Valentine Follies

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As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s striking to note that every man is an easy mark for jewelry stores, fragrance counters and lingerie shops. Florists happily reinforce the implicit message that you will be scorned for the rest of the year if you don’t bring gifts come February 14th.

Guys, this year you get a pass on the extravagant gift. It was fun to receive beautiful bouquets and jewelry back when we were courting and these gifts were bought with your money. But now our joint account is all milk money, and these days especially, we can’t be spending it frivolously. Here are some considerations:

*It’s true we dreamt of little velvet boxes back when we were dating, but now that we’ve moved on to child rearing, what we really want are service and convenience. That means anything that gives us more time, like the house being cleaned or the car being detailed.

*You’d be amazed at how it would improve our moods to have the little annoyances removed, like the squeaky hinges, broken doorbells, etc. Having that honey-do list done would be as thrilling as a vase of roses.

*Honestly, the thought of you men in the jewelry store makes us nervous in the same way you’re uneasy with us bargaining alone at the car dealership. We can’t help but feel that you are a lamb to the slaughter. Just remember there is no joy in receiving anything we can’t easily afford. And if you somehow have managed to sock away the cash for it, why didn’t you agree to hire a housekeeper already?

* Do not buy a heart shaped candy box from the quick mart. We expect you to be more sophisticated than that. (Pick up a strawberry cake at Ashley Mac’s or a few exquisite artisanal chocolates from Crave.)

*At a certain point in a woman’s life, a new front-loading washer would bring more enjoyment than a bracelet for the same price.  This is a very dangerous point, however, and you must be certain to call it correctly or risk great wrath. She will let you know if it’s the year to go the major appliance route, and you must at least be sure to go to dinner after the visit to Home Depot. (This point usually arrives at around seven years of marriage or two laundry loads per day, whichever arrives first).

*Only major appliances are acceptable for Valentine’s gifts; small appliances are better appreciated as a surprise for no reason. The day a girl gets a blender for Valentine’s, a little piece of her heart breaks.

*Who are you kidding? We know that lingerie is for you. That’s fine; just don’t think it will be sufficient by itself. Have dinner reservations or bring home a nice meal for us to enjoy. Don’t forget to do something with the kids, too (this seems to be the point where plans always fall apart; if you don’t have the babysitter’s contact info, add it to your phone right now).

If flowers are important to her, consider my all time favorite Valentine story from last year: One BirminghamMom receives roses at work from her husband every year. The fun of it is that he handles the entire operation himself. He selects them at the supermarket, stuffs them in a vase, and delivers them to the security guard’s desk at her office. She never sees him, but when she gets the call for a delivery pick-up she knows it was him. He saves about $55 for his trouble and it is their running Valentine joke. She adds that the card is always in his familiar handwriting and they have a nice, guilt-free dinner out that evening.

Finally, remember a single rose and an enthusiastic greeting from you beats a dozen delivered by the boy from the flower shop.

  • TwoMaids

    Selfish plug here…but another idea for a Valentines Gift is a free housecleaning!!!
    If that sounds good, please visit our website…………….
    Birmingham Cleaning Services