Every February 14th I am inundated with gifts from a host of secret and overt admirers and I really need it to stop because the gifts I’ve been getting are just not finding their way to my heart.
(Excuse me while I grab the fire extinguisher to quell the inferno that is my pants)
Yes, of course love is wonderful, wherever it may strike. Love is what makes us human. Love makes the world go around. Love makes it all worthwhile.
So, yes, love should be celebrated by everyone all the time.
But an international day of forced love and romance? Most peculiar. Because if the romance and expressions of love aren’t there the other 364 days of the year, is this day going to make a huge difference because you exchanged heart-shaped boxes of chocolates from the local drug store? And, if the romance and love IS there, then every day is an expression of love and romance.
Anyway, the other thing that’s weird about Valentine’s Day is that it’s mainly a fun thing for women. The onus and pressure is mostly on men to produce some hugely romantic gift and/or gesture. Many women do reciprocate with some expression of their own, but mostly it’s the guys who are in the Valentine’s hot seat. Blow this one and no sex for you for the rest of the year.
(How does Valentine’s work with same sex couples? I’m thinking most of them are too smart to get sucked into this hetero-Christian overabundance of red craziness, but I could be wrong. I often am.)
Yes, what do I know? I’m just a cynical old spinster.
I’ll tell you what I know, nobody – straight, gay, lesbian, male, female, trans, bi, single, married, cohabitating, newly involved, old, young or whatever, wants some last minute token of “The Day” bought at the supermarket or 7-11. Have you seen the line-ups at your grocery store’s floral department at around 4:30 on February 14th? I want to scream at them: “Are you guys insane? Oh sure, your woman might act pleased at those overpriced carnations, but you’ll be paying for it for the next 12 months. You may not know exactly why your underpants suddenly cause you unbearable itching and discomfort, but I guarantee you it can be traced back to your Valentine’s faux big-time pas.”
I think the secret to the perfect Valentine’s Day gift or gesture is to pay attention to your partner throughout the year. If you’ve been listening and paying attention you will know exactly what will make his or her day and/or if this is even a day he/she cares about. Really, don’t wait for February 14th to show that you’ve been listening and paying attention.
However, if you haven’t been listening and paying attention here are some things not to get: (unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt this is what she really, really, really wants).
- Heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or any other crappy, sugary treat
- Red roses
- Flowers or plants
- A puppy
- Sexy lingerie
- Anything smelly including candles, soap, perfume and room deodorizers
- Mixed tape/CD
- Anything for the kitchen
- Gift certificates (I could do a whole blog post on this one)
- Sex (unless you’ve hired Antonio Banderas for the evening)
- The requisite overpriced Valentine’s restaurant dinner
- A big, red card
- An e-card
- A boudoir portrait of yourself
- Anything big, public and embarrassing
- Any outlandish gesture you’ve seen in a movie or on TV
- NOTHING (even if he/she says he/she doesn’t want anything)
As for what you should do for Valentine’s? I can’t help you. That’s the whole point. You know your beloved best – or you should. And then you’ll always know what will please her/him.
But as a general rule of thumb, you can’t really go wrong with a trip. A trip says you’ve thought about this, you’ve done some planning, you know what sort of trip would really turn his/her crank and most importantly, you really want to spend time together.
Happy Romance. And yes, I really,really want you to share your romantic and/or least romantic gift and/or gesture stories.
 A weekend or week or more away, just the two of you, whether it’s just out of town or at the other end of the world is a “can’t miss” gift for any time of the year.