Each Valentine’s Day, my friends tell me what they want to receive from their husbands and boyfriends. Some want big-ticket items; some want a day of romance. Me, I just want to be able to have control of the TV remote. My husband hates Valentine’s Day. He sees it as an illogical holiday whose only purpose is to get men to spend money on unnecessary items. Don’t judge him harshly as he is a computer engineer. Translation: geek central. While I sometimes wish his logical brain would shift into neutral and swerve to the romantic side of the road, I have to admit that I have come to see his way of thinking when it comes to this over-the-top holiday. So, below is a list of gifts I will never receive on any February 14th.
Jewelry: “Jewelry makes no sense.” I have heard my husband mutter these words for many a year. Why would he spend thousands of dollars on bling when he could put that money into a more practical purpose such as replacement windows or a new water heater. The Engineer Argument: “A ring will only sit on your finger for a few hours a day and make you a target for a mugging, but new windows or a new water heater will keep the house comfy and cozy all winter long. Isn’t that more romantic?”
Flowers : They will be dead in five days and he does not like to pay premium dollars for flowers that will eventually bloom in our garden in the spring and summer. His engineer Valentine’s solution: Defer Valentine’s to late May when he can cut the roses from our own yard. This has a double advantage: rose bushes get pruned and I can say he gave me flowers he grew just for me. So simple and yet, oh so cheap, but I get it.
Dinner out: Why? We eat out once or twice a month anyway. For Valentine’s Day, restaurants charge three times the prices they normally charge to get a meal that as he says, “You can make better than they can anyway.” The engineer side swipe; see what he does here: He compliments my culinary skills thus evading any wrath that might be incurred because he didn’t make reservations for a special romantic dinner.
Vacation: Oh, to dream! I think if he did this, I would literally drop dead and then he would go on this vacation with some other woman, and guess what? That “over my dead body” saying would come true – and NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE, is going to some tropical paradise without me especially if he plans on taking along some floozy, and I have an idea who that floozy might be, so no way! I will strike them both down from the grave before I let them enjoy my vacation. Engineer solution: Make a few tropical drinks, rent a movie from Netflix and not tempt fate.
Hallmark Cards:. Save a tree and skip the mushy cards. It’s much more personal to just say “I love you” and be done with it. My husband doesn’t understand why he needs rhyming words at $4.50 a card to get the point across that he loves me. “If you really want a poem, I’ll pay you to write it.” Yes, he might have missed the whole “surprise me with a card” thing, but I do get his overall concept.
Before anyone thinks I feel deprived, let me emphasize that I do not. Sure, sometimes I think it would be nice if he adopted a love for bling, but after 20+ years of marriage, I know that is never going to happen. And to be honest, if he surprised me with replacement windows, I would be thrilled. While it’s true I can’t walk around showing off an energy efficient, triple paned, tilt-in window on my ring finger, I can appreciate its value when the next blizzard hits. A diamond may last forever, but it won’t keep my toes toasty in the winter. .