Tell a FriendLeigh AnneLeigh Anne Jasheway ~ Queen of Stress

Men are From Mars, Women Expect a Valentine Anyway

All my male friends hate Valentine’s Day. Married, single, comatose… it doesn’t matter. Just utter the "V" word and they all curl in the fetal position and whimper for their mommies.

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, most men might as well just stand on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that says, "Will have sex for chocolate," because that pretty well sums up their understanding of the holiday.

But it’s really not their fault. Valentine’s Day is not an equal rights holiday, and it’s the testosterone set that suffers. Women expect men to magically transform for the day into Brad Pitt or Antonio Banderas, or even Mr. Rogers (a breathy "Will you be my neighbor" is so much more romantic than "I can’t see the game through your butt.") We want to be swept off our feet by someone who will cook us a gourmet meal, light appropriately-scented candles, and not just hand us a dozen roses from the florist, but arrange them in a vase with baby’s breath and a few daffodils. In other words, for Valentine’s Day, women want Martha Stewart in George Clooney’s body. (Some women want Martha Stewart in Martha Stewart’s body, but that’s another column.)

On their other hand, we women know that the only thing that guys want for Valentine’s Day is the same thing they want for Labor Day and Memorial Day and National No-Socks Day – power tools. No, I mean, sex. Although power tools are a good back-up gift idea. "I’m sorry, honey, I have this awful headache. But look at these drill bits!" So we don’t spend a lot of time worrying about what to get you or how to make the day special. Which is good because it gives us plenty of time to build up unrealistic expectations of how you’re going to finally provide us the perfect romantic day we’ve longed for since we were in utero.

In a nutshell, when it comes to Valentine’s Day guys, you’re screwed. But, so that you might suffer less, let me offer you a few helpful tips as you gear up for the coming holiday from hell:

1. Valentine’s Day is February 14th. We know it’s hard to remember this, especially when you’re also expected to remember our birthday and our name, but try. . .

2. Poetry is nice, but poetry with too many sports references will bring out the yellow flags. Here is an example of a poem that will land you in the penalty box this Valentine’s Day (that’s February 14th):

How do I love thee
Let me tell you
I love you as much as The Shaq loves a good slam dunk
I love you all 500 laps of the Indy 500
I love you as much as the SuperBowl
Well maybe not as much, but if you’d let me drink beer while we had sex
Then, yes, I’d love you as much as the SuperBowl.
Well, at least as much as SuperBowl XXIX.

3. As you look for just the right gift, keep in mind that despite what you see on TV and in the glossy catalogs you drool over, most women really don’t want anything from Victoria’s Secret for Valentine’s Day (February 14th). You want to know what Victoria’s secret is, guys? Prozac. It’s the only way the models can smile through a photo shoot while wearing bras that create cleavage from the knees up and underwear that rides so far up, you’d have to do a colonoscopy to find it! On the other hand, if you buy us a flannel nightshirt or pajamas from K-Mart, we’ll think you don’t find us sexy and leave you.

4. Chocolates are nice, especially if Valentine’s Day (February 14th) happens to fall during "that time of the month when we need chocolates more than oxygen." But never, and I mean never, present your true love with a 72-lb. box of chocolate truffles along with a coupon for Bertha’s Big & Tall Woman’s Fitness Center and Primal Scream Therapy Clinic. Unless you find the emergency room romantic.

5. All women are different and we all want different things. So you can pretty much ignore my advice in #1-#4.

Good luck guys. Maybe you should call your mother after all. What could it hurt? Oh, and have a happy Valentine’s Day (February 14th).

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