Ramblings of an Idiot: Valentine's Truths

NEW YORK NY - FEBRUARY 14: (R) Manny Pacquiao and his wife (L) Jinkee Pacquiao are presented with a Valentines Day cake at a press conference to promote his fight with Shane Mosley at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on February 14 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

First and foremost, there will be less discussion of football in this article than you'd likely find on the walls of your average Wal-Mart handicapped toilet men's room stall. I just wanted to put that out there right away in case you're too busy to read anything that isn't football related. This is a rant post, but one with a very specific set of rants that all relate to Valentine's Day. I'll also try to pass on a little bit of hard earned Valentine's wisdom that I have gathered throughout the years. Ladies of Arrowheadpride, I need to apologize in advance to you specifically. You see, I'm a guy. That means most of my Valentine's experiences are viewed from a guys perspective, and thus you may confuse them with sexism if you aren't reading carefully. I don't mean to insult you. Mostly, I just hate Valentine's day.

Before I get a full head of steam going that prevents me from interjecting a little composure into my attitude let me be very clear. Like every man in every relationship with a woman, I'm whipped. If you are, or know a man in a relationship that says he isn't whipped.... he's talking to his buddies, and his better half is out of earshot. Every last one of us just wants to get through the day without being subjected to a disappointed, whining, angry, ticked-off, screaming, or silent treatment giving wife/girlfriend. (correction: some of us actually prefer the "silent treatment", but only if we can still have sex too). Collectively, as men, we'll put up with just about anything this unjust world throws at us to make her happy today. However, that doesn't mean we're going to suffer in silence. Bitching about all the bull-poop we have to go through today to make her happy is to be expected. Silence, my dear girlfriend/wife, costs extra.

The First Truth: Just like the first commandment or the first amendment, this is THE most important Valentine's Day truth. It is a lesson learned through many failed and successful relationships. It cannot be denied, and it cannot be refuted. Ladies, get something to throw at me because you aren't going to like me after I reveal this. Fellas, write this one down if your memory isn't very good. This truth will save you more headaches, heartache, and unnatural testicle swelling due to swift and violent contact than any other single piece of advice you will ever hear.

Your lady does not want flowers on Valentine's Day. Your better half doesn't care about candy on Valentine's Day. Your wife has almost zero actual interest in gifts today. Your girlfriend isn't mad at you because you didn't make her feel special by sending her roses and stuffed animals. Your other half doesn't want to be lavished with gifts, or even a gift, today (see exception: jewelry). They don't give a crap about the flowers and candy. What they want is the attention they receive from their friends, family, and/or co-workers when those gifts are delivered. Their joy has absolutely nothing to do with receiving gifts, feeling loved, or knowing that you are thinking about them. One-Hundred percent of their joy comes from other people they know seeing them receive those things. Remember above when I told you that all men are whipped, even if they deny it? Well this truth, like that one, works the same way. It is true for all women, even if they deny it. The better half of your relationship wants desperately for their friends and co-workers to be jealous of all the special attention they get today. (Ladies, I'm NOT suggesting women are shallow in any way. Men have that position locked up 365 days a year. I'm simply trying to assist my brethren in their relationships.)

I've been in quite a few long term relationships, and one or two short ones. I've "played" Valentine's Day with a hospice care worker, a pharmacist, a nurse, a veterinarian, a telephone call center pharmacist, a doctor, a home care nurse for the elderly, an exotic dancer, a military surgeon, and a paramedic. (Now that I've actually written out that list I think I might have some kind of fetish for women in nurses white and scrubs. Yes, that includes the dancer). My personal psycosis aside, I can tell you for sure that every single time I have ever purchased flowers, candy, or stuffed animals and brought them home, it has been to an emotionally flat or even cold response. "Oh, thank you. You're so sweet," spoken without even a hint of emotion, is the best reaction I've ever gotten.

On the flip side, if those same gifts are delivered to her hospital, office, dispatch center, call center, night club, military base, or directly to a parked ambulance... I might as well be a superhero that just stopped the earth on its axis to save her puppy dog from getting hit by a car. Even hours later when she arrives at home, I find myself buried in attention, hugs, smiles, and thank yous. She will beguile me with a long and obviously excited story of how they were delivered, and what each one of her friends/co-workers had to say about how lucky she is to be dating/engaged to me. There is no more important truth on Valentine's Day. She doesn't care about the flowers. She cares about the attention she gets when she gets the flowers.

So send her stuff to somewhere that other people will see her getting it. Valentine's Day is a holiday for women, so let her have her day and make sure you pay to have something delivered.

