An Idiot’s Guide to Valentine’s Day 

Even With Our Collective Track Record, We Can Do This 

By Jason Jones 

Messenger Reporter 

EAST TEXAS – Gentlemen, the day is upon us. St. Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away. We can do this. We have the skills and the technology. 

Ladies, you might want to stop reading now. Nobody really wants to know how easily their significant other can be tripped up. 

It is a documented fact that men in general do not like most holidays. In fact, a comprehensive list of holidays men enjoy goes like this: Thanksgiving. Of course, there are exceptions… a few men out there go to great lengths to hit a home run on birthdays, anniversaries, and Valentine’s Day, but the prevailing theory says they are not doing it to be an awesome husband or boyfriend, but to make other men look bad. I mean, the potholder featuring a glass of wine I painstakingly chose for my wife cannot hold a candle to the over-the-water villa in St. Bart’s you took your girlfriend to. Just so you know, your man card is in jeopardy of being revoked. If you would just schedule that trip a week later, we would all get through the holiday a little more easily. 

May 21 will mark 34 years of marriage for me. I am quite sure I have never hit a St. Bart’s home run, but I have had a few jewels hidden among the holiday stinkers. I won’t be terribly specific. That way the love of your life, should she have chosen to read this column all the way through, will be more apt to believe that any positive advances you made were due to your own ideas. You’re welcome. 

Let’s get this first Valentine’s Day mistake out of the way right off the bat: Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday. Your efforts should reflect as much. If you are in the small appliance section at Wal Mart for Valentine’s Day, you are in the wrong place. Regardless of how many times she has mentioned how much she would love a new air fryer, even the expensive one with two baskets and the ability to roast a small pig, she does not mean for Valentine’s Day. The romance you feel while standing in the aisle looking at that air fryer is, quite literally, the only romance that will happen regarding this choice. 

Buy the air fryer. Put it in the truck. Give it to her a day or two later. 

Here is where you need to live gentlemen: A nice card. A bottle of her favorite wine. Dinner at some place where you have to wear your good shirt and no hat. Chocolates. Nothing by Hersheys or Nestle. Nice chocolates. In a box. 

And flowers. 

Flowers can be your ticket to the next level. You know… the level where your lady looks at you in a way that says she doesn’t wish she had left you at home. 

Flowers are magically powerful. They make women feel loved and appreciated, especially if you gave it a little thought. 

Anybody can show up (or call) the flower shop and ask for an arrangement, with the only criteria being the budget. That’s easy. It still works, but it leaves you at the same level as every other guy. 

Try this. Think about a flower or a bouquet that says something about her. “I picked these out because they reminded me of that dress you wore that night in Cancun…” 

See how easy that was? 

Last year I bought my wife roses for our anniversary. 33 years. I chose 33 roses. 30 were yellow and three were red. When I was 16, I thought I had discovered these three stars in a line in the December sky. Turns out I was wrong. It was Orion’s Belt, and I was simply clueless. But I gave them to her as a romantic gesture, so that’s what the three red roses were. 

It was twenty minutes out of my day, but it made her extremely happy. Right up until she saw my credit card bill. But she gave me an A+ for trying. 

A nice card is easy too. I have actually found myself just standing in the card aisle with a bunch of other confused men far longer than necessary. I just didn’t want anyone to see that I had chosen the first card that I picked up. It seems like an uncaring thing to do, but if you read 50 cards, you will likely have to eeny meeny miney moe to make a choice anyway because none of them are vastly different from the rest. Just don’t forget to do it. That box of chocolate is pretty naked without a card. 

Another great idea is to cook for her. Make your specialty. Put it on the good plates. Set the table – the utensils go on the side of the plate with the same number of letters. F-O-R-K, LEFT. S-P-O-O-N, RIGHT. K-N-I-F-E, RIGHT. Or you can cheat and lay them all in the center of the plate on a napkin. Your choice. 

Here is what not to do. Do not grill some meat and ask her to handle all the side dishes. Do not finish cooking, eat dinner, then leave the kitchen looking like a war zone. Do not talk about how awesome you are for making dinner. She does it every day. 

Gentlemen, we can be better than we have been portrayed. The way to keep the one you love is to never act like you caught her. Keep pursuing. Let Valentine’s Day remind her that she didn’t choose poorly. 

Jason Jones may be reached via email at [email protected] 

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