if you value your life please heed my advice…

if you value your life please heed my advice… February 7, 2012

… Far be it from me to give romance advice, being the old spinster that I am, but I was married once and have a blog so that makes me the expert.

Dear Kindly Male Readers,

Married men, practical gifts on special occasions do not bode well. Toilet plungers, ironing boards, and vacuum cleaners were never meant as Valentine’s Day presents. My ex-husband bought me all three items one year; one for Valentine’s Day and the others for my birthday and Christmas. To his defense I still have the vacuum cleaner & the ironing board. The toilet plunger was used as a projectile in a fit of rage.

Please, do not invoke the wrath of your tender, loving, devoted, and hard working spouse by purchasing such items. Even worse, do not ignore St. Valentine’s Day completely in some grand protest of secularized holy days or use the justification, “But I show her love 365 days a year, not just the one”, even if you really truly do. I know. I know. The Hallmark version Valentine’s Day is contrived and trite but it still matters to us women, even if we swear up and down all day long that it doesn’t.

A simple hand made card and tissue paper flower will melt her heart. A toilet plunger will have you sleeping alone for a very very long time. Trust me on this one, guys, skip the leopard print Hoodie Footie and make the card and the flower if you value peace and tranquility in your home.

Single men, I feel for you. I truly do. You have my sincerest sympathies as you prepare to venture into this volatile greeting card holiday. I know first hand how delicate is a lady’s temperament. Jane Austen famously quoted, ” A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” So please allow me to share my absolute cardinal rule for this holiday.

Do not, do not, do not buy your beloved anything in a tiny box unless that tiny box is a ring box and it contains a ring. The awkwardness that follows a women yelling “Yes!” at the mere sight of that tiny box only to find a pair of earrings or a pendant inside is enough to make the most grizzled war vet cringe. In fact, you know what… avoid jewelry all together for Valentine’s Day. It’s too cliched and dips it’s toes into dangerous waters. Just don’t go there. Stick with something handmade or a simple sweet gesture – like making dinner at home and dining by candle light.

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on Valentine’s Day. It’s not like it’s a real holiday. But it’s real enough to women that we do enjoy a little effort and sweetness. Buying ridiculously expensive gifts for such a silly holiday can actually backfire, especially if you aren’t married. It could be perceived as desperation. And really, if you are the type of man that reads Catholic blogs like mine and your girlfriend expects high priced and designer baubles than she is not right for you. Run.

You’ll thank me later.

The Crescat

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Robwardle

    This type of sanity could ruin your reputation. Great post!

  • Anonymous

    Also go out with your sweetie on Feb 15 to get steeply discounted chocolate.  Yum!

  • robertgwirth

    Magnificent, Kat!  You’ve outdone yourself.
    I tell young men I know, either just married or about to be, that to forget her birthday, St. Valentine’s day, or their wedding anniversary, will be a very bad thing and could be harmful to their health.  I’m a crusty old (68 soon) confirmed (pun intended) bachelor, but I do know a thing or two.

  • Jeanne Chabot

    Also, buying a new dishwasher because the old one broke down, and then a week later, when it is your wife’s birthday, telling her, “Well, I bought you a dishwasher.” will NOT, I repeat NOT, gain you any favour.  Not at all.  Not whatsoever.  You will LOSE points.  Amen.

  • GeekLady

    Caveat. Menfolk are permitted to purchase kitchen equipment as gifts, if the lady is extremely fond of cooking. Fancy things, not a five buck turner you picked up at Walmart. Just not for Valentine’s Day.

    • Lynn

      I definitely agree with that!  I think if your sweetie has a practical sort of a hobby (hint: this probably means her love language is Gifts of Service), replacing a budget tool with a more durable or luxurious version would be a winner.  NOTE: CLEANING IS NOT A HOBBY, even if she says it relaxes her.

      • priest’s wife

        like KNITTING STUFF (hint hint)

  • Anonymous

    I got really tired of being reminded every year how hard to please I am on Valentines Day, so we’ve made it a family day of love. My husband and I celebrate the kids and they make us cards and I don’t yell at them about using glitter and not cleaning it up. So much better than being annoyed because I was given a year supply of printer ink for a romantic holiday.

