jacuzzi then suck it up, paste on a smile, and tell him "thank you", for sobbing out loud.

Valentine's Day is not about proving a point, or gloating about your Facebook relationship status.  Valentine's Day is meant to honor a man who sacrificed his very life so that others could find love and happiness.  So this Thursday, don't forget the other people in your life.  Call your mom.  Dye your kids' oatmeal red and cut their sandwiches into hearts, buy flowers for that tired cashier at the grocery store who always greets you with a smile.  And don't forget your single friends.  We are not all bitter, angry people.  Some of us love Valentine's Day just as much as you.  And we still believe in love, so keep believing in us.



Fyre said...

Good for you for embracing it! I haven't found the magic cupid gene that keeps me from being bitter about it and referring to it as VD all day long. I don't suppose I would mind it so much, if every_single_freaking commercial wasn't designed to make you feel bad if you happen to be single. Or maybe a part of me just gets a kick out of people's faces when I wish them a "Happy VD!"...

Laura said...

Frye... in the immortal words of Jon Bon Jovi... nothing a shot can't cure.


I love red roses. Any. Damn. Day. and I am not one of those women who's husband doesn't do flowers, chocolate and never remembers a damn thing. HE ALWAYS remembers.

He buys "interesting" lingerie and I always thank him for buying something too SMALL and he ALWAYS does. Thus I think he thinks I'm thin AND I don't have to wear it. LOL

Chocolate. You're kidding me right. it's the one damn holiday where you can say oh thank you and scarf to your hearts content.

Now. I shall give you the disclaimer. I've been married 1/2 my life to this man. Has my husband learned a few things... yes indeed. Like the time I asked for bras for Christmas. Thought I would receive something sexy from Victorias... Hubs went to Victorias... didn't know sizes... so he held up both hands to the perky sales wench and said they are about this big... when security escorted him OUT he went to Freds and winged it... He bought two 18 hour bras. I opened them and said uh... old lady underwear... he laughed and said I tried the other place... told the story. I laughed so hard I nearly peed. He said so when I had to "wing it" all I could remember was you said they are uncomfortable. I figured if you could wear these for 18 hours that would be good. Insert sheepish I tried grin...

YES. LIGHTEN THE HELL UP LADIES. He is trying the best he can. ;>)

and for heaven's sake ENJOY VD day

Frances Gronlier said...

Since my husband is recently unemployed, plus having a baby on the way money is rather tight for both of us. So I wanted to cook him something so we decided taco night followed up by some confection for dessert. For me cooking is another way to show my appreciation.

Anonymous said...

This sounds a little like Whitney's show last week. Did you see that? She had more things, though. I can't remember what else.

Every year my hubs gets me a dozen red roses, chocolates from Godiva, and some type of present. Every year I ask him to please not spend the exorbitant $$ on the roses and that I don't WANT chocolate because then I'll eat it (duh!) and expand even more my ever expanding ass. Every single solitary year . . . he ignores me and gets those things anyway. Sigh. He is in fact trying. Very trying sometimes, but I love him anyway.

And I could give a crap about VD, because he is wonderful all the other days of the year. That's what counts.

Jen said...

LAURA - That story was beautiful. That? Right there? Is why I love men.

MISTY- I thought 'Whitney' got cancelled? If not, yippee, because I freaking loved that girl who played her friend Roxanne.

Laura said...

Jen... I know right. LOL

Frances congrats. Sounds like you already had your VD day if babe is on the way. grin...

Jen said...

Fabulous post! My husband and I don't ever do anything for Valentine's Day. Sometimes he will get me flowers and sometimes not. He's basically the best damn guy in the world so I never sweat the holiday crap. It's the little things that matter and the few really big ones, like he'll always be there if I really need him.

Johi Kokjohn-Wagner said...

I told my husband to skip the flowers this year and give me the cash. Momma needs her hair done did.

mothers little hleper said...

Like you I never got anything on valentines day, except for one year. A guy I met in London sent me flowers in Singapore. One and only time! Am not a fan of V Day though.

Jennifer Clark said...

Miles and I generally don't celebrate VD. But he wants to this year. We are going out and he's arranged a babysitter and everystuff. We are going to get a bit fancy and go do adult stuff. Alone. Sweet man.

He doesn't really have the flower-giving gene, tho. Every so often he ponies up for the foliage, but not often. So I grow my own flowers. 34 roses in the ground at last count. (Not that any of them are producing this time of year)

I'm glad you're not bitter, Jen. That way lies madness.

Valerie said...

Eddie tried to order me a zombie bear with his heart exposed... But they were sold out. Still, the thought was the most romantic thing ever. :0)



Pat said...

I LOVE that red roses are #1 on your list. I've always felt they denoted a lack of imagination. Plus it's just rude of the florists (although probably a great business plan) to jack up their cost for the one day everyone wants them. My husband always had our florist make up a mixed bouquet costing whatever the going price of roses was that year and had them delivered to me at work. The look on the other women's faces when I'd walk past their dozen roses toting an ostentatious bouquet so big it took two hands to carry and I couldn't even see around it--priceless! Now that I'm retired, he just gives me a card and the money so, like Johi, momma can get her hair done did. And sometimes a massage or facial, too!

Chillin'Villain said...

First VD with the new bf...we decided that we'd have a quiet dinner this weekend to avoid the stress, crowds, and high prices that usually tag-along with VD. We went to a small play at a playhouse then were going out to a loy-key dinner afterwards. Half way to the restuarant he gets two flat tires (in the rain, of course), so he has to call a tow truck. Our "intimate" evening was spent squashed between two guys named Joe with no teeth, mullets, and beer-stained Tees. Poor guy was so mortified, but I just couldn't stop laughing...we might never spend VD wih each other again, but he's a great guy and I'll certainly never forget this one :-)

P.S.- I've just now been able to read on your blog. Damn internet!!!

Erica B said...

Here's my deal: my husband swears against all "hallmark" holidays. He hates Halloween, and his favorite is Easter.

He has never really done anything on Valentine's Day because he thinks it's "dumb and too commercial". a couple weeks ago, the commented that "maybe" we would do something for VD. I nearly fell out of the chair. I have been married to this guy for 10.5 years and this is news to me (hurray!)

I was at Walgreens today to pick up valentines for the kids because OMGVALENTINESDAYISTHURSDAYANDIT'STUESDAYWHENDIDTHISHAPPEN?! and I picked him up a card and some things for the kids, and a gift for an internet person. I told him I bought some VD stuff at the store, and his response was, and I shit you not, "Oh crap now I have to get you something *sigh*"... "I just got you a card" I replied. I just wanted to smack him. Whatever.

One of the Sarahs said...

Yay! I like V-Day, too, no matter what my relationship status is. If I'm single, I just buy a gift for myself.

There is one tiny problem with your post, tho. One year I told my then-husband NOT to get me red flannel pajamas. Guess what I got? (yes, I received red flannel pajamas--he missed the word 'not' in that sentence) I laughed at him, but gave him credit for sort of listening....