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February 06, 2011

Elaine Viets' Valentine Advice for the Love Worn

Dear Auntie Elaine: Heart2

Is Valentine’s Day important? I see reminders everywhere, but do modern women really care about this over-hyped holiday? I am . . .

Desperate in Dubuque

ADVERTISING has only increased the pressure, Desperate. Your true love expects something February 14. In grade school, young lovers can get by with candy hearts and cute paper valentines.

                                            Candy hearts

As your true love gets older (and more nubile) she wants more.

In her twenties and thirties, your heart’s desire expects major tribute. She will see the other women at her office getting flashy bouquets or hear them talk about plans for romantic dinners on Valentine’s Day. On February 15, women compare scalps. You need to do something showy. At the very least, send a bouquet suitable for a Mob funeral to her office.

Mob funeral 

As your love matures, Valentine’s Day becomes trickier. Wives and lovers start feeling taken for granted.

Forget Valentine’s Day, and you’ll confirm their worst fears. They’ll believe you no long love her – or him. (Women should remember Valentine’s Day, too. We believe in equal sensitivity.)

Don’t forget, St. Valentine was supposedly a Roman priest who married Christian couples when that was forbidden by the emperor. He was caught and sentenced to death. First he was beaten, then stoned. He still survived. (Getting the symbolism, Desperate? Undying love? Angry lover?) Finally, Valentine was beheaded. Once he lost his head, that was it.

Val12 Bashing and beheading promoted Valentine to the patron saint of lovers – as well as bee keepers, epilepsy, plague and fainting. Don’t ask me what bees, plague and fainting have to do with love. I ripped that information off the Internet.

 Dear Auntie Elaine:

I don’t know what to get my beloved for Valentine’s Day. What should I buy?

                                          Clueless in Columbus

YOUR BELOVED is dropping hints, Clueless. You need to listen. If you are lucky, your lover will give you a direct hint. Here’s one:

"Sweetums, Nordstorms has a sale and there’s a pink silk Donna Karan blouse for the incredible low price of $79.83. I wear a size ten."

Here’s another:

"Sugarpie, iPads are on sale at the applestore.com for only $629. That’s not bad for an iPad Wi-Fi + 3G 16G Tablet."

Recognize that your beloved’s wish is a command. Get it.

Some lovers are subtle. They drop indirect hints. You can learn to catch those, too. Here’s one:

"Can you believe it? A big box of Godiva chocolates is now $85 for Valentine’s Day. I’d much rather spend that money on a massage."

She means she’d rather you spent the money on a massage for her. Get a massage gift certificate.

Dear Auntie Elaine:

My wife said she wanted something from Macy’s. She told me the size and color, but I forgot what it was. Can I just give her some cash?

Freaked in Frisco

 YOU’RE TALKING about the woman you love, not some hooker. Take your cash to Macy’s and buy the biggest gift card you can afford.

 Dear Auntie Elaine:

Isn’t that the same thing, except I’ve wasted time and fossil fuel?Heart1

Freaked Again

IT’S THE SAME, only different, Freaked. Remember what happened to St. Valentine. A terrible fate awaits those who ignore the rules.

Dear Auntie Elaine:

For three years in a row, my partner forgot Valentine’s Day. Each year, we had a fight and he promised to remember next time, but he didn’t. I know he’s going to forget again, no matter how many hints I drop. I want to keep this man, but Valentine’s Day is important.

Forgotten in Fargo

YOUR PARTNER may suffer from "hint blindness." This is a condition similar to "faceNaked cupid  blindness." Instead of being unable to recognize the faces of loved ones, your man can’t see a hint, even a naked one.

Your hint-blind partner needs help. E-mail the lunkhead a link to the gift you want with a subtle prompt, such as IF I DON’T GET THIS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY, IT’S OVER.

You can also cut the desired item out of a magazine or catalogue and pin it to his pillow – with a carving knife.














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Advice? Fall for someone who thinks as you do about observing Hallmark days. Observation? Valentine's Day is often for flaunting how beloved you are in front of your friends. I've known teachers who had their husbands send flowers to them at school, and college students who had roses delivered so their dormmates wouldn't know he didn't send any.(Who, me? Cynical? Bite your tongues.)

My husband and I always do something together to celebrate Valentine's Day. It's more fun and less calories than a box of chocolates. Although he does show up with flowers, too.

I have come to realize the best Valentine's are now from my children. (with some help, coaxing or bribing from my husband)Cleaning out the dishwasher, folding some clothes, making dinner and as always, a sweet kiss and hug. Pathetic? absolutely! Enough for me? You bet!!

My favorite picture is the knife. That probably means something.

Dear Auntie Elaine, we three H Tarts (Harley, Heather, Hank) will be doing a follow-up blog tomorrow, with some serious, in-depth and profound musings upon this evergreen topic.

We too love that knife.

