Thursday, February 4, 2010

Remember When Valentines Day Used to be About Love?

Last night, The Brain asked me if I had any ideas for Valentine's Day, or if I just wanted him to make a stab in the dark and come up with something woefully inadequate. It was kind of a joke, because we normally just decide on something to do together... but we had been listening to a radio show earlier, where people were calling in and decidedly saying that Valentine's Day is about men doing something for women. And NOT the other way around. I'm not sure I really agree with that, but it does seem to be the general consensus these days.

I know that I tread on thin ice when talking about Valentine's Day gifts. This is one of those holidays where men are in this giant conundrum, where "getting it right" doesn't seem to be on the list of options. Flowers and candy are trite, perfume is only good if you get the right one, and lingerie yells - hey! this gift looks like it's for you, but (if you'll wear it), it's really for me.

Here's a little tip, though, for my male readership. (Umm yeah, both of you.) Most women just want to be thought about in some personal way.

Most of us don't need a huge show of roses to prove that you remembered Valentines Day. I would so much rather have one single flower of my very favorite kind. (hint- think Gerbera Daisies) And honest to goodness, if you bought a little bunch, and kept them hidden in the garage, "bringing home" one a day for 5 or six days? We'd think you were amazingly romantic. (ummm, keep them in water, though, and if your garage freezes, you might need to find a different hiding place. Just sayin'.)

If you get the perfume wrong, you're in trouble, but how about something with less commitment? Maybe body wash and spray from Bath and Body Works or Victoria's Secret. Look around. What scents are in your bathroom right now? Get something similar. (think floral, fruity, or spicy.)

If food is her thing - chocolate strawberries are a great bet.  They're much more romantic than a box of chocolates.  (just make sure she likes strawberries first, ok?) Dipping then yourself adds a personal and romantic touch, but you only get extra points for that if you clean up the kitchen when you're done. 

If you want to go for the foolproof gift? Write her a letter with  five reasons - listed in your very own handwriting - about why you love her. And at least two of them should not be applicable to most adult females in the world. (ie: you smell good, you're soft...)

I'm just pointing out that I don't think it has to be as difficult as we sometimes make it.  Women leave a little bread crumb trail of clues every day. The trick is to just see what she likes, and do that.

(OHHHH!  Just do what she likes!  Why didn't anyone tell you that before, right?)

Being romantic for women is easy.  Not like shopping for men.  Now THERE's a conundrum.

24 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I continually have to tell my husband that honestly, I want nothing for Valentine's Day, but to go to dinner and spend time together.

One year, after I repeatedly said this, he had an expensive bouquet delivered to my work. Which was our entire dinner budget. I was so irritated. I really tried not to be, because he was being generous and sweet, but he didn't listen to me.

He will never do that again.

Amy R. Nelson said...

E-mailed this to my husband. We'll see what happens!

Emmy said...

Great post! And you are right, it is the little things that mean something that are the best.
I honestly don't usually care what we do, as long as I don't have to plan it. Being the mom, it feels like I am always in charge of what we are going to do, what we are going to eat, etc.. so just surprise me and plan it yourself and I am happy.

Becky N. said...

Yup, you're right. If hubby went out and bought me a bunch of daffodils (my favorite!) to stick on my desk, I would be in happy-heaven.

If he wrote me a little love note, I'd keep it forever.

If he got me some nice chocolates, I'd eat them right up!, but wish for something that wouldn't make me take a step backwards in the pudginess department.

The very best Valentines gift I ever got was a complete surprise... back when hubby went to school and I worked full-time. He got home from school, walked a mile in the snowing weather, and brought home my favorite chinese food and set it out at a candle-lit table. It melted my heart. It was so thoughtful and took him extra effort.

This year, I'm not expecting anything...
But I got a surprise for hubby. A new doorknob for our bedroom door - and it comes with a lock. ;)

Laura said...

I have to put this out there in blog world because I lose my job (I'm a florist) if I say it in real life.
Flowers at Valentine's Day are the stupidest gift ever. It is not original in the slightest, and you pay way more $ for a way crappier product (sorry they can only force so many flowers to bloom all at once, of course quality is going to be compromised). It's cool if you want to do the single flower thing... but don't expect me to deliver it unless you are willing to spend $40 to have it delivered sometime that day. No I can't guarantee it will be delivered as she is arriving at work, before lunch, or even before she leaves work for the day. If you really love her take the flowers to her yourself.
My final point is this: Gold is a great investment, not just in the long term, but it also lasts way longer than the $100 dozen long stem red roses that will last 4-6 days. Just saying.

