Monday, February 13, 2012

Some tips for making every day Valentine's Day.

Well, here we are again, teetering our windmilling arms over the yawning chasm that is America's premier celebration of guilt, penance and obligation—Valentine's Day.

Whenever I ponder this God forsaken event, I'm reminded of Daniel Stern's aptly phrased line in City Slickers: "If hate were people, I'd be China."

I know, I know. The word "hate" is a strong one and its power isn't lost on me. While the people who've most frequently directed it at me would technically be known as my daughters, any familial bond vaporizes once the temper scale is cranked high enough to hurl the "H Bomb" my way.

While their vitriol can be triggered by nothing more than a request to clean a room or feed the cat, three words come to mind once they've chosen the nuclear option: green Linda Blair.

Nevertheless, I maintain my choice of this word when describing my feelings toward the events of February 14. I think I've made it clear, especially in this post, why I'd rather chew through my Achilles Tendon using only my old eight grade football mouth guard than observe VD.

How did this holiday originate? Maybe it was started by America's early Calvinist settlers, who, in attempting to win God's sovereign grace, believed that dropping off a nice card and sixteen-pack of Peeps at the local worship hut may secure them backstage passes to Heaven.

Somewhere down the line, of course, God was bumped aside by wives and girlfriends.

Guys, I'm not here to judge you. If you possess the chutzpah to atone for a year's worth of screwing up simply by dropping a Benjamin on some long-stemmed roses and a case of Brach's Choice Chocolates, now with thirty percent less wax, then your female divination skills dwarf mine.

My best one-day shot would be to arrange for my kids and I to back out of the driveway just as Johnny Depp arrives wearing a pirate outfit and holding a portable massage table.

That's why, in order to avoid such a pressure-packed, expectation-laden day, I've taken it upon myself to sprinkle smaller, yet more heartfelt, gestures throughout the year as signs of appreciation for my life mate.

For instance, if she becomes irritated by something I do on a Tuesday, I remind her that merely two days hence I filled her car with that middle-priced gasoline which no one ever buys—not the cheap stuff with chunks of Belarusian sand still mixed in, but also not the fiscally irresponsible expensive grade petrol.

You should see her face.

I always remember to listen to her. I've come to realize that she's not necessarily looking for an answer to her problems; just a compassionate ear in which to voice her fears and concerns. I will often gingerly grasp her hand and propose that we resume the conversation in a calm nook of her favorite sports bar.

Any bar will do, my love.

Occasionally, I'll suggest attending a movie starring one of her favorites: Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, or especially Kate Winslet. Ms. Winslet doesn't mind appearing unglamorous, which gives her that approachable, "real" aura to which many women can relate . There's also a fairly good chance she'll be naked at some point.

After the film, I avoid speaking until I've been driving for a while. This gives the impression that I've been moved by the story. When I feel the time is right, I'll say something like, "Holy shit. That was one impactful performance."

It's a technique for maintaining my highly desirable manliness while also exhibiting profound sensitivity.

Finally, upon returning home, I insist on making her dinner. I don't worry about the size of the meat chunks as long as I refer to them as medallions.

So please, brothers, don't be sucked into Valentine's Day. Make every day Valentine's Day and then you won't need to make Valentine's Day Valentine's Day even though it will be because every day needs to be Valentine's Day and therefore Valentine's Day is one of those days that needs to be treated like Valentine's Day, so I guess you'll have to.

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