Valentine’s Day – Best Way to a Man’s Heart!

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I didn’t know precisely how to handle this particular day on my blog. Since this is the day when men can’t do anything quite the way they are expected to, the best practice is usually to lay low and wait for the general anger to subside in a few weeks. 
The roses are never quite so fresh as they might be, the card never as sweet and as loving – the pre-printed words that look fine to us guys – so we sign the bottom – are never sufficient. The restaurants are packed and the prices are raised in anticipation of the day.

Let me delve into the granularity of your defeat:

  • If you buy chocolate, you want her to get fat. If you don’t buy chocolate, you think she’s fat.
  • If you buy her sexy lingerie and it doesn’t quite fit, you really think that she’s fat.
  • Fragrance is much the same. Buying it for her indicates that she doesn’t smell sweet without it. Failure to buy it means that you’re an unthinking brute who is not in touch with a woman’s needs.
Guys, there is no way to win.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Oh, you can try to turn her head with lotions, potions, floral arrangements, lavish gifts, cards with tokens of love and gift cards inside. You can offer furs and gems, an original Fabergé egg,  a condo overlooking the  Italian Amalfi Coast and a Bugatti to drive the winding roads. You can try and get reservations at the most chic restaurant in the region (pick a region) overlooking an incomparable view as she orders from the limited holiday menu (thrice the price) that would make Donald J. Trump choke.

You can fly her there across five national borders in a private jet, while she sips from a flute of Armand de Brignac Brut Rose Champagne, with a fresh strawberry dropped in it. But even if you succeed in doing all this, I predict that you will overlook some small thing…the ring is a pink diamond where she prefers clear, the Fabergé egg is priceless, but there is another egg somewhere out there that she prefers to the one you were able to snatch for her. She prefers raspberries to the strawberry at the bottom of her champagne flute.

She won’t come out and complain. There will be the arch of an eyebrow, the slightest pout of her lips, and you’ll know that you’re doomed.

Have a happy day…or not.

Meanwhile, half way around the world in Pakistan, we receive this report:

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on 13 February prohibited the celebration of Valentine’s Day in public spaces and government offices across the country ‘with immediate effect.’

Print and electronic media have also been warned to “stop all Valentine’s Day promotions immediately,” while the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has been ordered to monitor all media and send out notifications banning any related promotions. 

A devout Muslim brought the lawsuit that asserted that Valentine’s Day is un-Islamic. The court agreed and added that the celebration was a Western import.

Bakeries, flower vendors and confectioners supposedly were forced to dismantle their sales displays.

36 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day – Best Way to a Man’s Heart!

  1. Yeah, I feel ya

    An Unorthodox Valentines Day Thing

    This unorthodox Valentines Day public service announcement contains risque chicks plus essential vitamins and minerals

  2. I have been assigned to the dog house after coming up short on Valentine's Day so many times in the past, that I refuse to acknowledge this awful day anymore.

    One year I innocently planned my annual ice fishing trip to Wisconsin, where I played poker and drank beer non-stop for three days with my army buddies, including Valentine's Day. Incredulously, I still haven't heard the last of that. Am I an ogre, or what?

    Suggestion: get your sweetheart a Craftsman deep socket set (metric and standard). Nothing says I love you like a set of tools that have a lifetime guarantee.

  3. Haha. Not that you're cynical or anything. BTW, while people are free to enjoy their expensive booze however they want*, so far as I am concerned, any woman who would put fruit into a glass of over-$400 Champagne is not worth having. Not that I know about Ahnuld de Squatrac or whatever it is; my budget considers Billecart-Salmon brut rose to be a bit of splurge. A really nice value-for-money splurge, but a splurge nonetheless.

    *supposedly there was a time when first growth Bordeaux were the rage in Hong Kong. Over-moneyed, palate-impaired Chinamen of the rapacious merchant class were said to have enjoyed — for values of enjoy — their Haut Brion, Cheval Blanc or whathaveyou with plenty of orange juice or Coca-Cola mixed in. While I have not been able to verify this personally, I strongly believe this is true, based on other observed behavior of the OM/PI-Cs and their label-obsessed conspicuous consumption.

    oh yeah, /pedant-on
    Technically, the best way to a man's heart is between the 4th and 5th ribs. Through the ribs is a lot more difficult.

