I had to take my Aunt Tootie to the doctor yesterday. While she went in for her check up, I sat in the waiting room reading an US magazine. There was a short piece in there from "relationship columnist" Dan Savage, giving tips on Valentine's Day dilemmas. I ended up jotting down his advice because it was just too strange to pass up. Plus, I needed a blog topic....
Basically, Dan gave us 6 problems and how to fix them.
1) You're the only one at work who doesn't get flowers.
Dan advises that it is pathetic to send yourself flowers and to try not to see this day as a competition.
Are you kidding me? There are people out there who actually send themselves flowers? Call me naive, but it never occurred to me that anyone would do that. And why flowers? I mean, if I am going to send myself something, it isn't going to be some namby pamby flowers, I am sending a big ass box of Godiva chocolates. I am the perfect person to know what Maria would want and candy wins over flowers, hands down.
2) You're in a new relationship.
Dan suggests that you do something "fun" instead of romantic, like see a horror movie or go bowling.
Okay, BOWLING? Yeah, right at the beginning of the relationship, I really, really want to engage in a sport where my ass is not only front and center, but actually gets splayed out as I bend over and try to roll a heavy ball down an alley. And a horror movie? Did I mention that I get queasy around blood? It is the main reason why I am not a surgeon. I don't mind jumping into people's heads, but I do NOT want to look at their internal organs. Remember The Blair Witch Project? Well, I actually went on a first date to see that. I nearly threw up at the tiny fleeting part where the girl finds that tiny bag of teeth. And then, the bloody handprints on the wall? Oh, good hell. I distinctly remember my date asking me if I wanted to go out for pizza afterwards and I looked at her incredulously and suggested that I'd rather go out and get shit faced drunk instead. I think she thought it was her lucky night but actually I just wanted to get that movie OUT OF MY HEAD.
3) He gives you a lame gift.
Dan says to be cool about it. That he is sure that you have disappointed your partner too at times.
Bing is famous for getting me gifts that SHE likes. She buys me obscure cds by groups that I have never heard of. She once bought me a self help book about taking better care of my finances. Yeah, that went over well. I realized that I needed to be blunt, so I just told her to get me a funny (not gooey...I hate that shit) card and I leave a constant wish list on the fridge. She can pick something off there. The current wish list has 3 items on it: A) a massage B) the new John Grisham book (I am a sucker for his stuff, sorry) and C) tickets to see Van Halen or Bon Jovi. I make it simple for her and it's better for all involved, trust me.
4) You don't know whether to get him a gift.
Dan says if you want one, get him one.
I say that if you haven't kissed for at least ten minutes straight, then forget it. I remember one year when I had recently begun dating this woman and on February 14th, she surprised me at dinner with a pricey diamond bracelet. I was flabbergasted. I hadn't even known it was Valentine's Day. Seriously. I had never really been into that day and since we had only had three previous dates, it never occurred to me that I needed to get her anything. I actually asked her why she was giving me a gift. She replied that I was her Valentine. I think I said something really deep like.."ohhh." She spent the rest of dinner looking hopefully at me while I wondered if I could somehow manage to sneak into a Walgreens and at least grab a card or something. I eventually just told her the truth, that I didn't really see us as Valentines just yet and she should probably take back the bracelet. I think she called me a "hard hearted bitch."
5) Someone asks if you have plans and you don't.
Dan says not to lie, that maybe someone is trying to set you up with a friend or is having a single's party, etc.
Another baffling moment. Why would you LIE about not being free on Valentine's Day? I mean, I just don't get it. That is a PROBLEM that needs to be dealt with? Is your self esteem so precarious that you would be inclined to not only send yourself flowers but also lie and what? Pretend that Justin Timberlake is coming by? And speaking of Justin, have you all seen that kick ass diet Pepsi commercial with him in it? It is truly one of the better ones....
6) You want a special evening with him.
Here Dan and I finally agree. Dan says to tell your partner "cheerfully but firmly" that you want to spend time together and it is important.
Abso-fucking-lutely. I seem to spend a lot of time telling Bing to do things "cheerfully but firmly." It works. Because her idea of what works with me and my idea of what I want are very different. It is the same with sex. I have found that if you aren't getting what you need, you need to "cheerfully and firmly" say exactly what you want.
Of course, this only comes into play if I remember that it is Valentine's Day. But, now that I have a child, I tend to be better about remembering this stuff. She needs to buy Valentines for her class, etc and I always find a little card for her and a little chocolate heart or something similar. And then something for Bing as well.
Actually, I think what I told Bing was: "Just don't get me a fucking self help book again, okay?"
Her answer: "Bloody right. Like I WANT to have you open up the gift and then look at me like I just gave you a pile of dog shit?"
She's learning. Ah, the romance of it all.....