Men! If you have a wife or girlfriend, you must buy her stuff for Valentine’s Day! (And you should definitely do the same—though don’t be too lavish or stalky about it—for someone you’d like to be your Valentine.)
I know Valentine’s Day seems stupid. I know how profoundly offensive it is to basically be told by the whole culture that as some sort of weak, candy-ass proof that you love her, you have to buy your wife or girlfriend stuff—the exact same stuff that every other guy is buying his wife or girlfriend, on the exact same day, for the exact same reason, which in any sane world would be universally appreciated as the very opposite of romantic, since the whole thing about romantic love is how special and private it is between two people.
I get that. I get the problem with Valentine’s Day. All men do. Men experience Valentine’s Day as if it were a day on which they were ordered by the government to wear a tutu, ballet slippers, and bows in their hair. It just feels extremely unnatural. And intrusive. And mostly insultingly obligatory.
The male aversion to Valentine’s Day probably has something to do with testosterone. Who knows? Who cares? It is what it is. (Which is the ultimate manly motto, come to think of it. I’m totally putting It is what it is on my tombstone.)
If you’re a guy who is repelled by doing Valentine’s Day the way you’re supposed to do it—which is to say the way you know your girlfriend or wife wants you to do it—please consider this advice as totally excellent and correct:
Do it anyway.
Buy your wife or girlfriend roses, a big card with huge scrolling letters all over it, some chocolates in a heart-shaped box, and maybe a cute little stuffed bear. Get whatever of that stuff you can afford—and if you can’t afford anything, make her something, or do something special for her. And then, on Valentine’s Day, present her with your best gift in the most romantic way possible.
And what is the secret to willingly and happily doing all that, you ask?
The secret to doing Valentine’s Day in a way that both you and your wife or girlfriend will find fulfilling is understanding that your wife or girlfriend knows exactly how you feel about Valentine’s Day!
She knows! She knows you hate Valentine’s Day, and she knows why.
Women know men. They know that men enjoy walking down the street carrying roses and a big red heart-shaped box like men enjoy … I dunno, a glass of champagne with their cheeseburger. It’s not who they are. It’s not what they do.
Women know that.
It’s not the roses, the card, the balloon bouquet, or the box of chocolates. None of that really matters to the object of your affection. What matters is that you gave her the roses or card or balloon bouquet. What matters is that you sucked it up. You put aside your own concerns about who you are, and about what you need, and did something that you would have only done because you love her.
You sacrificed! You delivered! You stepped up! You did the manly thing, and made sure that her roses came with a lovely decorative spray of baby’s breath.
You publicly and boldly declared your love for her. Even though doing so was acutely difficult for you. Even though the entire process made you feel awkward, embarrassed, and extremely uncomfortable.
But you didn’t let that stop you, did you? No.
You did it anyway. You kept your eye on the prize.
And that, my friend, makes you her hero.
It also makes you really, really cute.
Pffft. How is that not a win-win?