  4. Just write of your devotion on the back of a bar napkin. She'll know that you were thinking of you while you watched the game at the bar with your buddies and it will mean a lot to her.

  5. While Craftsman tools say a great deal all by themselves, Snap On tells her that your love for her is boundless.

  6. In the interest of showing unbounded love on a budget, I suggest that you dumpster dive at a really nice restaurant and fish out an empty bottle of Chateau Latour or Chateau Margaux. Then drive to Trader Joe's and buy a bottle of two-buck chuck and funnel it into the Latour bottle. (you can wash the empty first if you want to). Present it open and breathing for her pleasure. Odds on, she won't know the difference unless you have the sort of woman who knows that blade placement between the ribs, while effective, is not as easy as going in under the arm, through the arm pit. That sort of woman may or may not be a "keeper".

  7. >fish out an empty bottle of Chateau Latour or Chateau Margaux[…] funnel [swill into the] bottle
    I think this was an episode of Northern Exposure, only no TJ's in Cicely, AK so they had to fake the "earthiness" (IIRC it was a Burgundy) with infusion of peat moss or something. We have it so easy in the lower 48, I tell ya. Anyway, now I have a plan for next year, so that's good.

    >That sort of woman may or may not be a "keeper".
    True. "Keeper" or not is hard to say, but probably moot: if one steps out of line with that sort, she is likely to be the last woman with whom one has a relationship….

  8. You really write some of the funniest stuff out there, Larry. In addition to your books, you need to author an advice column, like Ann Landers, except maybe with a sort of "How Not to Die at the Hands of Your Woman" angle. Too funny.

    After hitting the Chesapeake Bay oysters pretty hard for the last week, Gruntessa and I are ready to just stay home in the luxury extended stay with the rest of the traveling journeyman electricians, cook up some pasta, drink some two-buck chuck and binge watch all 22 episodes of the very funny Outsourced TV show set in romantic Mumbai. You can almost smell the aromatic air through the DVD player. I think I'm getting lucky tonight.

  9. Nothing says romance like sweaty Indian feet and the blend of a cloying unwashed body infused with a lethal dose of curry. Of course watching anything produced in Bollywood may inspire you in that direction. As a nation where outdoor plumbing is the rule, the desire to "get lucky" may cool the ardor as the plot unfolds expelling the aroma from the DVD player.

    The Gruntess may prompt you to board an aircraft for the mysterious East to experience all of this "culture" first hand. Resist the temptation. That's the best advice that I can spew forth at the moment.

  10. That's pretty good advice! From what I hear, the exact same advice may apply to Paris, as well, now that the streets are all filled with Africans and Middle Easterners sleeping on mats and the gutters are open sewers. Ardor = cooled!

  11. Valentines Day in the Middle East is celebrated by men giving their goats a bath…whether they need it or not.

  12. Huh. My hubby knows better than to do any of that stuff. A good steak or crawfish dinner is fine. Sometime within a day or two of the actual day. After 30 some years either military or Civil Service, if we could get together on the day at all we were lucky.

    Champagne or wine, is all the same to me. Tastes like stale beer; and gives me a headache to boot! Perfume gives me a headache. I don't understand how people can wear so much. It has given me a headache just from someone walking by!

    Flowers and chocolates, like diamonds, are over rated, though I do like an occasional chocolate, a bag of Lindt Lindor White chocolate would give me a smile. And please don't ruin the flavor of the chocolate with truffles or tribbles or anything else. 😉

    I did love your post and the replies.

  13. Oh man, LL. You're blowing it for the rest of us. First it's Snap-On tools, and the next thing you know we're feeling like we have to pop for first class tickets to the French Riviera just to keep off the ol' ball-'n'-chain's shit list.

  14. Entered the house carefully today waving before me a sacrificial offering of red roses. My Goddess of Love peered down from on high: the seas parted, the sun rose twice in one day from the East and while the roses will soon be a goner, I will live another day.

  15. A man will always have two faults. Everything he says. Everything he does. Since you will be dirty bitched now matter what, do whatever the hell you want.

