February 2007

He Says, She Says - Valentine's Day

Author: Jean Wharton, Tom Wharton

One subject.
Two very different opinions.
“He Says… She Says”

This Month’s Topic: Valentine’s Day

She Says:
I do not fully understand what the conundrum is with men and Valentine’s Day. Certainly, the widespread promotion of Valentine’s Day seems largely driven by the retail industry. But in my opinion, it does not lessen the possible impact the holiday can have on a relationship.

V-Day is not just for cards and heart-shaped candy, lackluster attempts at affection or overpriced bouquets; but the day can serve as one of redemption. Conveniently making its home on our calendars just a few weeks after the Christmas and New Year holidays, Valentine’s is, for many lovers, the first opportunity to make up for past errors; be they material or emotional.

Many have given a Christmas gift that was received with an unenthusiastic “Awe,” followed by a desperate search in the box for something else—something more—or possibly the gift receipt so that said gift can be exchanged or returned. You later realize that when she said, “Thank you for the toaster oven, honey,” what she really meant was, “Does he really love me at all?” For all of those missed opportunities at expressing love through gift, Valentine’s Day is your 10th inning. You can still win, if you just focus your efforts. Keep it simple and sincere. Sincerity carries a lot of weight on Valentine’s Day. So if jewelry works in your relationship as a clear expression of your honest feelings, then most women will be more than obliged to lift their hair and have you fasten the clasp on a new necklace. However, a homemade CD with all your favorite songs that make you think of your special someone, along with a framed photograph of a place that is meaningful to your relationship, will certainly put that toaster oven in the recesses of her memory.

If your lapse in judgment was behavior-related rather than material, V-Day is your chance to shine. Possibly you were “over-served” at the New Year’s Eve Gala and you ended up dancing the worm in front of your in-laws and drooling merlot while winking at a cocktail waitress. Truthfully, we ladies understand that there may have “been something” in the wine that night, but we’d like to encourage you to get it right on February 14th. Think of how easy it is to light some candles, purchase flowers and put on some slow-dancing music. Over the top, grandiose gestures will certainly be effective with some women, but truth be told, simple sincerity wins out with most of us. It’s the thought that counts, but it’s also the planning that matters. Heads up, fellas: If you’re going to be taking your lady to dinner at an upscale restaurant like Antonio’s, call this week to make the reservation. Don’t call on the 14th; you are not going to get the table or time you want. Prior planning on your part will create an air of importance for this night, and she will be touched that you took the time to make reservations in advance.

Truthfully gentlemen, there is very little excuse for overlooking Valentine’s Day. It’s a gimme—a chance to make it right if you’ve ever gotten it wrong. It’s also a chance to shine and put yourself in her good graces. Yes, it’s over-hyped and a bit silly, but somehow it means something. Out of 365 days, you men are responsible for coming through with a bit of romance on three of them… and if you don’t know what the other two days are, than you’re worse off than I suspected.

He Says:
Valentine’s Day? Are you kidding me? I am thoroughly opposed to the concept. Valentine’s Day is based on a pagan holiday like other American holidays, such as Halloween or Administrative Assistant’s Day. In the pagan days, they would celebrate the God of Love, Valentine Thor, by going from village to village collecting boxes with chocolates in them. How can we continue to support such a primal practice?

It is a common misconception that Valentine’s Day is a creation of the American card industry. It is not. It is an invention of the American antacid industry. Almost two months after antacids are flying off the shelves during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, the industry comes to a screeching halt. To counter this lull in sales, the antacid industry decided to start producing heart-shaped tablets with cute phrases on them like, “U R CUTE” or “FOXY LADY.” There is no way anyone can call those things candy. I, for one, will not be fooled again.

Why is there a need for this pseudo holiday? No one gets the day off from work. In fact, your poor postal employees have to work even harder delivering those cards. If you are going to be romantic, then be romantic all year, not just for one day. And what an awful date—February 14th. That is a little over a week since the Super Bowl. Most men are still going through withdrawal. Pitchers and catchers are still weeks from beginning to report to training camp. March Madness is only a couple weeks away. And the NBA and NHL are in the doldrums of their respective seasons. How can a man be expected to be romantic at such a time? It is not fair. Emotionally, men are a wreck at this time of year. We are worrying about our college basketball teams, who may be on the bubble, and who our NFL team is going to draft in a couple of months. No pink teddy bear named Sir Wuvs-A-Lot could pull a man out of that funk.

Men want to be amorous. In fact, most men really enjoy it, because we know it leads to smooches and snuggles. However, do we really need a whole day dedicated to it? And with the threat of global warming, can we really afford to be cutting down valuable plants? No. So, leave those roses, daisies, carnations, and even chrysanthemums in the ground this February 14th. The world and I will thank you.

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