  • Tim

    Valentine’s Day is the best day to be single (at least for a guy).  The freedom of anxiety of buying the proper gift for your girlfriend/wife is truly a blessing.

    I like to think Valentine’s Day is God’s way of high-fiving single men.

    • Good point! Single gals just get depressed and act homicidal to the poor flower delivery guy that shows up at the office carrying bouquets not meant for us. 

      Now that I’m older I’m afforded the luxury of not giving a shit anymore.

  • Great post! Spot on, too. I’m going to stick with the “thanks for the Valentine’s Day gift you bought me off the internet, sweetie. It’s what I really wanted!” as I open up the gift I purchased and wrapped for myself, from him. Did it for Christmas too. It worked nicely. He did manage to sneak in something he had picked himself too, though.

  • Thomas Collins

    This video sounds the alarm about Christmas gifts but it applies to St Valentine’s as well:

  • What sort of dunce would buy you a toilet plunger as a gift? Seriously?

    • the one that doesn’t want to be married anymore, apparently. 

      • W Randolph Steele

        I hope that you didn’t hit him with it because if you did that in MY state, I can tell you as a court official, that you would be looking at a charge of domestic violence, a felony and a a possible 3 year sentence. 
        My wife and I have stopped celebrating this with gifts etc, because her health no longer allows me to buy expensive candy and her health problems have cost us a lot of money out of pocket despite having health insurance, but also because we’ve just decided after all that we’ve been through we’re still passionately in love with each other and we don’t need to prove anything to anybody.  And,  WHY are MEN NOT  entitled to the same consideration as women? If we aren’t then niether are you!

  • My husband says that appliances are not gifts.  Even if I asked for one (Kitchen Aid mixer), he refused to give it to me as a gift.  He did get me a soda maker and a popcorn maker for Christmas in 2010, but they were fun things.  I shared this on my FB page hoping he will read it.   Maybe I should share it on HIS FB page.  🙂

  • soooo true about stuff in small boxes- once a family member got a tiny square box under the Christmas tree in front of everyone- it was a keychain OUCH more than 6 kids later, it still hurts her

  • We celebrate, I get flowers and something else- he gets good beer and cheese- I have forbidden him to get red flowers around St V day because the prices are ridiculous

  • deb

    laughing & smarting a little at this one…married 25 years & still remember the Christmas before we were engaged when absolutely everyone who knew us was certain there was a proposal in the works.  i poked around for hints from time to time & was told at one point that i was getting “something metal” for a Christmas gift.  well, in front of a house packed with expectant relatives that Christmas eve, the “something metal” was a license plate for the front of my car that read “short is beautiful.”  also received…a workout VHS & workout gear.  i was not amused!  upside was the tongue-lashing my future mother-in-law gave him!!!

  • AnnF

    Married men, if you have a wife who works, and you live in a house that is, um,  less than spotless, a surprise cleaning will be one of the best gifts you could ever give her.  If you leave flowers in a vase in the middle of the table or the kitchen counter, that would be a great bonus.  I promise you, she may even cry.  Better than ANY present you could buy.

  • Tcn

    To be fair, my dad bought my mom a snow shovel for Christmas one year. We laughed so hard we snorted and the neighbors could hear us. Mind you, he also got her a diamond brooch, but the snow shovel is what we remember best.

  • Pedro Ramos

    Being a man, although not an expert maybe these few tips might help. Speak softly, if you are up a ladder call out to her softly, if she does not answer get down from the ladder and “Go seek and find”.
    When either of you come up with the words, “Lets sit down and talk about it” If she has a problem or problems try to sit attentively and think and listen to the whole conversation and try not to interrupt till she has finished.
    One thing that often happens in adult conversations is a childhood thing. You do something bad and try to avoid punishment by pointing the finger, saying, “sure I did something but Johnny did the same and you never punished him. In an adult relationship this is a “No No” and a romance killer.
    Remember the burning desire and in most relationship only lasts a year. Even though you may still be very much in love and desire one another try to build on your relationship. This will bring a much closer and magical closeness for you both. The more you work on it the better it gets.
    Finally a tip for all the guys is if ever you loose your sweetheart in the supermarket, don’t panic, just start talking to a good-looking woman and I bet within 2 minutes your girlfriend or wife will find you!