Gifts For Your Valentine | The Manly Edition

3 Feb

 Now it’s time to address what to get the men in our lives… And I have to say, Valentine’s Day gifts for men usually requires some very creative interpretation if you’re trying to give him something “romantic.” Chocolate and flowers don’t usually produce the same response in their case… I say choose being awesome over being romantic – it’ll be less embarrassing for everyone involved. ha.

Since my significant other sometimes reads my blog, I don’t really want to feature his potential Valentine’s gifts. Instead, here’s a few V-For-Victory Day principles I try to live by:

Get him something he actually likes, as opposed to what you want him to like.

While you might be able to convince him to get rid of those mustard yellow grandaddy corduroys from Goodwill without a fight, the odds of him giving up his nerdier hobbies aren’t as good. Besides, they’ve always been part of his charm.

So, if he’s into video games, seize this opportunity to buy him a game that doesn’t involve violence against women or terrible bloodcurdling screams every two seconds. If he’s really into vintage tees, get him a bunch of cool ones so he stops wearing the one where Jesus is giving people the finger. And so on.

The bottom line is that he’s not going to stop liking things just because you don’t (just as the vice versa is true), but that doesn’t mean you can’t both make an effort to make them more amenable for you both.

 Don’t try to change his “design scheme” too drastically.

Not only will he resent you forever, but you will lose respect for him in his pink socks and tank top and mesh top and capris. It’s just too much. The same rule applies to buying him pastel bathroom decor, knitting him legwarmers, changing his shampoo and conditioner to something from Aveda, or buying him a sweatshirt for the rival team… Valentine’s Day should be a time for you to show him that you know, love, and appreciate him the way he is.Love and food go hand in hand so do your relationship a favor and be cool with whatever happens with the whole dinner thing.

There’s a lot of pressure to have these perfect Valentine’s dates and the truth is, perfection is usually in the unexpected and therefore totally unpredictable. What is predictable is that spending a million dollars on dinner at a crowded restaurant is often a recipe for disaster. The food takes forever and costs a fortune and then somebody next to you proposes or gets massive jewelry and then how do you top that? Any other night you couldn’t care less about these things, but this is the night he’s showing the world how he feels about you!

Not really but it can feel that way on V-Day.

Consider going somewhere fancy the weekend before or trying to put a new spin on an evening at home. Send your kid away, get a nice bottle of wine and some candles, and order some delicious takeout. The importance is in creating a ritual to show appreciation for your mate and you don’t have to spend loads of money to make it nice, or conform to everybody else’s expectations to make it legitimate.

And lastly…Go ahead and be real clear about your Valentine’s expectations in advance.

Whether or not we like to admit it, we ladies are brainwashed from birth to read too far into Valentine’s Day. One year my flowers were wilting as he handed them to me and I was convinced it was proof he didn’t care about me. Truth is, I had actually told him that I thought red roses were cliche and carnations were death flowers so he went all over the DC Metro area looking for something else.  I didn’t communicate very well (I just really wanted flowers that time), and it definitely started the night off on the wrong foot.

Things is, if you really love each other you spend all the other days of the year helping run a household or taking care of them in one way or another. On the other hand, giving someone jewelry on February 14th doesn’t mean you’re treating them well the rest of the time.

In the end, while V-Day is an opportunity to show appreciation for your partner (or a good friend or whomever you wish), it is not by necessity the defining calendar day of your relationship. And it can totally be fun and enjoyable if you remember what’s important.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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