2014-02-07 / Around Town

It’s Not Me, Right?

By Joan Johnson-Freese

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Gentlemen, consider this a Public Service Announcement just for you. There are do’s and dont’s about Valentine’s Day that seem to escape even the most savvy among you, and even more often those who just think themselves savvy, so let me help you out. There may be exceptions to these simple guidelines (and if that is the case, your Valentine might someday be up for sainthood), but to be on the safe side, you will want to keep them in mind. If you’re buying a gift for your loved one: no funny cards (even if she laughs, trust me, she won’t think it’s funny); no candy if she’s on a diet; nothing plastic; nothing that will turn her neck, arm or finger green; nothing from the drug store (those gifts scream “last minute”); and above all, no household appliances! Nothing spoils a romantic mood quite like a waffle iron, toaster oven or dust buster. If you are tempted to go the gift certificate route – it had better be delivered in the most romantic card ever written. And if you are taking her out for dinner, don’t ask where she wants to go! While you may try to pass that off as wanting to please, she will hear it as just another way of saying, “I didn’t plan anything.” No sitting at the counter to eat somewhere either. On the positive side, jewelry; tasteful lingerie; reservations at a nice restaurant; taking her somewhere she wants to go and you don’t, like the opera or ballet – suck it up, gentlemen; candy, if appropriate (in a box, not a candy bar); a super romantic card – even better if it is hand written; and flowers are all safe bets. Good luck. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

--Joan Johnson-Freese is a college professor, writer, commenter on life, and blogs at itsnotmeright.com.

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