This weekend is Valentine's Day. I would think this was obvious given the stores are overrun with pink and red crap. And yet, as I stood amongst the throngs of people trying to select a card for DB, a man came up next to me and said "When is Valentine's Day?"
Sigh. "Sunday," I told him. He went into a panic and immediately started grasping at cards. His wife should thank me.
You know, Valentine's Day is the same day every year. It doesn't change like Thanksgiving or President's Day. Its pretty easy to keep up with. And yet it sneaks up on men every year. I used to work at Hallmark in high school. We'd have Valentine's stuff out December 27th, but the men would show up on Valentine's Day after work, like clockwork. We were always prepared with inflated balloons and pre-assembled gift bags and ribbon for them to buy in a rush. And would they! Prices they would normally scoff at - like the $50 3-lb heart box of Russell Stovers candy that no one had touched since we put them on the shelves. Sold out by 5:30. You could taste the desperation in the air as they rushed into the store, completely caught off guard by the sudden onset of the holiday they dread.
And they do dread it. They must. DB grumbles at every stupid, sappy jewelry commercial on television. They have all this pressure to deliver some grand romantic gesture. The same pressure doesn't really fall on women. The truth of the matter is that instead of overpriced roses and jewelry I'll rarely wear on some random day in February, I'd prefer a year of helping me keep the house clean, unloading the dishwasher, rubbing my shoulders when I've had a long day or maybe offering to cook or pickup Chinese when I've got no enthusiasm to cook. Unexpected flowers on a Thursday in July just because. There really is truth in those "Porn for Women" calendars. Unfortunately, that's not something they can sell in stores like teddy bears and candy.
Have you ever played that game "Would you rather...?" where you have to choose between two things (usually unpleasant)? Like, would you rather eat a bowl of live crickets or pull out your toenail with tweezers? Ouch. Anyway, I read a report not too long ago that said that one in five people would rather spend their Valentine's Day with their pet than a lover. It's no wonder. I'm not sure how excited I'd be if my guy looked at it as some obligation - some annual sacrifice to the sex gods for continued hanky panky and (at least in my house) biscuits and gravy over the next year.
Got any exciting plans this Valentine's Day? What's the best or most original gift you've ever received from your significant one? Would you rather spend it with your dog? DB is working, so I'm spending it with my pets whether I want to or not. I should be kind and offer to babysit so someone else can have a nice night. Hmm...
PS. The winner of last week's FBF is Magnolia! Magnolia, please send your snail mail info to firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your copy of Magnate's Mistress... Accidentally Pregnant! (which is in its 3rd week on the USA Today Bestseller List)