If you’ve come to my blog today, Valentine’s Day Eve, to look for Valentine’s Day gift ideas, you must desperate! Don’t worry, Uncle HoaiPhai won’t let you down. Here are a few things you can do for the woman in your life that will make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable she’s ever had and earn you major husband points!
- Rinse your dishes before you leave them in the sink for her to clean.
- Throw both your socks in (or near) the laundry hamper… nothing riles a woman more than having to set aside a solitary stinky sock in anticipation of its partner showing up.
- If your sweetie is dieting, reprogram her digital scale to display “TILT” when a person weighing more than her target weight steps upon it.
- If your wife happens upon you in a bar with a woman half her age nibbling on your ear and mistakes this for over-familiarity, make sure that your companion shows your spouse proper respect by addressing her as “Ma’am”.
The Real List
OK, enough with the silly suggestions. The sands of time have made great progress eroding my boyish good looks, so I have to rely on my actions to put me in good favour with Mrs. HoaiPhai. And as a guy who has been scraped around the block more than once by the ladies, I’ve come to learn a thing or two about what makes women tick, and what ticks them off. I’m no Cupid Copernicus, but at least I have the brains to take note when I go terribly wrong and try to repeat the things I’ve done right.
Because you and I are such good friends, I am willing to share my knowledge with you. So here is a list of some things the average guy can do to make his lady feel special.
- Flowers: Guys consider giving a woman flowers as cliché and I personally think that women’s reaction to getting a bunch of blooms is beyond comprehension and over-the-top out of proportion, but who cares? Women generally go nuts for them whether or not we males know why. Every woman who has ever found my Valentine’s gift fall short of her expectations has had a favourite flower. Get to know “her flower” by name and on sight. If you don’t know it already, it’s too late to ask at this late date — asking at this late date will tip her off to the fact you haven’t been spending months planning this year’s Thanksgiving for Having Found Her. Just get her a bouquet of whatever kind you, as a dumb male, thinks she’ll like, give them to her on Valentine’s Day and then ask her, in all humility, what her favourite flower actually is. She’ll forgive you for having given her the “wrong” flowers, cherish the flowers you did buy, and love you for caring enough to ask what her favourite is. On top of that, she will be absolutely stunned that you know that every woman has a favourite variety of flower and that you actually admitted to not knowing what hers is.
- The Card: Buy (or better yet, make) her a schmaltzy card and write some of your own words on there. “Happy Valentine’s Day! Love, your husband Ned.” just won’t cut it… try to think of some little thing about her that makes you smile and tell her about it in the card. Whatever you do, be sincere and don’t make stuff up… women’s memories are more reliable than most forms of optical storage.
- Flexi-Time: No this is not a sexual position that can only be safely executed by two (or more) contortionist acrobats who received their training behind the former Iron Curtain. What I am talking about is arranging to hold your personal Valentine’s Day celebration on the Saturday after February 14 or some other time convenient to you both. You’ll both be more rested, have more time to do more stuff together, and you won’t have to wake up early the next day to go to work. Isn’t it stupid that Valentine’s Day isn’t one of those “floater holidays” that falls on, say, the second Saturday of February? By the way, even if you do agree on a non-February 14 date, you’re still on the hook to give her flowers and a card on the official day!
- Dinner Out: Every woman loves to be waited upon so treat her like the queen she is. Take her out to some place that is just a little fancier than you feel necessary — someplace that has one of her favourite delicacies that she hasn’t enjoyed in a while. If you know how to cook (I mean really know how to cook) and want to take it up a notch, make dinner for her yourself, set the table with candles and doilies, and do the dishes afterwards.
- Chick Flick: After dinner, take her to a chick flick or rent or buy her favourite tear-jerker and watch it at home, holding hands. Chances are you’ll lose interest within the first 15 minutes so do a little research on-line beforehand. Memorize all the intricacies of the plot and when the movie’s over and you’ve emerged from your estrogen overdose coma, discuss the characters’ relationships with her.
- Lingerie: We men love our women to wear sexy lingerie — the smuttier the better, right? We are terrible at reading women’s “signals” but some purpose-built naughty outfit sends a pretty clear message and removes any doubt as to her intentions. Frankly, I have never been in a relationship with a woman who took it upon herself to wear garments sewn together by the textile equivalent of microsurgeons. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky because whenever I’m in the mall and pass by the “Lascivious Lace” stores and glance in, the customers are always women! At any rate, unless your personal Valentine has shown an interest in wearing naughty unmentionables, don’t buy them for her because if you get them too small, you’ll make her feel either fat or like some giant mutant. If you get them too big, she’ll think that you think of her as being fat. She also might think that you’re buying her lingerie because you need the extra inspiration — her being naked isn’t good enough for you anymore. Maybe she’ll think that you want her to wear it to remind you of someone from your past who used to wear things like that. Even if you level with her, explaining that a little wrapping on a Christmas gift makes things a little more exciting won’t help. And God forbid that you tell her that her surprising you by wearing a sexy negligee lets you know she’s feeling romantic… that’ll make you an insensitive cretin in her books!You just cannot win. If you really want to test the waters, buy her a gift certificate for a place that specializes in underwear and sleep wear that also has the see-through stuff. If she comes home with a G-string and pasties, consider yourself lucky. If she comes home with cotton utility panties or flannel pyjamas for day-to-day use, you can take comfort in knowing that she had a fun afternoon shopping on your dime. So buying her lingerie is probably not a good idea. Besides, did you really want to fumble with those fasteners in the back that must have been designed by Brinks?
- Getaway Trip: No matter where you live, there is most likely some small romantic town just an hour or two away and women love spending a couple of nights in a hotel or a bed & breakfast. I don’t know what it is about sleeping on a rented bed that women go nuts over — maybe it is the gallons of one thousand other couples’ pheromones soaked into the mattress. Whatever the reason, pick a nice, quiet place that she’ll like and don’t forget the dinner reservations.
- Boudoir Photo: Guys’ brains are hardwired to respond to seeing naked or nearly naked women by initiating the physiological sexual launch code. Women, not so much. So unless you’re a member of that 0.05% of men that women think are sexy-looking when naked, a boudoir photo of you is not going to do for her what a suggestive photo of her will do for you. But what you could do is enlist the services of a good photographer to whip up a campy Costanza-esque semi-nude of you to give to your lady. Make sure that you won’t be embarrassed by her displaying it on her desk at work if you go through with the plan. She’ll love it!
- Put on Your Listening Ears: This is probably the number one thing you can give the love of your life on Valentine’s Day… your undivided attention. Truly listen to her. Take it all in and maybe something she says will remind you of why you fell in love with her in the first place.
Look, nobody’s perfect. Maybe you forgot her favourite flower, maybe you forgot about her allergy and presented chocolate-covered peanuts to her — it really doesn’t matter. Listen and watch this Valentine’s Day for clues that will make next year’s celebration that much better. Start a file on your computer that lists all your wife’s favourite stuff — you’re a guy so you’re bound to forget by next year, right? And don’t forget to include a separate “She Doesn’t Like This” column in your list!
Add to the list all year long. Every time you go shopping together, make mental notes when she hovers over some bauble and add it to your list when you get home. Remember when she comments favourably about a purse she sees in a movie. Jot down that she’d like to have her favourite picture framed. If you are paying attention, you’ll soon find you have compiled a huge list of stuff your wife wants and this will come in handy not only next Valentine’s Day, but at Christmas and on her birthday, too!
Happy Valentine’s Day!