Monday, February 7, 2011

The List of What Not to Get the Special Man in Your Life

I know, I know, Valentine’s Day is a manufactured holiday, a sham to get us all to spend money in the name of forced love and romance. But knowing that many of us will fall prey to tradition anyway, I humbly present my suggestions for what not to get your man as a gift for Valentine’s Day, aka VD.
  • Any kind of clothing item. No one wants a tie with hearts on it, or a t shirt that says you’re a great husband. If you really are one, you won’t need to advertise it.
  • Silly tchotchke type things like teddy bears, figurines, hokey love books and musical cards. In fact, anything that can be purchased in a Hallmark store is probably best to avoid unless you’re buying it for a woman in your life. And even then be judicious.
  • A mug, mousepad, etc with a photo of the two of you that says “I love you” or “Together forever.” If you expect him to display this at the office, you’ve just lost him the respect of his coworkers, thereby hampering any future advancement at that company. Why curb his earning potential?
  • Further, a mug that says “sweetie pie” or “honey bunch.” Or red pajamas with lovey sayings on them. Customized book that catalogues every detail of your love.
  • Scrapbooked anything.
  • “Sensual” food cookbook.
  • Naming a star after him.
  • Big giant mylar balloons. Big giant cards.
  • Couples spa services. Better enjoyed with your girlfriends. Not saying he wouldn’t enjoy a massage, but in my opinion you don’t have to enjoy it together.
  • Dinner at a nice restaurant. They all jack up the prices for V-Day. Screw the restaurateurs by going the week AFTER Valentine’s Day.

What do guys really want?
Aside from the obvious sexual favors that I don’t need to name, for gifts that don’t involve getting in your guy’s pants or vice versa, here is my suggested list of real-life gifts that hopefully won’t be a total waste of money and make him roll his eyes.

  • A day off from everything. No talking, no chores, no interaction, no nothing. A day to curl up in the man cave without interruption, unshowered in flannel pants eating chips out of the bag, wiping his hands on the dog, falling asleep on the couch and enjoying general slothery with abandon.
  • A flat screen TV. Size does matter, but hey, even a small one is still a flat screen TV.
  • Beer. Or a good bottle of liquor.
  • Order him the pizza with the 12 different kinds of meat on it.
  • All of the seasons of The Wire on DVD. Nothing says love like violence and the Baltimore drug trade.
  • One of those sessions where he gets to drive a race car.
  • Pornography. Don’t say it with flowers, say it with April Flowers.

Ok so we’ve come full-circle back to sex …ain’t that always the way. So as long as we’re here, I do think there is value in buying lingerie to wear for your man. Altho I think womens’ tastes in lingerie varies greatly than mens’, skimpies are skimpies and there’s nothing wrong with some new frilly underthings.

Write-in entry: pop-up kama sutra book. If this doesn’t exist, it should.

Gifts for the Ladies?
Men, if you’re looking for gift ideas for the ladies, there are the traditional choices: jewelry. flowers. Spa services. Something luxe or indulgent like anything cashmere or pricey chocolates.

But for my money, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to commemorate your undying love. It really is the thought that counts. What does that mean? It means that gifts that show you have been paying attention, at least a little bit, are going to be the ones that she will remember. Get her something that relates to something she loved as a child. Or something that reminds you both of something from when you were first dating.

As goofy as you may feel, homemade gifts go a long way. Trust me when I say that you will earn major points for macaroni cards or picking out a photo of the two of you and selecting a nice frame. Think about the major kudos you’d get if you could figure out a way to make her a mix-tape, even if she might have a hard time finding a place to play it.

Consider an activity that she likes that you would normally avoid like the plague, such as a crafts fair, museum exhibit, etc. Watch a Lifetime movie with her. What about picking out a recipe and making dinner with a decent bottle of wine. And you clean up afterward. It may pain you, but it won’t kill you.

Do something thoughtful and manly like checking the air in her tires, filling the tank up with gas and getting her car washed.

All women are different and every relationship is different. Some of us do place a high premium on monetary value, and buying and giving expensive gifts may be a part of how you show what someone means to you. I will never insult you by refusing an expensive gift, like say a Porsche. Why, that would just be rude.

Personally, I am lobbying to commemorate VD with my guy by going to see a special screening of West Side Story at the beautiful art deco movie theater down the road. Because nothing says romance like tragic death and doomed love and dancing around with choreographed knife fights. At least they serve beer there.

And a last note on how NOT to show your affection for someone: call in a bomb threat to an airline so that your boyfriend can’t catch his flight out of the country, as in the case of this lovelorn Chilean woman who forced the evacuation of 300 people from a plane taxiing down the runway:

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