Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Big Four

This week marks the final installment of everyman’s Occasions Which Best Not Be Overlooked. I thought I should dust off some advice I first offered three years ago, because, by now, there are a whole new crop of innocent young males entering a world ruled by females who can benefit from this advice.

It’s Valentines Day. Neglect/overlook/forget it at your own risk

Valentines Day is the fourth of what I refer to of The Big Four: Christmas, Anniversary, Her Birthday, and Valentines Day. Those are the four times a year when – if you are an attached male – that’s married, engaged, dating, “going steady”, or anything even resembling an attached male – you are obliged to offer your wife/girlfriend/steady date a gift or some other carefully selected token of your affection.

Let me repeat.


It is not optional; it is mandatory. It is required by the unwritten rules of the universe that gifts shall be provided on each of these days, lest unspeakable forms of punishment rain down upon he who does not follow the rule.

After more than three decades of on-again/off-again experience, I feel qualified to offer a few tips on the observance of Valentines Day to the less experienced. Hopefully, someone reading this will benefit from my past experiences, and perhaps, avoid the pitfalls of being a male on a day that is all about females.

Here are my helpful tips about Valentines Day:

1. Do not forget Valentines Day.

2. When I say “do not forget”, I mean “do not forget to buy a gift”.

3. A card is not a gift. (In grade school, I specifically remember the whole thing being about exchanging little Valentine Cards… but somewhere along the line, that was changed by the females.)

4. Cash is not a gift. Or a check.

5. A pizza cut in the shape of a Valentine is not a gift.

6. Do not forget Valentines Day.

7. “It’s the thought that counts” does not apply to Valentine’s Day, or for that matter to any other of The Big Four. It’s actually the monetary value that counts. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. When purchasing a gift to be engraved; a) you must order well in advance, and; b) do not accidentally engrave the wrong name.

9. Ditto tattoos.

10. A tattoo is not a gift. (If a tattoo IS a sufficient gift in your world, ignore everything I’ve written so far, and keep doing it your way. You’ve got things figured out a lot better than I do.)

11. If, at the last moment, you realize that the gift you have acquired is not big enough (based on monetary value), you may be able to disguise that by stopping into the local supermarket and purchasing a very large box of candy, arrangement of flowers, and huge oversized card to go along with your chintzy gift.

12. One of those cute little stuffed animals might also help if the gift was really chintzy.

13. Do not forget Valentine’s Day.

14. If you DO forget Valentine’s Day, check yourself into some sort of clinic. (It will NOT be an acceptable excuse for forgetting, but you’ll be in a clinic for awhile, and you won’t have to hear the non-stop verbal abuse you’re going to be getting for the next six weeks.)

15. Jumper cables are a gift, just not a very good one for Valentines Day.

16. Things that sparkle and shine ARE gifts, almost always. We males don’t understand WHY they are gifts, because they really serve no useful function, but for some reason, they’re gifts.

17. Valentines Day is all about the female. Remember these words forever.

18. Do not forget Valentines Day.

Again, I’m happy to have shared just a bit of my wisdom of the years with you. And maybe some young buck WILL benefit from my experiences, and avoid the pitfalls of being a male on a decidedly female day. And the world will be a happier place!

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