With Valentine’s Day only 2 weeks away, I felt like it was my responsibility to help all those poor husbands out there. You would think after experiencing 30 plus years of Valentine’s Days that you would start to get it right. But, so many of you fail year after year and I have to sit over a glass of wine with my friends as we compare who had the lamest holiday. My gift to you men out there is to help you from being the butt of the joke at our next ladies night. So listen up boys!
Let’s start with what not to do…
Grocery store flowers. This says nothing more than I forgot to get you real flowers and I’m doing this to prevent myself from being in the doghouse. We ladies know when a bouquet from Harris Teeter shows up that night it was because you drove home from work and thought. “CRAP! I gotta stop and pick her up something!” It shows little thought an effort and even though we smile, you are still in the doghouse. Now, I’m not for spending $150 on ridiculous flowers. If you decide to go the grocery store route, maybe find out what your wife’s favorite flowers are. Took my man about 7 years to figure this out, but now he nails it every time. Harris Teeter will wrap them nicely for you so you don’t walk in with that bouquet you bought by the check-out with the price tag on them. Oh, and leave the carnations behind.. those are for high school secret admirers, not wives. My personal favorites? White roses, tulips, and peonies. Beautiful.
Valentine Cards. Now here is where you can score points in the positive or negative column. As you may know, Hallmark already has Valentine cards out. They have been out since December 26th. When you wait until the day before Valentine’s Day, the selection is pathetic and you end up getting a card that doesn’t make sense. There is nothing worse than those Valentine’s Day cards from the dog where you wrote “HA! HA! HA!” at the bottom. We can smell these cards from the minute we read the first sentence. Go early; get a card that is for real. When you do get a good card, that $3.50 you spent can go a long way later that night. 😉
You don’t think that your wife really cares about Valentine’s Day. I love hearing this one as I roll my eyes. “We don’t need a Hallmark holiday to show each other we love each other.” That is a load of crap. Even if she tells you this, she is lying. Just get over it and commit to this day forever. You go a V-day without anything for her and you are in serious trouble. You just don’t know it yet.
Lingerie. Okay, for some reason society has made men think that this is what we want for Valentine’s Day. It’s not. It’s what YOU want for Valentine’s Day. If you still choose to go this route, do yourself a favor and increase the odds that she is really going to wear it. Think of what you want her to wear in your head. Now, cut the trashy factor in half. That outfit is what she might ACTUALLY wear. Every lady wants to feel sexy, but she also wants to be able to make eye contact with you in the morning. If she’s not a lingerie kind of chick, then you can still do sexy without wasting money. Buy her matching bra and panties that are sexy that she can wear on date nights. Black lace, red, hot pink. She will feel amazing having these on under her date outfit and might increase her confidence later. (GET MY POINT HERE?) Less trashy, more sexy. That nurse outfit you had in mind may be a reach.
Kitchen stuff. I don’t even know what to say here. Under no circumstances is this a good gift for any occasion. I don’t care if she said she wanted that blender or needs a new vacuum. Do not even do this a joke. It’s never funny. Ever. This will make your wife the winner of “The Worst Valentine’s Day” with her friends. We don’t want to win that medal.
Chocolate. Now I’m the wrong person for this one. If my husband got me a big thing of chocolate, I would spend every day yelling at my kids to stay out of it or just end of giving it over to them in the end. If you are going for sweets, maybe just add a nice dessert to your dinner that night. Or bring home 4 chocolate covered strawberries. Not sure of anyone that I know that polishes off a heart full of 24 chocolates. Or is this another gift that you secretly want for yourself? Hmmm.. wait, this gift is starting to make sense.
Now, let’s get on to what you should do.
We have obviously covered the card that needs to simply make sense (not rocket science here), and flowers that you put thought into. I feel like I’m reinventing the wheel already. Now get ready for the advice that will blow your mind.
Make a reservation for dinner. Book a sitter. Get the kids to bed.
I wish men could understand these basics. When I have to plan everything, book childcare, feed the kids, give them baths, do the homework, put them to bed and THEN get myself ready for romance? We all know that a woman has decided before she even gets in the car what she is up for later that night. (This statement wigged my husband OUT!) So let’s start it off right. Let her take a nice relaxing bubble bath. Let her pick out something that she knows you like to see her in. Let her put on her red lipstick without chasing her 4 year old around that just stole it from her make up drawer. Your whole goal that night should be to allow her to come into it relaxed, it just ups your chances that she will like you by the end of the evening.
Dinner suggestions? Where to start… If you know her favorite place, then book it. Looking for a romantic place? Bentley’s Restaurant on 27, the Fig Tree, the McNinch House, Luce Restaurant, Villa Antonio, Del Friscos… the list goes on and on. Last year we didn’t feel like fighting the crowds so we cooked Lobsters from Harris Teeter. $14.99 a pound kids, simple as that. Or need to cheat? Just ask her girlfriends where she would like to go. They will help you out for sure.
Gift suggestions? This will depend on your lady. Maybe treat her to a night uptown after dinner with a stay at the Ritz or the Omni or try something different like the Duke Mansion. Don’t want to go out? Cook her breakfast that morning without the kids eating off her plate. Fix her coffee just right. Spa services are always a hit too. They key here is to just book it for her. Sometimes those gift cards will just sit in her purse and she will never get around to using them. But, if you tell her that she is booked tomorrow for a massage at the Ballantyne Hotel at 2:00, chances are she will go and love it. Jewelry is always nice. It doesn’t have to set you back thousands; it just needs to be thoughtful. Has she been eyeing something at David Yurman or Diamonds Direct? Then go get it! You will blow her away. Little boutiques around Charlotte also carry adorable (and affordable) jewelry at places like the Cheeky Bean and Luna. Perfume? Go to Neiman-Marcus and check out the Jo Malone section. Any scent here is amazing and she will love it. Does she love purses? Tory Burch has lovely ones or go to Nordstroms Rack on South Blvd and find a deal. My point on this is to just put thought into it. I can always tell when my husband did something quickly or really thought about it and yours can too. So set aside some time and do it right.
When in doubt, ask for help. Girlfriends, sisters, mothers.. all women are happy to help you with your wife. We are all excited to help any woman in the world have a good Valentine’s Day because we know how hard it can be to actually have one. Obviously my suggestions are just suggestions. If you guys just do card and flowers, great! Then just make sure they are on the mark. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be expensive.. it just needs to be thoughtful. I don’t know why we set the bar so high on this day, but we just do. So let’s acknowledge it and move on.
And we know what you want for Valentine’s Day so no article is needed. But maybe following some of this might help in that department.
Good Luck Boys!