Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Valentine's Day - It's Not about You

In just a little more than two weeks we will be celebrating the early Christian saint named Valentinus -- aka Saint Valentine. For performing weddings for soldiers forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire, this saint was imprisoned. During his captivity, he is said to have healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. Legend states that before his execution he wrote a farewell to her. It was called, "From Your Valentine."

Over the years this liturgical celebration has morphed into an occasion in which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, chocolate and candy treats, and greeting cards -- all adorned with hearts, lace and sappy outpourings of love.

Now a lot of men I know believe in the supreme constancy of love, especially when it relates to their wives. For them there's no need to wear down the sentiment by continually rehashing the obvious. It's like, "Hey, I told you I loved you when we got married. If that changes, I'll let you know." While these smooth-talking dudes may woo some of the ladies out there, a brief survey of women indicates something else entirely. For them Valentine's Day is when she wants to be doted on, cherished, and doted on some more. And nothing says you cherish her more than a card and a gift.

Now the card thing is fairly easy: find a Hallmark store, walk in, and some lady will ask, "Can I help you?"

Tell her you need a nice Valentine for your wife, and she will show you racks of them. Find one that's so sweet it makes your teeth hurt. When you've done that it's probably a good pick. Hint: be sure it is addressed to "wife."

Now the gift thing may be a little tricky. I usually try to pay attention at Christmastime to see if she indicates something she didn't receive, then I get it for her on Valentine's Day. But if she didn't give any hints, then try the old standards: candy, perfume, flowers and candles (strategically positioned and lit is a nice touch too) are all pretty safe bets. One thing to remember here is if you don't usually get her flowers, then a nice bouquet is just the ticket: gift solved.

The sage advice I received recently was that Valentine's Day is not about me -- not even a little bit. So giving your woman a nice mallet putter or some new chartreuse crankbaits is probably not the absolute best idea. That being said, those two would rate with all the other suggestions I thought sounded good: box seats to a hockey game, a band saw, a flat-screen TV, a gas grill or the ever-popular subscription to a premium sports channel.

So, gentlemen, what we have here is another day to put her first, along with Mother's Day (if she qualifies) and her birthday. To show her she is unquestionably number one in your life, think about what would please her and then jump in with both feet (Hmmm, a skydiving lesson, perhaps? Probably not.) Believe me, do it up right, and you'll have one thankful woman on your hands. You may even find your thoughtfulness reciprocated to you in new and surprising ways.

And what's better than having your honey believe she's with the world's greatest guy?

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