Skip the dinner reservations (please do phone to cancel). The staff doesn’t want you there and the experience will be forced, cliched, and unmemorable. Do something personal! Make a meal – if you are not well equipped for food prep find a place that does first-class take out (to your valentine’s liking) but be sure to add some personal touch to the meal.
Make Valentine’s Day Personal
There are so many cookie-cutter ideas out there so forget them all. No one knows your mate like you do so make the day personal. The TV, magazines, and advertisements are calling for Champagne (great idea in my book) but if your Valentine loves the Champagne of Beers have that. There are 364 other days in the year to address questions of taste.
Honestly, often the best way to celebrate is doing something together. No red ribbons or restaurant bookings are needed to take a drive out to a place you’ve long discussed or break out the map and find somewhere to explore.
It doesn’t all have to be red, or have cupids, or hearts, or forced association with romance. If I get another set of brand-suggested cocktails for VD with passionfruit…
Here is my revised set of guidelines for surviving Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day Tips for the Guys
- Get her something personal. This requires thought but you can do it.
- If you are stuck on the originality front rely on the classics, they are your friends: chocolate, flowers, and jewelry.
- Flowers are always welcome.
- Don’t text message your Valentine’s wishes! (I can’t believe that I have to say this but sadly, I do).
- Avoid the stuffed animal. Stuffed animals are welcome when won at the County Fair as it is a cuddly and warm sensation that helps drown the inappropriate glares she has just received from the carnies.
- Avoid lingerie! I know that this seems like a good idea but this road is filled with potholes and it runs along a very steep cliff. For starters, the size could be wrong. Whichever direction you have erred will work against you. “Do these jeans make my…” Yeah, it’s one of those moments. Also, there is no way that won’t be seen as an attempt to get her clothes off.
- Don’t buy crappy chocolate! If you are buying chocolates in the same drugstore aisle that you have picked up the greeting card… run out now and get an upgrade.
Valentine’s Day Tips for the Ladies
- Don’t forget that guys and gals are different! What you want is likely not what he wants. You want to be dazzled while he wants to survive it.
- You like a big flower bouquet at work but he does not. Us guys spend our childhood on the playground trying not to do something that will get us slagged by our mates. Don’t offer our dopey friends fodder for days to come.
- Don’t build expectations of the day based on an article in Cosmo or Glamour. In fact, cancel your subscription.
- We really don’t care about getting a gift and the last thing we want is a gift better than the one that we got you! Keep it small, perhaps a card and if flowers are involved make it a single stem. We like flowers but we don’t need a bouquet.
- Don’t tell your guy about what your girlfriends are getting on VD and DON’T tell your guy what to get you! Any semi-intelligent guy with a shred of self-respect will boycott the day when presented with a ransom note thinly veiled as a wish list.
- Give something humorous that shows that you appreciate being recognized on this day but you don’t take it too serious.
A tip for everyone is to keep it to yourself. This is especially true for you social media addicts. We don’t care what you got or what you are doing. Turn off the broadcast of “ME-TV” for a day and live in the moment.