Selecting a Valentine’s Day Present That Won’t Get You Slapped
Valentine’s Day can be pretty stressful for guys. It can be a lot of pressure to find a gift that she will like, and it’s pretty easy to screw it up. It should be easy enough, you would think, to get something that your wife or girlfriend will like. Yet, no matter how long you have known someone, it’s still pretty easy to turn Feb 14 into a nightmare that will haunt you for a good long while. Part of it is because of the expectations that women have developed, mostly from watching those movies that make us want to jump out a window. The actors in the movies have it pretty easy. It’s a piece of cake to seem like the perfect man when you are only faking it on film for a couple of hours. We have to try to live up to that all the time. Here are a few tips for dealing with the impending Valentine’s Day Massacre that may happen if you don’t get your act together.
For one thing, focus on the positive. Although it is a “Hallmark holiday,” St. Valentine was a real guy. He was a priest in the early Christian Church who performed illegal marriage ceremonies between Christians who were being hunted by the Roman Empire. Excuse the expression, but the guy had balls. He knew it could get him killed, but he held to his convictions and helped to sanctify the romantic unions of his persecuted religious brethren until he was caught and executed. He became a martyr to the idea of Christian love. No matter your religion, I think it’s reasonable to give people their props for laying it all on the line to stick to their beliefs. So, the first step is to dial down your cynicism about the holiday. Some may use it as just another money making scheme, but it can have some real significance if you choose to see it that way.
If you are reading this, you are probably off to a good start. The number one mistake guys make when it comes to Valentine’s Day is to forget about it entirely. Put that on your calendar ASAP, along with your anniversary and her birthday – if you want to live. The next key is to do recon, at least a month ahead if possible. Ask questions, talk to her friends and relatives, and do anything else you can to make a good decision. The key to picking the specific gift is listening. There is no universal idea of a great Valentine’s Gift. Know your lady. Roses, chocolates, and stuffed animals may be ideal for one girl and a joke to another. If you want to be crafty about it, you can try to probe a bit: “What’s the best / worst Valentine’s gift you ever received?” or “Dave was thinking of getting Emily ___________________. Do you think she will like it?” These may sound like cheap tricks, but it’s better than bombing because you don’t do your homework.
Next to helpful friends and relatives, the internet is your best friend when it comes to this process. However, you have to allow for shipping time. One of my favorite choices is personalized jewelry. So many women love jewelry, but it can be devastatingly expensive. Most nice jewelry costs a fortune, and most cheap jewelry looks, well… cheap. Personalized jewelry is a great compromise. You can get a name necklace that’s beautiful and relatively inexpensive. Since name necklaces are specific to the recipient (assuming you get one with her name on it and not someone else’s), you have the customization factor, which is worth big time points. Sentiment is important, and many women would prefer a less expensive necklace that you took the trouble to have customized just for them to an expensive but impersonal piece of jewelry.
When it comes to edibles, be careful with chocolates. If you are going into the chocolate territory, find out what she likes and how much she likes it. This is tough because it’s easy to accidentally offend someone. Once you have made your choice, just give it. Don’t talk. For instance, if you say “I got you the small box because I know you are trying to lose weight,” you may not make it out alive. A simple “I hope you like them” should suffice. Some of the flavors in the variety packs are disgusting, so find out her favorite types and try to keep it down to just those. If she is health-conscious, one of those fruit bouquets may be just the thing. If you just handed her a bag of fruit, it wouldn’t fly. But you can order a custom made bouquet of sculpted fruit that is beautiful and delicious. It all comes back to knowing who you are dealing with.
When it comes to stuffed animals, just go by what she has already. If she likes them, she will probably already have them. They take up room and some women find them pointless, so only buy them if she already has some. In terms of size, follow suit with what she has. If she has a few small ones, get one small one. If she has huge stuffed animals, consider getting a huge one, but you can always go smaller. Don’t make it a competition.
When it comes to cards, actually read the things. I once gave a girl a card because it played a beautiful song when you opened it. I should have read the card more carefully. It said a little more than I wanted to say at the age of 16 and I looked like a melodramatic twit. When it comes to cards, focus more on the words than the design. She will actually read it. If you wouldn’t look her in the eyes and say it with your own mouth, don’t even thinking about giving her a card that says it. It can get really awkward.
Flowers are the same kind of thing. Some women love them and others find them to be cliche or pointless. If you are going to get flowers, try to arrange it way ahead of time. Remember that the traditional gifts are going to get snatched up pretty quickly right around the holiday. Plan ahead so you can avoid the rush and the stress.
Author: Dror Arbel