I hate Valentine’s Day, and I’ll tell you why. When I was younger and thought what women said directly correlated to what they meant, I had a conversation with my girlfriend (or was it my wife?) that went something like this:
“Valentine’s Day is coming up,” she said.
“Yeah, I guess it is, huh?”
“It’s stupid. It’s just another day. I think it’s sad that companies try to make it something more than it is in the name of profit. If you’re in love with someone, you should give them gifts and kisses anyway, not just on Valentine’s Day.”
“Really?” Wow, I thought. My love for this person, whom I cannot now remember, seemed to deepen at the time. “So what are you saying? You don’t want to celebrate it?”
“No,” she said. “I don’t think we should support that kind of sham.”
“Well, great. Yeah, I totally agree. Let’s fight back against corporate America in our own small way. We’ll just completely ignore it.”
Now, those of you who are married or have some basic experience with women can see how terribly the naïve young man who was me was being set up. I figured she was speaking in a manner that represented her true feelings, the way I used to speak in relationships. I’ve since gained some subtle filters.
Valentine’s Day arrived, and I ignored it—probably going as far as to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in a sneering, ironic manner. I thought we were flying in the face of baseless Hallmark holidays. What rebels, I thought. This chick is great.
But she wasn’t great. What she was, was upset. Upset at me for being so inconsiderate as to not even acknowledge the one I love in a simple way on Valentine’s Day. I was even dumb enough to recall our conversation and point out that we’d both agreed to righteously ignore the day. I can’t remember if she gave me a card or not, but that hardly mattered. I had utterly failed the test.
As you might imagine, this soured Valentine’s Day for me from then on. I liken it now to a dirty trick, a “fool me once” kind of scenario. I’d encourage you, young men, to go out of your way on Valentine’s Day (if you want to be happy in your current relationship), and show her how much you love her with over-priced sweets and saccharine cards. As my divorce and general failure in relationships will attest, I’m probably not one from whom you should take advice on how to be romantic. But those same credentials do impart to me a special knowledge you might benefit from: I definitely know how to make a woman unhappy, and skipping cards on V-Day is a surefire way to do it.