This column first appeared in the Joplin Globe on Feb. 14, 2013.
If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am an expert on romance and relationships.
Look, some people can hit a curveball, and some people can help others with matters of the heart and if ever there was a day when matters of the heart really matter, today is that day.
Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year when men everywhere can express their love for their significant others by purchasing a card with a heartfelt, romantic message written by someone else or by buying red flowers picked out by a complete stranger,
Sadly, some men still are confused about their role on Valentine’s Day. In the past several weeks, several of these men have reached out to me, seeking advice on ways to woo their love on this romantic day.
The first thing I told them was to quit using the word “woo.”
Women hate that word, and if you say it the wrong way, it sounds like “WHEW” which doesn’t suggest romance as much as it does relief.
One gentleman named Rufus wrote me to say that his wife complains that he doesn’t share his feelings with her.
“Mike, what are these things called ‘feelings’ that my wife speaks of? Do I have them, and if I do am I legally obligated to share them?”
Rufus, I get this question a lot. Feelings are the things that make you tear up when you watch that Coke commercial where the football player tosses his game jersey to that little kid. Feelings are also the things that make you smile after a really good burp.
And, yes, you are legally obligated to share your feelings with your wife. But trust me, after you’ve shared your feelings with your wife for a few days, she’ll ask you to stop.
Burt wanted some advice on gift giving.
“Mike, I have been married for 10 years, and I keep hearing people talk of Valentine’s Day. What are my responsibilities vis-a-vis my wife when it comes to Valentine’s Day? Also, did I use ‘vis-a-vis’ correctly?”
Burt, according to Webster’s New World College Dictionary, instead of using “vis-a-vis” you should have used “whom.”
Now, to your more pertinent question. It doesn’t really matter what you do for your wife on Valentine’s Day as long as you do something. Burt, like most men you have set the bar so low that simply knowing that it’s Valentine’s Day will win points with your wife. I bet if you go home tonight and greet your wife with a heartfelt “Hey, I read on Twitter that today is Valentine’s Day,” then grab a beer and plop down in front of the TV to watch “SportsCenter,” your wife will wait at least 30 minutes before she leaves you.
Finally, I received an email from a guy named Ralph who also said he was confused about what to do for his wife on Valentine’s Day.
“I just don’t get her. Last year she complained that I never give her anything on Valentine’s Day, so I got her a bowling ball, and she got even madder at me. I pointed out that I went to the trouble of getting her a red bowling ball, but she told me that she didn’t even bowl. My question is this: Do you know anyone who wants to buy a red bowling ball? If so, email me at Ralph@divorced.com.”
You raise an interesting point, Ralph. Sometimes what we think is a wonderful Valentine’s Day gift is not so wonderful to our wives. For example, scented vacuum bags make a lousy Valentine’s Day gift.
I know that now.
Also, be careful with workout DVDs, gym memberships and subscriptions to Sports Illustrated.
I hope this column has been a bit of help for those of you out there who are still trying to find the perfect gift for that special someone. Just remember, when you give your loved one her Valentine’s Day gift, ask her if she wants you to share your feelings with her.
I’m guessing she won’t.