Love Is In The Air

I was determined to write the Chain Cow post today and I will later. However, a question about Valentine’s gifts came up on Twitter earlier that got me to thinking while I was in therapy. (It gives you lots of time to think while the little charges of electricity are coursing through your body.)

This is for you men.

If Valentine’s Day is just another chore, perhaps it’s time to rethink your attitude. Sorry, but saying I love you shouldn’t be something that stresses you.

Saying I love you doesn’t have to cost a small fortune…or a large one.

Look around the house. What does she like? Chances are she’s the one who decorated the house. Maybe you’ve never noticed that she really likes roosters before.

I love working with wood. Give me a nice power tool and I am in heaven. A gift doesn’t have to be fluffy to make her happy, but make sure you’re buying it for her and not you. She might especially like something cordless that’s easy for her to work with.

Most women don’t like appliances for gifts. I do and your Valentine might also. That’s a judgment call.

I like antiques. I love antique furniture, antique baby spoons, antique butter molds, antique lace, salt cellars well, you get the idea. The best gifts my ex-husband ever bought me in thirty-five years were a plain little antique butter mold and a baby spoon. They were the best because he parked his semi on the side of the highway, crossed four lanes and wandered around a huge open-air flea market to find them. There was no special occasion, he just thought of me and that is what made them so special. It really is the thought that counts. I doubt he spent over ten dollars, but he thought of something that would make me happy.

I used to collect the original Degenhardt salt cellars of the little hens on the nests. Then I started collecting Boyd swan salt cellars.

When Will came home from Iraq, he brought me a hand carved quartz swan. “I saw it and thought of you.” Aha, there’s the secret, guys. 

Does she like flowers? Do you have a home where you can plant flowers?

Go out and buy two Valentine’s cards. Give her a bouquet of her favorite flowers and one card with a special message and an IOU. Then, mark this down on a calendar somewhere and put the other card up. When it’s warm enough to plant in your region, either take her shopping at a nursery to surprise her with a live plant with those flowers. If it’s a perennial, she’ll have her favorite flowers for years and she’ll think of you every time she looks at them. Oh, don’t just hand her the plant, actually plant it for her. Then give her the second card.

Lingerie. I still have a little black lace babydoll Don gave me years ago. It isn’t big enough to wad a shot gun and it didn’t leave much to the imagination, but it made me feel desirable and he loved it. The gift that keeps on giving. No, images here.

If you live in Montana, she might prefer flannel pajamas.

Think about what she likes. Hopefully, she will be doing the same for you, but for now, just remember you’re trying to make her happy.

Brush her hair. I love sitting on the floor and having my hair brushed. I’m worse than a cat.

I don’t like eating out on holidays because it’s so crowded, but it might not bother her. If you can cook, she would probably adore it if you cooked for her or had a catered meal delivered to the house. If you can, find a sitter for the kids.

Rent a nice motel room for a night away, even if it’s in the same town. It’s just nice to be away from home. Umm, rent it for the whole night.

Clean the house for her. It won’t cost you a dime and she will love it.If that is just not happening you might want to hire a cleaning service. I wouldn’t advise the one with the guys in the jock-straps. You might go broke getting the house cleaned.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries and a bottle of wine or beer, depending on your gal. Note, if she’s allergic to strawberries, skip this suggestion. It might even be fun to buy the supplies and do your own dipping.

Bath lotion, bubble bath, lotion, body cream. Most women love to just take time to pamper themselves every now and then. Offer to wash her back and apply the body cream for her. Hint, bigger isn’t always better. That gallon of bubble bath for $1.99 isn’t that great. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but at least think about what scents she likes and what brands. Even if you are short on funds, an inexpensive gift and a back rub would be appreciated.

Give her a card with a gift certificate for a pedicure. Even if she doesn’t care about the pretty toes, the foot soak and massage are heavenly.

Give her a gift card to a spa for a body massage and have a rose waiting for her.

If you’re going to give her clothes, go into her closet and find clothes she is currently wearing and write down the sizes. Don’t guess.

When I worked at the western stores, we invariably had guys come in who wanted to buy clothes for their wives or girlfriends for some special occasion. No, they had no idea what size she wore. The owner would call all the girls over and the guy would pick out the girl with the butt most like his girl’s. Then the owner suggested he buy a size smaller. Even if she had to exchange it, she’d be flattered he thought she was so small.

Some men can judge the weight of a cow or horse within a few pounds just by looking at them. If you aren’t that skilled, it’s just best to get the sizes and write them down.

My husband once bought me a suit to wear to church. It was an ugly, pleated, periwinkle blue skirt with a flowered top and a box jacket in a size 16. I weighed about 120 at the time and wore a size 8. I have always suspected he sent his mother shopping for my birthday as it is exactly something his 70-year-old mother would wear. I, however, was 25. Unless your mother really likes your girl and knows what she likes, don’t send her shopping for you.

Nice sheets. There are places like Tuesday Morning that have luxury bedding for extremely good prices. If any man had the good sense to buy me some high thread count, sateen sheets, I’d be knocked off my feet. So would most women. Sateen sheets have a rich satinesque feel, but aren’t so slippery and cold in the winter. She might like satin sheets also, but they are a pain to keep on the bed. That’s between, y’all.

Heavy, fluffy luxurious bathrobes or even towels. We love to feel something soft and rich against our skin.

A nice vase filled with flowers and then surprise her every now and then with more flowers for her vase and if you are really thinking ahead, another Valentine’s card. Again, Tuesday Morning has beautiful vases for affordable prices. I gave each of my daughter-in-laws some very high quality lead crystal vases for Christmas one year and told the boys it was up to them to make sure they had flowers in them every now and then.

Buy a box of the kids valentines and write a little note on it, then leave it somewhere for her to find. Let her know all year long, she is your sweetheart. She’ll be yours forever.

Great sex. You’ll have to figure that one out on your own. If it’s not so great, you may be one your own in more ways than one.

Don’t make promises you can’t keep to your friends or your enemies. Especially don’t do that to someone you love. If you say you can’t take her out to dinner because you have to work, but you will on Saturday, then do it. Don’t keep putting it off. About the fifth time you’re too busy for her, she’ll tell you to forget it.

The most important thing is to make it personal. Let her know you notice what she likes and you cared enough to make her happy. Don’t dash into Walgreens and grab the first box of chocolates you find. Take some time. Read the verse in the card. Most women love cards and they know if you just grabbed the first one off the rack.

If all else fails, maybe you just need to start reading the art of manliness.

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