Today, I shall strike terror into the hearts of men.
See, I’m the luncheon speaker for a local women’s club today. We’re expecting a crowd of about 75 women, on Valentine’s Day, to hear a romance novelist speak. There has to be a good number of men worried that whatever they have planned for their ladies this Valentine’s Day is just not going to be good enough, and that they will be in big trouble tonight.
I have visions of men flocking to the mall over their lunch breaks and frantically trying to make dinner reservations all while cursing my existence (or at least the scheduling.).
And it’s actually really amusing to me because, personally, I’m a bit meh on the whole Valentine’s Day thing. I do not judge the depth of my Geek’s affection based on what happens today (well, unless he asks me for a divorce or something today… that would certainly make me question his affection and commitment. But barring that, I’ll just assume he still loves me and thinks I’m still all that and a bag of chips. Just like yesterday. Hopefully, just like tomorrow.) Of course, that’s me. But then, I also regularly forget my anniversary. Most holidays don’t ping on my radar, and for those that do (like Christmas or Thanksgiving), I’ve been known to move them to more convenient times. (Why is Thanksgiving on a Thursday? Saturday makes much more sense…)
But we still need Valentine’s Day. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of work and kids and clean-out-the-garage and stomach flu and I-thought-you-were-going-to-do-that and crap-we’re-out-of-milk. It’s easy to take the person we love most for granted, and, if nothing else, Valentine’s Day reminds us to tell our beloveds that we love them. And, hey, stores have had the Valentine’s stuff since the Christmas stuff came down, so hopefully folks have been reminded to share the love for the last six weeks or so. That’s not bad either.
Now, when it comes to the romantic gestures and gifts of Valentine’s Day, I tend to lean more towards the practical over the sparkly or showy. I don’t want to fight the crowds at the restaurants. I don’t want chocolates (heck, my house is full of Girl Scout cookies at the moment. I don’t need more junk food tempting me!). I’m appalled at the way the price of roses gets jacked up this time of year. I don’t even want a card (money wasted on paper that’s going to be in the recycling bin next week). But that’s me. I would never presume to tell you what you should want, or tell your honey what he should be getting you.
IN fact, I hate it when people – mainly men -- ask me for Valentine’s gift ideas like I would actually have some. I have to tell them that I don’t have a clue because I don’t know their lady. Maybe she wants the heart-shaped box of chocolates. Maybe roses would mean the world to her. Maybe she wants something sparkly or maybe she’d like a long, candlelit bubble bath. And maybe she’d like that long bubble bath alone because it’s been months since she’s even been able to go to the bathroom without a small child beating on the door. I don’t know, and the men who ask those questions seem horrified when I tell them that there’s no one size fits all Valentine’s Day gift, and that the real challenge is knowing your beloved well enough to know what she wants. Obviously that answer is just putting more pressure on them to deliver.
So, there are a lot of men out there sweating today anyway, and I’m just adding to the pressure with my presence at that luncheon today. I’d feel sorry for the poor dears, but sometimes the evil thrills are just too enjoyable to just let pass by.
I hope you get exactly what you want for Valentine’s Day. Whatever that may be.