Jen said...

My husband is decidedly UNromantic, and over our almost 18 years of marriage, it's rubbed off on me as well. Instead of having holidays/birthdays/anniversaries tell us when we need to focus on each other, we try to do little things all year. It may sound like a cop out, but it's much better than being disappointed every time! :)

beckers said...

I love this post, and agree with it wholeheartedly. Can you text it to my hubby for me??

Thanks!

rocslinger said...

Since I am one of the two men here I must say that your advice is invaluable and on the money. The problem is that men and women have two different counting systems. A man thinks that he should get extra points for how expensive or lavish gifts and services are but women count each event as one. What men learn eventually is that the simple and personal are the way to a woman's heart.

For men its easy, either tools or toys. Nothing says love more than something with Black and Decker stamped on the side.

Melissa said...

My hubby used to get me flowers... but it was more of a cop out. Anniversary=flowers
Valentines=flowers
Mother's Day... well, you get the picture. It would have been okay if it had been one flower and then maybe a little something else... but no. Flowers every time. And usually flowers that I wasn't very fond of. Finally I exploded. It was Christmas morning and I got up to find a dozen red roses for me. That was it. He'd spent his entire Christmas budget on roses. I kinda freaked out... I had asked for things that I actually NEEDED that year and he got me flowers that died in a week (and he spent $80 on them!!). He's only gotten me flowers 2 other times since then...
We haven't really done anything for each other for a long time on Valentines Day. Maybe I'll have to figure something out for this year...

Beverly @ The Buzz said...

So you're saying I don't have to get my husband anything, right?

Cherie said...

If your interested you can stop by my blog and see my last post (from yesterday). I totally think it is not just a man do something for the women holiday. Men deserve the love too and they deserve the love in a form that they like sometimes!!

Yeah they would be happy with food and sex but sometimes it's fun to shake it up - hee hee!!

Cherie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mormonhermitmom said...

Very good suggestions!

Brenda Susan said...

Great advice for men! We like to go out for a nice dinner but the actual V Day is the worst time to get into any place good so we do it before or after.

Amy Peterson said...

I totally just made my husband sit down and read this! We both lol about the extra set of instructions (if your garage freezes.....) funny (and totally true). I just bought my husband an new ipod for V-day (at least that's what he told me when he got home from work! ) lol

Yvonne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yvonne said...

Let me re-phrase my comment:

You are so wise--very good advice. Poor Allan, because Valentines Day comes in February he knows better than to get me chocolate--I'm always dieting in February. And I'm too practical--flowers this time of year are way too expensive. So a note/card is what I prefer.

I need to think about something special for him. I'm sure I will think of something that he will thoroughly enjoy.

Dave said...

nat pointed out the perfect gift tonight at wal-mart...

a set of pink tools in a pink carrying case.

sweet.

she said "do you know how happy i would be if i got that?"

and i won't have to worry about my socket wrench being used as a pry bar :-)

goddessdivine said...

Actually, Valentine's Day is a little easier when you don't have anyone to shop for. But then again, I don't get anything. That's ok; I can buy myself flowers, chocolates, VS lotions, etc, if I really wanted.

rocslinger said...

Dave, Your wife sounds a lot like mine, very practical. I get what she asks for and everyone's happy. One year for christmas she asked for a colander, I got the colander, I also put jewellry in the colander but she's happy just to get what she asks for.

Vern said...

I'll never forget the year I got season 2 of "The Office". We won't talk about the part where we got in an argument the day before because he had completely blown it off.

Stephanette said...

Add another male reader...Cajun Man reads your blog and sometimes it is the only intelligent discussion we have together at the end of a night.

Just so you know you're appreciated.

rocslinger said...

Wow, Theirs three of us, we should form a club our have a party or something.

Gramzer said...

It has been years since my beloved and I discussed the point system. Thanks for giving me a smile rocslinger. I couldn't say it better. It's about the small stuff.