My husband likes to call Valentine’s Day “Fear of Death Day”.
He claims that every February 13th, desperate men like himself can be found in the card section of any drugstore with glazed eyes and panicky expressions, frantically reading through syrupy cards that they wouldn’t touch any other time of the year — each and every one of them petrified with fear at the thought of almost forgetting a Valentine for that special woman in their lives.
We women know better than to wait until the last minute, don’t we?
We love looking through those romantic cards, not satisfied until we find the one that expresses our feelings perfectly.
Or we go for humor, thinking our men will appreciate that more than flowery sentiments. But who are we really doing it for – them, or us?
The male perspective on Valentine’s Day is, quite obviously, very different from the female perspective.
While we want romance, they just want to stay out of trouble – and perhaps, if they’re very lucky, a little bit more on the side (so to speak).
They don’t want flowers at the office (too girly); those sexy underwear you bought him last year was only worn once (too uncomfortable); and those boxers with the big hearts on them are still in his drawer (too ridiculous). So what do they want?
Maybe this year we should look at Valentine’s Day a little differently.
Not that we shouldn’t expect that special card, or that bouquet of posies, or that perfume we like so much – we do deserve some romance at least one day a year – because romance is what women want.
But perhaps we should also consider what he really wants (aside from you greeting him at the door wearing nothing but a smile ).
Is he a sports fan? How about two tickets to the next game and your promise to cheerfully go with him? You can stand one game, can’t you?
If you can’t bring yourself to go that far, how about a hand-written IOU stating that during the next televised game he watches, you promise no interruptions of any kind and his favorite snacks on a tray beside the couch?
Does he work too hard? How about a Saturday or even just an evening when he can be completely alone – no kids, no yardwork, no dinner dishes, no honey-do list.
You take the little darlings to the movies, to your sister’s, to the mall, or anywhere that gets all of you out of the house for a while.
Does he have any hobbies? A magazine subscription to Car & Driver, Runners World, Muscle & Fitness, Field & Stream or Sports Illustrated shows you’re paying attention to his interests, even if you don’t share them.
Does he cook? A new saucepan or a sharp set of knives isn’t out of line for the man who fancies himself a gourmet. If his skills are limited to the grill, a new set of outdoor grilling tools is probably well overdue.
A deep thinker? Can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to your neighborhood bookstore, and the promise of an uninterrupted few hours browsing to his heart’s content.
Is he Dad of the Year? A special photograph of the kids – either taken by you or professionally done – nicely framed in a masculine style (vs. cutesy), gives him something to display on his desk without embarassment.
Does he like sweets? Who doesn’t? How about a freshly baked batch of chocolate chip cookies, or even just a bag of Hershey’s kisses to keep in his desk drawer?
Of course, if all else fails – never underestimate the old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”.
His favorite meal, served by candlelight (perhaps a little Sade or Sinatra on the stereo) is sure to be appreciated. And after dinner, who knows? Just how special and romantic was that card he gave you?