Valentine’s Day: There’s a lot of pressure to say the right things, get the right gifts and be on your best behavior. Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t go right – especially for guys. It’s much easier for the man to screw something up. One bad move and the guy could be branded as an insensitive and inadequate lover for days, months or even years to come. So in keeping with the spirit of love, The Temple News has decided to offer up some scenarios in which you may find yourself this Valentine’s Day. Keep reading, men.
Scenario: A romantic, candle-lit dinner, which you prepared yourself for you and your Valentine in your low-rent apartment. You even made your roommate leave for the night.
What you did right: You catered to her every need, spent time cooking a lovely meal and made her feel appreciated. You even spent half of your paltry paycheck on a nice piece of jewelry for her.
Where you went wrong: After she gave you a gift, a card and a pair of boxers with hearts on them from the dollar store, you made a joke about the obvious cheapness of her offering. Not long after the tears started flowing and the yelling began.
What you should have done: Swallow your pride. Give your sweetie a passionate kiss and say, “thank you.” You were faced with a net loss on your Valentine’s Day investment and you should have just eaten it. Nothing ruins any date, especially those with sentimental value, more than insulting your loved one. Besides, it’s the thought that counts. Even if she obviously didn’t put much thought into it, let her think that she has you fooled.
Scenario: Dinner for two at Le Bec Fin.
What you did right: Dinner for two at Le Bec Fin.
Where you went wrong: You failed to recognize that you couldn’t afford anything more than an appetizer at Le Bec Fin. Utter embarrassment ensues.
What you should have done: Save your beer money for a couple of weeks by buying 40 ounce bottles of Hurricane Malt Liquor instead of those cases of Heineken. There is nothing you can do to make your girlfriend question her choice of significant other quicker than telling her you can’t afford to buy her a meal. Unfortunately we live in a consumer culture and many women have become accustomed to the lifestyle. Be prepared to spend some cash. Make her feel like you can take care of her. It just comes with the territory.
Scenario: An intimate night of wine, a movie and lots of cuddling.
What you did right: As much as it pained you, you sprung for the bottle this time instead of the box. You rented Casablanca. You pretended to tear up when Humphrey Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman to get on the plane.
Where you went wrong: You answered your phone when your buddies called, asking you to come to their Valentine’s Day party. What’s worse, you asked your girlfriend if you could go. A question similar to, “You’d rather spend Valentine’s Day with your idiot friends than me?” was repeated throughout the rest of the night.
What you should have done: Put your phone on silent. Better yet, leave your phone at home. Better yet, make a big pitch to your girlfriend about how you left your phone at home and that tonight she’s the only one you really want to be with. Every once in a while it’s good to let her know that when it comes down to it, she’s much more exciting to be with than your friend Ralph, even if Ralph dressed for the party as Cupid in a diaper and a set of angel wings. Just because your single friends are partying together on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean they don’t envy your relationship.
So there you go. Good luck, fellas. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need it.
Mike Benner can be reached at email@example.com.