This year, although there is advice here for
everyone, my column is particularly directed towards lady readers. Next year, it
will be the gentleman's turn.
Everyone who writes on domestic matters is besieged with mail during the time
leading up to Valentine's Day. Each letter contains a request for a
recommendation: recipe, gift, special activity planning, trip suggestion. All of
these are supposed to help pave the way to perfect romance. Well, it's often
difficult to answer these notes, because nothing is perfect, in any aspect of
life, if for no other reason than that perfection is an individual ideal.
It is also true that romance has very little to do with love. On holidays past,
I've often written of gifts which would betoken love, only to be informed that
my choices were very unromantic indeed. On Valentine's Day, it seems that
totally loving mates must acquire the psychic ability to discern which purchase
or action will inspire a gooey-eyed response.
Is it any wonder that most men and older boys are terrified of Valentines Day?
What scares them? Fear of forgetting it, or choosing the wrong gift. They
consider themselves well-off, if whatever they do escapes a scolding, and many
just wish the holiday would fall off the calendar.
Candy? Are you trying to sabotage the diet I started as a New year resolution?
Lingerie? You want me to wear something that trashy? You couldn't figure out
what size I am?
Appliance? Couldn't you be more romantic?
Special meal? Why are you blowing the budget?
Hotel room? You want me to be amorous on demand?
Jewelry? You can't tell what my taste is after all this time?
Ladies, do you want to do something nice? Let up on the pressure. Be a gracious
recipient. Stop looking for hidden messages in the gifts you receive. Remind
them about the holiday, and if your heart is set on a certain gift, ask for it.
Do you think that if someone loved you they would magically discern your hidden
desires? You are wrong. Men are not mind readers, so stop punishing them if
their guesses are off the mark.
I do not claim to be an expert, but am quite certain that romance will not be
brought about by kvetching, or theatrical expectations. Neither is it a
commodity to be purchased for a day.
My vote for best Valentines gifts? Fire Extinguishers for every room in the
house and for the car. Have you checked the expiration dates on the ones you
Copyright 2010 Eddy Robey