Laura on Life

Valentine's Day conundrum

By Laura Snyder

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[February 03, 2010]  Valentine's Day is one of those holidays when, if you are in a relationship, you know something is required of you. The challenge tends to be determining just what exactly is required.

On the surface, men seem to have the toughest time with this. Should he get her chocolate? If she's on a diet this week, she might never forgive him for it. Is she on a diet? He doesn't remember.

How about flowers? She's allergic to some flowers, he thinks, but which ones? Flowers are lame anyway.

Maybe jewelry? What did he get her last year? That was so long ago.

At some point, he's going to get hungry from doing all that pondering and he will smile because he just had the greatest idea! He will take her out for dinner! ... Wait. Maybe that is what he did last year.

However, women are just as baffled as men. She loves him. She wants to show him she cares on Valentine's Day. But what to get him? Flowers are out for sure. His friends would pick on him. He'd love a box of chocolates, but she's watching his weight because he certainly won't do it.

Jewelry? For a man? Nope. He'd never wear it anyway. Or worse, he'd wear and it would somehow get caught in the fan belt of his V8 Triton engine and then… he'd never wear it again.

She could make him a nice dinner, but chances are good that he will be taking her out for dinner again this year.

Hallmark has made bazillions of dollars because of this Valentine's Day enigma. Ever since an imaginary baby with a bow and arrow shot you both with his pheromone-tipped projectile, a Hallmark card has been the only "safe" way to express your feelings on Valentine's Day.

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The problem with a Hallmark card on Valentine's Day is that it's like the minimum amount due on a credit card statement. No matter how heartfelt the sentiment, the card is the least that is expected of you. At its best, it will merely smooth over any bloopers you make with whatever it is you decide to do for your sweetheart on Valentine's Day.

If there were no such thing as Valentine's Day, we wouldn't be under such pressure to deliver. If it was just another ordinary day and you brought home flowers, she'd know you were thinking about her, and it wouldn't really matter that you didn't remember which flowers send her into anaphylactic shock. She'd probably forgive you… eventually.

When it's Valentine's Day it's different, though. In essence, this holiday is designed to remind us deadbeats to do something special for our loved ones because we are apparently too stupid to remember without a huge, commercialized holiday with giant red and pink hearts plastered everywhere to remind us. We might do something special for each other nearly every day of the year, but Lord help us if we forget on Valentine's Day, because, really… it's not possible. Therefore, we must have forgotten on purpose.

I wish I could help you decide what to get your one and only for Valentine's Day, but I'm as much in the dark as everyone else. The only thing I can give you is a warning: If, through some strange series of events, you don't see the very conspicuous pink and red hearts everywhere and you forget Valentine's Day and come home empty-handed on Feb. 14, the rest of February is going to be pretty rough for you. March and April aren't looking too good either.


Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author and speaker. You can reach her at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com or visit www.lauraonlife.com for more info.

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