Ah, Valentine’s Day Gifts from the man in my life. How romantic. Having become single again at the ripe old age of 55, I must admit I came on to the dating scene with some unrealistic expectations. I was used to cards, flowers and personal gifts on Valentine’s Day. I was used to dining out, with candlelight, wine, music and abject devotion. (Well, sort of.) I was shocked at the lack of savvy some men have when it comes to Valentine’s Day gifts for her. Just for them, and the thousands like them who could no doubt benefit from my guidance, here is a list of Valentine’s Day Gift No-No’s.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #1: Sick Humor. This is not the time to find hilarious Valentines Day cards that say things like “My love for you burns deep within me. No wait, that’s acid reflux.” No joke gifts, no Valentine-ograms delivered to the door by ugly people.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #2: Frugality. Do not whip out a discount coupon when you pay for your romantic Valentine’s Day dinner with your beloved. The impression you want to give is that nothing, absolutely nothing, is too good, too expensive, or too special for the one you love. Don’t even suggest the “earlybird special”, splitting an entree or asking what drinks are half price.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #3: Amnesia. If you forget Valentine’s Day, you can just forget it. Period. Seriously, you will hear hundreds of advertising messages between now and Valentine’s Day. Every store you enter will have Valentine’s Day displays of everything from slinky lingerie to gauche heart shaped boxes of chocolate with lace trim. There is no way you can “accidentally” forget Valentine’s Day. You will be revealing a deepseated desire to disappoint, reject and insult her, and she will go into proactive predumping mode, prolonged sulking or outright fury.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #4: Thrift. (This is a lot like frugality but it bears re-emphasizing.) Do not bring her anything from Good Will or the Thrift Store. Nothing used (unless it’s your grandmother’s heirloom diamond engagement ring) is permissable on Valentine’s Day. You should have saved up for this all year, or at least a couple of weeks.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #5: Rude Implications. This could be as stupid as giving her an oversize wine glass because you know “how she likes to drink.” Or a chocolate pacifier. Or a diet cookbook. Or a gift certificate to a plus size clothing store. In fact, better read “clothing errors” below. Oh also, no remarking “I was going to give you candy, but you know you need to watch your ….(calories, carbs, weight, waistline.)”
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #6: Clothing Errors. This is a potential minefield. If you give her something that’s too big, she’ll hate you, especially if you say “I asked the saleslady what size she wore and then doubled it.” If you give her something that’s too small, she’ll be flattered. Unless you insist she tries it on and it won’t even go over her hips. Don’t say “But it looked so cute on the model.” And don’t keep asking why she never wears it.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #7: Guidance from Mother. Especially when it comes to lingerie, do not take your Mom’s recommendations, or even ask for them. This could haunt you during the romantic portion of the evening. And as is obvious to all but hopeless clunkheads, never say it was your Mother’s idea, or that she picked it out, or that you got her one, too. (Ewwww.) (This caution also applies to all female administrative assistants and co-workers.)
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #8: Texting. Oh sure, you can text “I lv u” on Valentine’s Day, as long as you are also doing any three of the following: flowers, candy, gift, card, dinner. Then it will seem to be just one more example of your growing obsession. But you can’t get away with a text only Valentine’s Day message. Or with texting during your candlelight dinner.
Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No #9: Plug-Ins. No way. Let her pick out her own blender.
To my amazement, a tiny percentage of females who read this Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her No-No’s said they are happy with a stick of gum and a smile, or nothing at all for a Valentine’s Day gift, and that perhaps this article is shallow and superficial. One reader even pulled out that old aphorism “It’s the thought that counts,” but he seemed to have a private agenda.
For other suggestions, see my soon to be published article: Best Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her for Men to Give.