The Engineer’s View of Valentine’s Day | HumorOutcasts

The Engineer’s View of Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2012

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.  .


Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books ( As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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9 Responses to The Engineer’s View of Valentine’s Day

  1. February 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Just send yourself flowers with a lovely card “from a secret admirer”, he might take more notice lol.

    • February 14, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Tried this one Dionne, I swear. He didn’t buy it. But the next year I did get flowers, but the trend did not last. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. February 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    You’ve described me impeccably. Loved this post, because I understand exactly where your husband is coming from, however, underneath all the logic, I can sometimes dig out a soft, mushy, romantic interior, I bet he’s the same way.

    • February 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      You are an IT guy Kevin, so pretty much the same as an engineer, but I do agree that even though you guys aren’t warm and fuzzy on the outside too often, the soft heart is definitely not that difficult to find.

  3. February 14, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I have to say that I DID buy Mary a bouquet of flowers (roses and lilies) to be delivered from Teleflora this weekend. I just couldn’t resist the plea by Adriana Lima on her Super Bowl commercial. I also got her (us) a box of Belgian dark chocolate heart truffles from Trader Joe’s. When it comes to jewelry, I have taken a hiatus on buying more jewelry after getting Mary a jewelry armoir for Christmas (which is full to the gills!) I may not be as romantic as some non-engineers, but I do know that it is good to keep the little woman happy! 🙂

    • February 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      okay, you’re retired so any romance that occurs now is post engineering. 🙂 Actually, Mike you give me hope because I know how romantic you have always been with Mary, so I think we should make you the poster child for developing the romantic gene in engineers. Are you ok with that?

      • February 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        So you want me to develop the logical path to romanticism?! OK, I’m on it! BTW, I even took Mary to see “The Vow” yesterday, even though it’s an obvious chick flick. (The rewards are worth the effort!)

  4. Kathy Minicozzi
    February 14, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I think you are a very lucky woman.

    • February 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

      Don’t say that too loud! I don’t want him to think he never has to get me a gift. 🙂

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