Happy St. Valentine’s Day

Hey guys.  By guys I mean male readers.  What are you doing for St. Valentine’s Day?  If you are in a relationship, then you can’t say “nothing.”

Guys . . . let’s talk for a moment . . .You can’t say “nothing” because doing nothing is making a plan to do nothing then following it . . . so by doing nothing you have made a decision to not celebrate St. Valentine’s Day and your significant other noticed.

I know, I know, you are saying to the computer screen, “We made a decision together to not do anything . . . she told me it was ok.”  She lied.  I don’t mean a “Say I am with my sick sister and then go clubbing” lie, but she wasn’t being honest.  She was setting a trap and it is about to spring closed.  What she said translates to, “I am going to tell you that I am ok with nothing for Valentines Day and see if you know me well enough to know that I am going to be disappointed when you don’t do anything.”  Sounds kind of sneaky and double talky and mind gamy, right?  Of course it is.  How long have you been in this relationship?

Valentine’s Day is the easiest to forget important holiday that we have.  Contrary to popular perception it is not a complete fabrication of Hallmark.  It has been celebrated for centuries in one form or another.  The Feast of St. Valentine is attributed to a number of men of the cloth named Valentine.  One of these St. Valentines was martyred by the Romans, in part, for performing marriages for soldiers who were forbidden by law to wed.  Over the next several centuries European royal court members would exchange presents and cards, referred to as Valentines, with their love interests.  It wasn’t invented by Hallmark, just commercialized beyond all recognition. 

Today Valentine’s Day is associated with romance.  I know that you can find cards for moms, dads, children and various relatives.  There are even Valentines for your brothers and sisters and cousins.  I will reluctantly skirt the obvious West Virginia/Arkansas jokes and simply say this:  Of course there are cards for all those people because Hallmark executives have kids to put through school and vacations to take.  Valentine’s Day is all about romance and love.

Yesterday I saw a young man in the super market.  He was prepping for Valentine’s day.  In his cart was a card, a box of candy and a skimpy bright red underwear set with lots of lace and sheer fabric.  He was heading for the liquor department.  He might have exactly what he needs for a great day with his girl or he could have made the first and biggest mistake guys make with Valentine’s day.  Somebody says “romance” and “love” and  we hear “sex.”

Now don’t get me wrong . . . sex is a huge part of Valentine’s Day . . . now.  I don’t think that it started that way.  I mean I can’t see the Catholic Church assigning a saint’s feast day to a day based on blatant gettin’ busy.  In that case it would be the Feast of Only-between-married-male/female-couples-for-reproductive-reasons-with-no-form-of-birth-control-except-rhythm.  Hallmark can’t sell that.

Romance is the key and unfortunately Valentine’s Day itself can take away romance.  A couple is supposed to work it’s way throught the week with jobs. school, kids, bills, PTA, kid’s basketball games and housework and the suddenly be romantic on a Thursday night?  Not impossible, but not easy without planning and coordination and romance is hard to plan for.  I love my wife, but she has a hard time coming home from her office, making dinner for two over-stimulated children, briefing the baby sitter on potty training and medicine dosages and then going to a restaurant, getting a glass of wine and immediately becoming sultry.  I mean she can, but it takes some time and a few glasses of wine but, remember, we are talking week night here.

Romance is not a bodily function, that would be sex.  It is more a state of mind.  Personally, I think if you want to create a romantic mood then you should let it occur to her on her own.  For instance, this morning the boys and I gave my wife her Valentine’s Day stuff.  I got up a few minutes early and put some orange flavored sweet rolls in the oven (her favorite).  I made coffee and collected the cards and candy we got for her.  When the rolls were done, I went and got the boys.  Waking them is like shaking a hornet’s nest.  They were their normal demonic selves upon waking but immediately got with the program when I reminded them that this was for mommy.

We went downstairs and got the the rolls, presents, and Valentine’s Day cards.  Each boy made one for her and I got them each one to write their names on.  We went upstairs and gave her the presents while she was in bed.   There were hugs and kisses and happy tears in abundance.  Charlie and Eli told mommy how we picked out the candy and cards.  She read my card and note and gave me the smile I fell in love with.  No candles, no wine, no skimpy underwear, but her smile was pure romance and, more importantly, love.

I guess the real secret here is no secret at all.  Do the things she likes or the type of things you did when she didn’t have your last name or share a credit card with you.  You’d be surprised what kind of things create a romantic atmosphere in a house.  It can be as simple as doing the dishes, throwing some laundry in or maybe having her car washed.  They create romance because those actions are real and require thought.  Underwear do not require thought . . . well . . .  not the kind of thought we are talking about it.

Whatever you do, make sure she knows you are thinking of her.  Trust me, if you think of her she will think of you.

Thanks for reading folks.  You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  I will see you doon on This Side of the Diaper.

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