February 25, 2008

Shmalentine's Day

Some men CAN handle the pressure on Valentine's Day!

Ladies and gentlemen, lovers of all ages! The Epitaph proudly brings to you its guide to Valentine's Day!

A couple of weeks ago my local newspaper ran a column by one of its regular journalists that ticked me off enough to comment about it. Perhaps you have someone like him who writes for your daily rag in your neck of the woods. But even if you don't, you'll probably recognize the material. His normal columns are like the blueprint of a cliche sitcom where the man is an out of touch moron, his wife is the intelligent cynic, and their children are the products of the modern society that frightens and confuses the father. We get it, today's world is lunacy and your generation was a better, simpler time. All men are clueless meat heads and women are clever manipulators. But I will hand it to him, he's at his best when he's discussing the peculiarities of Rhode Island, his most common subject matter.

Last Valentine's Day, the writer published a column that could have been the script of the aforementioned sitcom's traditional and predictable V-Day episode. He started off badly by titling his piece "Men just can't handle the pressure on Valentine's Day". Not some men, not most men, but MEN. That's all inclusive. Maybe you can't handle the "pressure", don't try to cast me in a bad light as well. I'm not afraid of Valentine's Day. Let's dissect some key points in his article.
-Valentine's Day is a plot by women? All females concocted this plan just to see their male counterparts "suffer"? Maybe this column is satire. No one could truly believe this. Okay, let's say V-Day is in fact an evil plot by the women-folk. Maybe it's true significance is to separate the men from the boys. The vertebrates from the invertebrates.
-He is right when he states that V-Day is a money-making holiday for candy and card companies. The same can be said for Easter, X-Mas, and to an even lesser extent, Halloween. But whose fault is it for being a consumer whore? Keep in mind that this is not a birthday or X-Mas where you max out your credit card. Not that you should do that anyway. The only time you should be saving up your cash for weeks in order to buy her a single piece of jewelry is when you're ready to enter that holy sanctimony of marriage. If she demands you to empty a diamond mine every year, drop her early. Remember when you were a single guy? What was the term for a woman who demands constant reward for no reason other than being with you? Gold digger. You're not supposed to marry those.
-Many women would not appreciate it if you made a public spectacle of your affection for her.
-"Don't get me anything" translates to "Not only do you have to get me something, but it has to be excessive"? On what planet? Did you marry an extraterrestrial that doesn't grasp our language? If your wife tells you she wants nothing, or not to go all out for a gift, here's some helpful hints, from me to you. Buy her the traditional holiday fare of candy, flowers, and card. Or take her out to a nice restaurant. Say "I love you", mean it, and prove it. If your wife will tell you that she doesn't want anything for Valentine's Day, and then you honor her wish or, out of the goodness of your heart, buy her a little something just to show that you care... and then she puts you in the proverbial dog house because it isn't what she wants... trust me, serve up those divorce papers now. She either isn't happy with you anymore, or just can't be pleased, is miserable, and likes to spread her misery. You'll be much happier giving her half your net worth than spending the rest of your life in fear of this woman. I can not imagine the evil creature you're married to who will get mad at you for not breaking the bank on a gift for her after asking for nothing. Love is supposed to be shown, not purchased. I'm sorry you're either married to a woman that can't be pleased, or your wife married a man who doesn't know how to please her.
-Why do women need so many purses? Is this an original musing, such as wondering why women need so many shoes?
-Okay, I laughed when the writer and his brother recalled previous V-Days when they got their wives crappy gifts. Their ineptitude amuses me. Do they not get this holiday? Get a gift that shows love, not one that will help with the wife's chores. Unless they specifically ask for it.
-A woman has every right to treat their husband like a brainless goon if they can't handle or even understand Valentine's Day.
-The only part of the column I agree with is when the writer's wife told him "You're a weak excuse for a husband, and I don't know why I married you". You got her a fuckin' oven mitt for Valentine's Day. Not only that, you just admitted such to the entire state. Maybe the true reason why she asks for nothing is because she knows you can't handle it. Does she ask for nothing on her birthday and X-Mas too?

I wonder if your wife reads your column. She now knows that you are clueless when it comes to her interests. Then again, she probably already knew.

What the hell is wrong with you if you dread buying her a gift? How long have you known this woman and you don't know her wants? If you need a hint, ASK HER! I've bought romantic gifts for a lady-friend who didn't know she was going to receive anything from me. You know what? I had a fun time doing it, because I actually like to put a smile on the face of a girl I'm into. I didn't feel forced or intimidated. And guess what happened? She liked my surprise gifts so much, she proclaimed that I should be her official shopper. You see, I'm not even married to her, and yet I "get her". I know what she likes, and there was, at no time, the desire to pull my hair out in frustration over what to purchase. V-Day helped build affection, not destroy it.

"Ah, but James," you all say, "you're single and never married, you couldn't possibly know what it's like to go through what I do on the days leading up to Valentine's Day!" That may be true, but let me share a fun little fact with you all. I have parents. And I was lucky enough to grow up with them. That means I've been around to witness many a V-Day between a married couple. So what gifts do my mother and father exchange every year on February 14th? What bank-busting presents did they give that they spent weeks pondering over buying for their significant other in order to keep the marriage peaceful? Candy and cards. That's all. There was no anger, silent treatment, or remarks such as "is this all I'm worth to you?" Instead, they thanked each other and went about their happy union. Ya know why? Because my parents actually love each other, not the material rewards they thrust upon the other. The only disagreements they ever have with each other revolves around my mother's unrelentless purchasing of decorations.

Finally, unhappy men in relationships, if your partner insists you splurge on them for Valentine's Day, then let them know about Steak and a Blowjob Day.

And that's just the way it is.
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