Foooey on Valentine's day. Groundhog day is much more important...to us anyway.

Anniversary; wedding; 37 years

We picked a date just so it would be hard for him to forget.

Fun post, Elaine. I hate being marketed to, so these Hallmark holidays really get to me, but I still can't skip them for fear of what it would mean. I usually spend most of the day worried about all the people who aren't getting valentines. It was easier when I was a kid. My grandmother made heart shaped lollypops for my whole class, and I always got a box of chocolates with a doll on top from my dad. I made my own valentines for my parents and my brother. I will spend this year with my husband at a favorite restaurant, then off to hear some music. Low key but nice. I think I'll make him a valentine.

Judith, same here, except ours (29th this year) is March 1st. V-Day is extraneous, and too commercial, according to my husband. Sure, I buy that. (insert eye roll here)

Margaret, I feel the same way about those ostentatious displays being sent to one's workplace. It is clearly meant to make others feel less. I'm not a big fan of that particular goal.

Our NPR station usually has a fund drive around V.D., offering chocolates and B&B packages . . . it always made me feel a little lonely, and for the several years when I couldn't have chocolate (or any other caffeine), I felt doubly-deprived to the point of not turning on the radio.
I'm more accepting now (or perhaps it's the resumption of chocolate) so I hope everyone has a wonderful celebration of love, however you choose to celebrate ;-)
Last year I took two great-nieces to the Rep on V.D. (accidental timing) to see Diary of Anne Frank -- blizzard made going home very tricky, but we survived.
This year it will be "the Scottish Play" the day before 2/13 -- now there's a love story for all time . . . fits perfectly with the pillow picture, Elaine ;-)
I've ordered the DVD of Downton Abbey (partly because KETC had broadcast problems for some of it, and partly because a friend mentioned that the British version is longer) -- I might call that my Valentine gift, along with some chocolate, of course . . .

I was married for 8 years to a guy who always forgot V-day. I, however, did not - I always came up with some thoughtful (and inexpensive - we were broke, after all) token of the day. It bugged me that he couldn't even be bothered to pick up a card.

My husband (together for 20 years in March!) did the smart thing when we first got together and asked what I considered suitable for the big 4 (Xmas, b-day, V-day, Mother's day). We exchange personalized and usually funny cards and some small special token. I like the opportunity to put down in writing something special about our relationship at that point in time. I think it's important to do that once in a while :)

This Valentine's Day, my husband and I are going to Texas for the birth of a grandchild. Do V-day gifts get any better than that??

Hey, I think it might be somebody's birthday, today, but Ramona would kill me if I spoke up. Er.......

OOOH..a Nancy-Martin-bird just cooed a secret in my ear...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAMONA!!!! We're so glad you were born...

Ramona, have a happy birth anniversary, darling. We love you so much!

Blond Bond would approve this message.

I love getting flowers. My neighbor brought over some beautiful peach colored roses to me the other day. She had bought a big bouquet at the market and brought me four lovely flowers. I appreciate her friendship. I save grocery bags for her dog cleanups and sometimes I will bring her husband a sandwich for lunch from the deli.
Tokens of love and friendship is what it is all about.
Lingerie one valentine's yielded a baby girl.
Roses brought to me at my workplace was an appreciation of love between us. He knew I was trapped in a cubicle but he wanted to brighten my day. Everyday can be Valentine's day for anyone.

Happy Birthday, Ramona!

I don't know you, Ramona...but have a great day and may nobody count the candles on your cake.

Elaine, cool knife. I read this blog way early last night/this morning, and I'm still laughing.

Valentine's day is my birthday.
Upside: Everyone remembers it.
Downside: I forget their birthdays.
Solution: Starting today, I am celebrating my birthday on Superbowl Sunday.
Why: Falls on a different day every year, so none of my friends will remember it.
Negative: My sons will, and they'll start giving me footballs for gifts.
Positive: I can gift them back.

Aw, gee, thanks for the wishes! You all have brightened my day.

Happy Birthday, Ramona!!!

Ramona! I missed that! Happy Birthday!!!! <3

Happy b-day, Ramona! Enjoy what's left of the day :)

Yeah, Ramona! Have a wonderful day/month/year and then more and more, each happier than the one before.

I'm just back from a triple baby shower at the Y (we suspect there's something in the water) -- giddy from cake and friendship. Even clean-up was fun . . except for moving the spinning bikes back in place -- ouch!

Happy Birthday, Ramona!
And many many more!

Oooh, Valentine's Day, which my former sister-in-law always called 'VD' with a sneer that made me more than a little uncomfortable.
I like the notion of Valentine's Day, and I enjoy it when couples I know are sweet to each other on the day, but I agree about the degree to which a thoughtless or deliberate display of how much bling or chocolate or excessive flowerage one has won can be downright mean to those who either have no roses on the mantel or had to buy them for themself.

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