The funny disease.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cursed Tongue Guide to Valentine’s Day

While I’m sure that the male gender is not completely stocked up on hopeless mooks incapable of coming up with something romantic for this Valentine’s Day, this is addressed to men, because we’re only kidding ourselves if we pretend Valentine’s Day is for anyone other than chicks. I hear some of you saying, “It’s Valentine’s Day already?” Don’t panic, you have two weeks. And I know you didn’t all forget. Statistically, that would be highly improbable.

Now before you accuse me of being overly romantic, I must say that my idea of a special evening with my sweetheart is not being jammed into a crowded restaurant--resulting in an earsplitting din and an over-taxed wait staff, most of whom would rather be out with their honeys than schlepping prime rib, and pushing Southwestern Eggrolls while watching deeply in-love patrons drool all over each other. It seems my tastes differ from the vast majority on what they’d rather be doing on the most romantic greeting card holiday on the calendar.

I much prefer a romantic meal at home and unless you make your reservations quickly, it’s either that or taking you chances on the big night that someone comes out of their love-induced stupor and cancels. Taking chances on V Day could land you and your well-dressed (and possibly ticked-off) date at a lovely florescent-lit table for two at the Chick-fil-A. If you can cook, and I would suggest take out if you can’t, most women would be impressed by the thoughtfulness of a romantic dinner. Don’t worry about getting too fussy; think simple and delicious. A romantic dinner should be about spending time with your date, not about stirring gravy so it doesn’t clump.

Note: A romantic dinner that you make loses all of its charm if you let her do the dishes.

Although many contend that Hallmark created the capitalist feeding frenzy that is now Valentine’s Day, I would argue that they had a lot of help. Not only from other retailers, but also from single women who wake up in cold sweats from nightmares about dying alone and being eaten by wild dogs. If you don’t get the love of your life a gift on Valentine’s Day you might as well rip the bag of Conversation Hearts out of her hands and grind them into the cement. So, what do you get that special woman in your life?

Some chicks leave hints. She might say something like, “I really like Tuvan throat singing.” It might be a hint for a gift. If there’s a catalog on your night-table with something circled, that is definitely her special way of telling you “Hey you, Mook! Buy me that!”

Other chicks expect you to read their minds. I know that you suspected that all along, but here it is in writing, in a semi-permanent format. Feel free to print it out if you like. Unfortunately, the psychic abilities of men are wildly exaggerated. You have to either pay close attention to a woman’s likes and dislikes, or outright ask her. Sweetface finds it helpful to have me make a wish list. That way he still has a little latitude and if I don’t like a gift, it was my own fault.

There is a large subset of non-hinting women that will say, “I don’t need anything,” or “All I want is world peace.” Don’t let them get away with that crap. World peace is way too much to expect of any one person. The only thing Mom ever wants is, “A happy family.” And who gets to help Dad pick out gifts for her? It certainly isn’t my hopeless mook of a brother. (Of course, I suppose she could really be asking that we all start taking Zoloft. I should probably clarify that with her.) If you know such a woman, it might be a good idea to contact a friend of hers, or a female family member and ask for gift advice. If you live with such a woman, just look around at her possessions. I am not giving permission to go through her underwear drawer! You probably won’t have to go far to find the fire hazard curling iron or the bathrobe that appears to be molting.

Lingerie (by which I mean anything see-through, skimpy, strappy, gartered or crotchless) is not a gift for her. It is a selfish Homer gift. When buying loungewear for a woman, (i.e. pajamas, robes, slippers) think cozy and soft, not sexy and itchy. Cozy typically means coverage, but unless you’ve seen her snuggle up in a full-body fleece potato sack, it’s safe to assume that she doesn’t want anything that falls into the muumuu category. While the above paragraph is perfectly legible to any woman, I have tried to clarify it, and I realize that it may still be confusing as to what I mean, exactly. Which brings us to an important tip: whatever you buy ask for a gift receipt.

Candy can be a good Valentine’s gift for a woman you’ve recently met, or that you’ve been married to for 25 years, but giving candy can still be tricky. Most women do like chocolates, but still may look at a 2-pound box of See’s Soft Centers and see 2 pounds of unsightly thigh fat. If your sweetie complains about her weight or is dieting, do not buy her candy. Warning: Don’t ever buy low-fat, low-carb or sugarless candy for a Valentine’s Day gift. (Unless she’s diabetic and sugar might kill her.) You might as well get out the indelible marker and mirror-write “Lard Butt” on her forehead.

For those women who don’t love chocolate (I actually know one of these mysterious creatures and she’s only the pickiest eater in the history of picky eaters), there are many non-chocolate Valentine’s candy options. There were at least three pink aisles last time I was at Target, there must have been plenty of non-chocolate there--if you’re a soon-to-be-lonely cheapskate.

Many women are thrilled at the prospect of the gift of flowers. I’m sure any flower courier will tell you that women light up, like the string of pink hearts your significant other hung in your window, when they pass with an enormous bouquet. Flowers can be pricy. But keep in mind, that you aren’t just paying for a bunch of smelly plants when you buy flowers. You’re paying for the artful arrangement of the flowers and prompt delivery. Grocery store flowers can be okay, but are typically not a match for flowers from a florist.

But even a florist might suspect you are a hopeless mook and try to pass off foliage that’s a little past its sell by date. So if you go that route, look carefully at the flowers, there should be no wilting or drying and the bottoms of the stems should be cut cleanly and white in the center. Or you could order from one of the major on-line florists. I have had good experiences with them.

Still a Mook?
Still stumped? Get out the “Honey Do” list and do that thing she’s been nagging you to do forever. You know the one. Don’t think of it as the gift of capitulation, think of it as the gift of a healthy and balanced relationship, in which, the woman in your life doesn’t feel like choking you every time she looks at the crooked screen door or passes the shelves you were supposed to put up.



Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

How about giving that special lady a ten pound box of shut the hell up and a nice card?. What the hell is wrong with Chick-Fil-A anyway? Next you'll be disrespecting the Waffle House!! Commie!

2/01/2006 6:36 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

That's exactly why you need help.

2/02/2006 10:51 AM

Blogger KyuBall said...

I first planned on buying my wife a new dishwasher, a mop head, and bread maker. Then I remembered there's a reason why I don't live with my Mom anymore and that thought of doing that for the next three years didn't appeal to me.

So, I'm going with the flowers. I'm still a mook, though.

2/02/2006 7:46 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

You know, I wouldn't turn my nose up at a new dishwasher, but I think I may be a little too practical.

2/03/2006 1:56 PM

Blogger Ron Franscell said...

Thank you! A tiny light has been shed on my cluelessness!

Oh wait ... no girlfriend.

2/03/2006 4:59 PM

Anonymous Sarah said...

Hopefully I can find a way to get my husband to read this! lol
He does pretty good, but the hint dropping doesn't work because he refuses to buy something I might be expecting to get. :P

2/04/2006 10:58 AM


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