The Second Truth: The whole damn holiday is a scam. Yesterday roses were $12.99 a dozen. Today they are $79.99 + $19.99 for the vase, and another $25 to have them delivered. A birthday card will set you back $3, maybe $4. A Valentine Card is $8,maybe $10. Every other day of the year any yahoo in any store in any state of this entire country can buy a box of chocolates for $5-$10. Somehow that same chocolate, made by the same company, in the same factory is now worth $29.99-$59.99. I'm well aware that tying the perfect silk bow is a specialized skill. However, I seriously doubt that box of candy with a bow on it is reasonably priced; Even if the store had to pay someone to tie all those bows by hand. Don't even get me started on reservations, or the staggering inflation in price of a plate of spaghetti between February 13th and 14th. I've seen hundreds of thousands of stuffed animals in toy stores during the course of my life. I've never seen one the size of a pillow that cost $100, except on Valentine's Day. Get out your wallets guys. This is the most expensive date you're ever going to have. I could have bought plane tickets to Vegas for what I'll spend on her today, and that's not an exaggeration. By the time you throw in diner and dancing or even pizza and putt putt (DON'T take her for pizza and putt-putt - I speak from experience. I didn't know balls could get that blue) And the worst part is, you're going to do it all again next year and you'll be expected to 'top' yourself with each passing year. I would suggest that tomorrow you stop at every trash can in your neighborhood and collect those red heart shaped boxes. Based on the price increase of the exact same chocolate, you can probably finance your next house using nothing but those boxes in lieu of cash.

The Third Truth: You cannot put together an acceptable Valentine's Day plan for you and your significant other ON Valentine's Day. Sure, you might fake your way through something that you think looks like you made a plan; but she isn't buying it for one cool second. It's the second or third busiest retail day of the year. In every Costco, Wal-Mart, and Walgreen's drug store (for the truly desperate) across this country you will find register lines stacked up half way to the back wall of the store today. Each and every one of those ques will be filled out with wall to wall men. Better grab a Snickers, because you aren't going anywhere for awhile. By the way, all the good teddy bears and red heart shaped boxes are already gone. I hope she likes Whitman's sampler packs in the yellow boxes and a bear with all the plush of limestone and half the fur missing.

What's that you say? You're just going to grab the phone and make diner reservations for tonight? Haha ha hahaha haha hahaha *snort hahahahahaahaha! Good luck with that. Your girlfriend is probably going to suspect that you waited until the last minute to make a plan when she's eating her Valentine's 'diner' at 2:15 in the afternoon or 11:40 at night because those are the only times you could get a table. And no matter how much she likes chicken fingers, you cannot get by with a restaurant that also serves food through a window. (Yes, even if you go inside to eat, and bring candles). If you waited until today, enjoy your rooty tooty fresh and fruity followed by your lubriderm and Kleenex brand tissues later tonight. Maybe if you grovel and beg enough you can have sex again on Christmas.

"I know!" you think to yourself idiotically, "I'll rent a nice hotel room for tonight locally and we can have diner in the hotel restaurant." Great idea! Too bad that literally every single other man in the city that forgot to plan for today had it three hours before you. At first you'll be mad that every hotel in town is booked solid, but then you'll find one that has a room available. That room will cost you $300 + $89.50 in taxes and charges for one night. Tomorrow that same room will drop to $39, because the Motel 6 across from the airport with a view of the city's street walking district just isn't in demand any other night of the year. If this is the option you settle on, be sure to bring plenty of spray sanitizer, and a bottle of bleach with steel wool to scrub your skin clean (or off, your choice) in case you accidentally touch the bed sheets in the room.

Valentine's Day is not a last minute planning kind of day. If you didn't have something put together a week ago, it means you don't really love her. (Or at least that's what she's going to tell all her friends)

The Final Truth: Lingerie is not a gift for her. Lingerie is a gift that you bought for YOU, and then gave to her. You don't get any brownie points for a lingerie purchase, unless you already followed through with diner, flowers and candy. Otherwise, all you've done is ask her to dress up like a slut for you on the day of the year when you're supposed to show her how much you care. You haven't even managed to convince her you were thinking about her. Apparently, all you've been thinking about is yourself, and how SHE can please YOU. (or so I was told years ago)

Conclusion: Valentine's Day sucks. It involves at least a week of planning and understanding of all kinds of hidden rules and truths that no woman will ever explain to you. It's going to cost you more than a thirty-seven inch high definition television to pull off well, and that doesn't include the jewelry you'll be buying in subsequent years. This holiday will completely consume her, even if she swears that it doesn't. Your actions will be compared to every other human male's Valentine's Day scorecard around countless office desks and lunch room tables the next day; and you'll never know about it, much less be told how you did. Each year that passes in a relationship with the same woman will just set the bar for you to surpass a little bit higher than it was last year. You (the male) don't even understand the holiday. You can mutter something about love and caring, and commitment just as well as the next person; but when push comes to shove you have absolutely no emotional connection to the holiday. It's a day for her, by her, and about her and every last thing about that day is going to cost you....a lot.

Enjoy your holiday. Now if you'll excuse me I have to get ready for my IHOP reservation, and pop into a CVS pharmacy to stock up on lotion, sanitizer and steel wool.

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