I DON’T KNOW WHAT every woman wants for Valentine’s Day, but I suspect most of us would love to feel valued and appreciated. We’d love a card oozing love. We’d love Mexican food to have no calories. We’d like our family to chew silently.
When it comes to Valentine’s Day presents, what makes one woman cry on her bathmat might delight her crack-pot next-door neighbor. For every woman who feels unloved and unappreciated because her husband gifted her a value pack of toilet bowl cleaner for Valentine’s Day, there is another woman whose greatest joy is popping an Adderall and scrubbing her bathroom on a sunny afternoon. To each her own.
In hopes of bringing more love Between The Bluffs, I’ve compiled a list of things to avoid gifting this Valentine’s Day. Unless your partner has specifically asked for one of these items, I urge you to avoid gifting:
1. Diet books, diet supplements, exercise stuff, or a gym membership. Avoid anything that can be construed as ‘Please, for the love of God, do something to make yourself more attractive.’ Trust me on this. Just because she pulls a muscle bending over to pick up and eat an M&M off the floor, does not mean she will react warmly to an online program called Bendy Wendy Teaches How To Do The Splits In Twenty Minutes. You will pay dearly if you ignore this advice …dearly.
2. Scented stuff—lotions, perfumes, candles, etc. If you are purchasing products with her signature scent, rock on. If you deviate from her signature scent you risk making her feel like you do not know, understand, or love her at all. This will be a problem for you. The only exception is gifting her Love’s Baby Soft. Love’s Baby Soft perfume smells like a chemical spill, but the scent will transport her back to a time when all she needed was Love’s Baby Soft and blue eye shadow to conquer the world.
3. Anything that says ‘Mom’ on it. You know she is a mom. She knows she is a mom. Her therapist knows she’s a mom. She has deepening worry lines on her face and cannot sneeze or laugh without peeing her pants. She doesn’t need a mug reminding her she has kids. Instead, buy her something that reminds her of her own worth.
4. Heart-shaped jewelry. Heart-shaped jewelry is meant to be worn by girls with pure hearts who are in the dewy throes of first love. That isn’t your wife. Your wife, and every one of her friends, has been through it, bless them. Your wife doesn’t want heart-shaped jewelry. She wants jewelry made from the teeth and bones of the parents who mess up the carpool line at school drop off each morning.
5. Lingerie. I worked at a lingerie store for years in high school and college. I’ve seen it all and I’ve never been more certain of anything in my life: you have zero, ZERO chance of you knowing your Valentine’s size and preference in lingerie. Also? Women have strong BS meters. Lingerie is for you; not her. She knows this. Save yourself the pain. Let her buy her own lingerie.
6. Lastly, avoid these: Anything you’ve bought your mom, any household item that broke and needs replacing: roof, garbage disposal, snow shovel, beer fridge, ice scraper. Don’t give her tickets to something you’d like to attend but she would hate like The Superbowl of Mansplaining or a Men’s Bragging Circle. She doesn’t want a ‘back rub’. Don’t give her COVID.
Safe bets are love letters, love letters, and more love letters. Happy Valentine’s Day!