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The Ins and Outs of Valentine’s Day

Does Bah Humbug apply to Valentine’s Day? Well, maybe it should.

I don’t want to come across as unromantic, but both the lovely missus and I agree that this Hallmark Holiday is not really our cup of tea. Elsewhere in this issue you will find our Man on the Street piece done by Ken Gaidziunas in which he asks 10 random citizens what their Valentine’s plans are this year. Maybe you’ll be surprised and maybe you won’t, but the fact is there isn’t a chocolate-filled, wine-flowing, rose-petal-on-the-floor night listed among them.

I’m right there. I wasn’t always like this. I think when we’re younger we all feel the rush to impress on this night. I admit it, I’ve sweated over getting the right gift and making the right plans. But it seems to me that the happiest people I know are the ones who are content to not make a big deal of it all. Just maybe these people have found the right person and are both of the same mind. I know that to be true in my case.

Then there’s the other side, the ones who love making a splash for all the world to see. I used to work with a young woman who was engaged to be married. This woman – let’s call her Fannie Mae – was the type that loved to get a few under her belt at company parties and draw attention to herself. The same, sadly, went for Fannie Mae’s fiancé. Actually he wasn’t her fiancé until one Valentine’s Day when he came to the office wearing a gorilla costume and carrying balloons and flowers to propose. I mean, what good is a proposal if everyone doesn’t see you do it, am I right? The women in the office ate it up. I just rolled my eyes. It wasn’t the act itself, but the actors in this little show. Style, not substance, was the calling card for this couple. It should come as no surprise that prior to their marriage she ended up cheating on “Mr. Right” when she had downed a few too many on one of the company-sponsored trips. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Maybe I’m too jaded. At least one website would say I am. Yourtango.com in its annual tips to men for this holiday offers up such suggestions as: flowers in the morning for their beloved, a meal, maybe even a picnic, producing a hand-written love note, a massage or pedicure gift certificate, and, finally, a drawn bath for that special lady to wrap the night.

I’m not against any of that. But should it wait until the one day a year Corporate America tells me I need to do it?

Now, guys, for the really important list as offered up on yet another site: the top Don’ts for the holiday. Do not forget. Big one there no matter how much or how little you actually celebrate. Don’t buy kitchen appliances. That one seems like a no-brainer. Don’t do the same thing you did last year. Okay, I don’t think that would be such a big deal, but I get the logic. Don’t buy lingerie. I’m going to go ahead and disagree on this one. Don’t talk about an ex. If you have to be reminded of this you’ve got bigger problems than blowing a Valentine’s Day. The rest are good rules to follow: don’t give her a generic card, don’t celebrate by doing “guy stuff” and don’t spend the night online.

Having said all this, I will tuck my tail between my legs and offer up to my wife a romantic card and chocolates on this day. And why not? That’s what I get – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Corporate America, you’ve won this round.

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