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A Guy’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Okay, romantic ideas are a dime a dozen, and all the Valentine’s Day gift ideas – chocolate, roses, monster trucks – are much overdone. I’m no Martha Stewart or Supermom (first of all, I’m a guy), and Cosmo magazine pretty well cornered the market on “what to give him for Valentine’s Day.” You guys all know by rote what to get, so I’m here to inject meaning into that one day. If you really, really love your girlfriend or wife (or any other partner), I humbly submit a couple ideas as an alternative to the empty gestures of chocolates.

And if this post doesn’t suit you, come back tomorrow. I wrote a list of the strangest, goriest, insulting and just plain weird Valentine’s Day gifts out there, so stay tuned!

An Oh So Fine Valentine’s Day Evening

Yeah, my wife and I like to do the mushy stuff, and she waits with bated breath to see what I will do. (What the heck is “bated breath” anyway? … let me check … oh, short for “abaited”, or “lessened.” Shakespeare first penned it.) Anyway, here’s a couple ideas I threw in the past:

  • Baked a heart-shaped pizza with cupcakes – Super easy to do. There’s actually heart-shaped pans you can buy for your cupcakes. For the pizza, simply roll out the dough and cut out a heart. It’s actually harder than it sounds, because the dough stretches all out when you attempt to put it into a pan, making your pizza look more like a kidney (and why aren’t kidneys a symbol of romance? … oh, that’s why.) The solution, for me, is to simply cut the dough on the pizza stone (duh, why didn’t I do that the first time?). The remainder of the dough I make into breadsticks.
  • Spend a night out – Can’t do now, with kids (actually, we could, as grandma and grandpa live nearby), but this is definitely a treat. What I did was rent a room downtown, and the day of I secretly packed bags for me and my wife, then we drove downtown to our respective jobs as usual. I made sure to book the hotel close to where I work (actually, it was across the street.)

    At lunch, I quickly walked to a nearby store and purchased roses, Champagne (okay, “sparkling white wine”), fruits, cheeses and bread, took it to the front desk and asked them to display it all in my room (I gave them a $20 tip).

    Then, when I came to pick her up, I drove straight to the hotel rather than home. The hotel had the roses in a vase, the fruits were neatly arrayed on the table, the wine and glasses were nearby with a bucket filled with ice, and the cheese and bread had all been cut. We ordered room service and stayed all night.

    • For you literary types – My wife and I met in English class (English Romanticism, awwww … okay, enough!), so of course one Valentine’s Day was spent with John Donne quotes written on colored scraps and hidden around the house in places where she would discover them. The evening was spent with poetry and watching “Shakespeare in Love.” If all my manly credentials have now evaporated with this one, I apologize – actually, no I don’t! Go ahead, mock away. Guess what we did during the movie?

    Valentine’s Day, with Children

    We’re still new in this department, as our eldest is only 3, but we’re thinking of ideas. Last year it was having her participate in making home-made Valentine’s Day cards. These are a lot of fun – I simply went to a crafts store to buy paper lace, heart stickers, glue and construction paper. I cut out the hearts, taping one inside the other, and had her decorate any way she wished. The result was a mess of stickers and crayon, and it was the sweetest gift for Mommy.

    She made ones for Mommy and both Grandparents, and the morning of I served breakfast in bed (my daughter made the toast by slathering jam on it), then placed the cards and a rose from a vase onto a serving dish, then off to the bedroom we went to wake her up. Dinner was heart-shaped pizza while watching … Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Oh well.

    There’s my experiences. She hasn’t thrown me out of the house yet, so that’s a good sign. Hey, I need some ideas too, so please leave some comments or ideas on what you have done in the past!