  16. That makes perfect sense.

    I'm working on Rimworld beta today but every time I get into it, somebody interrupts or there's a phone call. People have no sense of timing and no respect for important stuff. I'm taking the Day-After-Valentine's Day off to visit Dr. Jim on the USS Iowa because we all need to have our priorities.

  17. That's the way I look at it too. At some point you toss up your unworthy hands, knowing that you've done all you can.

  18. Great post & comments. This is better than Dear Abby… who knew guys had such a tough time with Valentine's Day.

  19. Two days ago, I had this important convo with hubby (it is our first Valentine's Day together):

    Me: I need to ask you something important. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
    Him: I never expect anything, but I ALWAYS get something.
    Me: Hmm. Do you feel the need to do that even if you know I don't give two shakes about the over-commercialized hubbub and couldn't care less whether or not we celebrate it?
    Him: I just think it would be shitty if I didn't do anything at all.
    Me: Okay. I just needed to know if you celebrate it or not so that we're on the same page. So that's fine, we can celebrate it in some kind of little way. That will be sweet. But please do not spend a thousand dollars on a dozen roses.
    Him: Wow. Is that how much they cost nowadays?
    Me: I think so. Don't do that.
    Him: Okay.

    Today is Valentine's Day and we just had the following conversation:
    Him: I'm hungry.
    Me: I made you a chocolate dipped marshmallow heart. It's under your card on the counter.
    Him: WHAAAT???? YOU GOT A CARD?? WHAT?!?!
    Me: I thought you said you celebrate Valentine's Day!
    Him: Oh great! Oh my gosh I wish you hadn't done that. I didn't do anything!!
    Me: (utterly flabbergasted silence as he continues to fuss up and down about how he wishes I hadn't done anything)

    I'm still shaking my head.
    Must agree with you, it's a no-win sort of day…

  20. Kind of reminds me of that Christmas episode of The Big Bang Theory, where Sheldon doesn't celebrate Christmas because he doesn't like gifting. Then Penny says she got him something and he says "Great, now I'm obligated to get YOU something"; or something to that effect.

  21. That's a great show. 🙂 And precisely the scenario I was trying to avoid! But still failed…
    Oh well

  22. I must be off, because I would have got him a card, But I wouldn't have given it to him unless one showed up for me. Then it's a win, win… If one didn't show up for me, then I hold it for a non traditional day, or a personal occasion. Score again…

  23. The default setting for this sort of "special event" is to hand off something nice. Maybe a $25 gift card inside a heartfelt card. EVEN if there is a pledge not to do anything. I do that for friends birthdays and so forth anyway just because I don't want to commit faux pas. If that's not enough, too bad — there was no expectation.

    If there is an expectation of a new car or a lavish vacation, that's something all together different.

  24. >fuss up and down about how he wishes I hadn't done anything
    Sorry. The guilty (of conscience) flee where none pursueth, or something like that. At least you have evidence he doesn't spontaneously generate lies under pressure. "Well, I got us reservations at Le Petit Snobbe for tomorrow night, honey, [fingers crossed, praying he can get reservations] because you said you don't want me to waste money on a, let's face it, commercial holiday. But I really want to take you out for something special." [sickening puppy eyes go here] Plus, obviously he felt bad not having done something for you, which I take as good, even if expressed, oh let's say not optimally. Based on the scant info available, I'm going to assume you guys are relatively young, and he's a competent guy who usually doesn't screw up. (Or I'm just making stuff up; that can't be ruled out.) Us old guys who've screwed up plenty on this front actually deal with it better, IMO. "Oh, that's so sweet. Thank you! […] I feel terrible because I didn't get you anything. What a heel I am!" Not that it gets you out of trouble, mind you, but it may shorten the storm ;-). (And to think I called Larry "cynical". Pot, meet kettle.)

  25. Better safe than sorry, LL– I agree with you.
    And Brig, that's a very good solution. Next time I'm getting a non-holiday-specific card and doing that very thing!

  26. Ha! You're so right– it'd have been way worse if he tried to flub his way through it with an obviously spontaneous sort of lie. Would rather him handle it a little ungraciously but honestly.
    And yes, he's a good guy, through and through.

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