Don't Screw This Up: A Valentine's Day Manifesto


If you’re reading this, then that means you survived Valentine’s Day.

If you’re a male, that means you either: A.) Got the right gift B.) Didn’t have anyone to get a gift for C.) Believed her when she said “No, seriously, don’t get me anything” and are now on the run and found WiFi along the way.

If you’re a female, that means either: A.) Your significant other proved his love and devotion, while spending enough to flatter you, but not so much that you feel guilty B.) You pretended to be apathetic about not having a valentine, while secretly hoping some random, good-looking man would show up with Chipotle and Ice Cream. C.) You are deciding whether a Hallmark card worth $2.49 is worth keeping around a guy you hoped would change into a thoughtful, loving man, but has yet to show any signs.

Regardless, let out a deep exhale because we made it!

You could argue Valentine’s Day is the Kardashian of holidays. It is immensely popular, and you’re really not sure how even it became a thing. When asked what your plans for the evening are, you are forced to come up with a different response than “sitting on the couch watching Netflix.”

Whatever your thoughts of Valentine’s Day may be, there is nothing more entertaining than observing it all. Here are a few things I have discovered:

1. Why are flowers a popular gift? You’re receiving an extra chore. After getting flowers, you are tasked with finding something to put them in (apparently, a souvenir cup from Disney World is not an acceptable vase). Then, you have to trim and water them, only for them to slowly wither to a disturbing, wrinkly mess. Have you ever tried to keep something alive? It’s stressful. (R.I.P. Patches the Parakeet)

2. I never had a parakeet named Patches.

3. If I were a girl, I would want as much candy as $30 could buy. Don’t waste money on a fancy dinner, flowers, balloons (which I don’t think have been given as a gift since 1927, but you get the point), or even fancy chocolate assortments. Just give me $30 worth of Milky Ways and Sour Patch Kids, and you’ll be a winner.

4. I think the sole task for every single woman is to do whatever she can to look less lonely than her Facebook friend from High School that brags about her Paleo diet, while Instagramming photos from Europe. “Who needs a man when I have a glass of wine” is another way of saying “My romantic life is shot to pieces, but at least I’m not Beth.” Every girl has a Beth. (I’m not sure why I chose Beth to be the jerk in this case, but Beth just sounds like the name of a girl people love to hate.)

5. The guy who proposes in a Cheesecake Factory on February 14 by placing the ring in a glass of Moscato is probably also the guy who thinks Linkin Park’s music is revolutionary.

6. Being a married man subjects me to every couple’s favorite game of Whose Husband is the Worst? There’s no winners, just the comparison of every guy’s Valentine’s Day plans to yours. In this game, “Oh, he got you balloons? How cute!” really means Sucks to be you, I got $30 worth of CHOCOLATES! (I don’t know why I’m stuck on balloons being a gift option.)

7. Buying jewelry is the ultimate risk-reward venture a man can make. You either get the $2500 diamond necklace she loves, or you get the $59.95 fake gold earrings from Kohl’s because your mom thought it was a good idea.

8. I just found out we’re past the age of getting girls stuffed animals for Valentine’s Day. I hate being old already. Although, getting a stuffed penguin that says Penguins Mate For Life is probably coming on too strong.

9. There’s not much else that makes you feel more powerful than someone asking you what they should get their “boo-thang” on Valentine’s Day. You mean I could single-handedly decide the fate of someone’s Valentine??? I got asked this six times before Valentine’s Day this year and each time I told the girl the same thing: Get your man a football jersey. So for all those men getting football jerseys, you’re welcome. Unless it’s the weird generic kind that says you play for “Team Varsity” and wear the #1.

10. The great thing about February 14 is that there are so many people at various stages of their relationships. In the same room you could see an elderly couple celebrating a 50 year anniversary, a set of young parents finally enjoying a night to themselves, or a couple of twenty-somethings that just started “dating” in January and are not quite sure what they are. And in a different room, there is probably also someone hoping Beth gets her flight to Paris cancelled and gains 50 pounds from binging out on Cake Batter ice cream. Regardless of where you’re at, I am glad to see you survived Valentine’s Day 2014, and I hope you survive next year’s as well.

R.I.P. Patches.