Thursday, January 24, 2013

Valentine's Day: A Primer for Men

At the Wawa (for those of you not from the Philadelphia area: this is a convenience store with the absolute best coffee ever. Also, back when they were still in the city they were a perfect place to pick up a hoagie after a late night of drinking – not that I know anything about that.) this morning I was reminded (by the display of candy hearts) that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Now last year, following this most glorious day, I overheard a co-worker telling another co-worker about how excited his girlfriend was when she opened her Valentine’s Day gift. In his words, her excited was comparable to someone handing him keys to a vintage Camaro.
And what was this gift that inspired such excitement, you ask.
Yoga pants.
Poor boy. He saw what his girlfriend looks like when she’s faking it and didn’t even know it.

I pledged right then and there I wouldn’t let another woman fake excitement over yoga pants again. So, men, this year, I’m here to help.
First: your girlfriend does not want yoga pants for Valentine’s Day. I don’t care how into yoga she is – trust me, yoga pants, a yoga top, hell, even a new yoga mat is not what she is hoping to unwrap on V-Day.
Now, a coupon for couple’s yoga – that’s a possibility.
So, you ask, how do you know if your girlfriend or wife or fiancĂ© wants couples yoga or something else entirely? Well, because she’s going to tell you. In fact, she may have already.
Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and I was a short-haired feminist college student living in Fairmount and working at a cafĂ©, I got one of the greatest presents from boss: an amber necklace that never fails to receive a ton of compliments when I wear it – and you know how much I love compliments.
You might not expect one’s boss to hit one out of the park like that. How’d he do it? Simple. He took me shopping.
No. Not for the necklace. For a present for his sister. And while at the store, as he pretended to browse for his sister, he paid more attention to what caught my eye. I actually tried the necklace on and fell in love with it and while I figured out how long I would have to live on mustard packets and Ramen noodles to afford the necklace and determined it wasn’t worth it, he motioned to the sales clerk to wrap it up.
Do you have a sister you could pretend shop for? What about a mother?
No. I’m sorry. But there is still hope. Start paying attention when you two are watching TV. Take note when she says, don't you think So-and-So's earrings are gorgeous? Or when you two are out with another couple and she asks your best friend's new girlfriend what perfume she is wearing. When she is complaining about how old and tired she feels, she doesn't want you to tell her how great she looks; well she does, but she's also hinting that a gift certificate to the spa might be nice.
Believe me, she is dropping hints all over the place because she doesn’t want you to fail any more than she wants that juicer you got her last year.


Anonymous said...

I'm within my first year of dating my bf. I told him that I am not into Valentine's Day a while ago, but we have a friend's party coming up and while discussing it he suggested that we go dress shopping because he wants to get me something for Valentine's Day.

I don't know how this works! Am I supposed to get him something too? My exes never really did any of this. He is very practical and doesn't like clutter and he always pays when we go anywhere so gift-shopping is already difficult enough with Xmas and his birthday.

Anonymous said...

A. That boss with the necklace was trying to get in your pants, right? Otherwise, WTF?

B. Real men make their ladies feel special all the time, beginning in the courtship stage, and then over the years, we slowly chip away at Valentine's Day's veneer.

You know, you just make comments about how it was ginned up by some evil corporation just trying to sell pointless crap.

And if you go to one of those Valentine's Specials at a restaurant, you point out how sad the waitress seems, and how the entree is a bit sub-par, probably because the regular chef is off getting busy with his hot Asian girlfriend.

Before you know it, SHE is the one leading the anti-Valentine's jihad, both for practical reasons, and out of solidarity with her single lady-friends.

And you can enjoy V-Day at home, cooking something delightful, sipping a little wine, watching whatever tolerable Rom-Com you have on DVD, and diving between the sheets an hour or so before bedtime.

Yessirree folks, at this point in my life, my Valentine's Day to-do list only has three items:

Wake up.
Be Awesome.
Go to sleep.

Tatiana said...

First Anonymous, as a feminist I believe Valentine's Day should be reciprocated (not sure what this actually has to do with feminism, but let's go with it). For a dude, I'm gonna take a play from my friend Marie's playbook and suggest you get him an activity -- but, obviously something he would want. Tickets to a game (that you can share or he can go with his boys) or a chance to drive a sports car around a race track. Or take him to the new Die Hard movie and don't complain once about how unrealistic it is that Bruce Willis still isn't dead. Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

Tatiana said...

Anonymous Two:
A) He was not trying to get in my pants. He was just an awesome guy.
B) I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, my follow up to this blog, was what to do if your GF doesn't want to do anything for Valentine's Day. Pretty much what you suggested, a night in drinking wine, watching a terribly cheesy movie, eating junk food, and laughing.
Good luck on your Valentine's Day plans, though I doubt you need it.