Ha ha! Like I’d know!
It is very tricky to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for a guy. (Unless you don’t celebrate it, or think it’s a dumb holiday, in which case it’s not tricky at all.) I’m sure there ARE a FEW guys who enjoy getting flowers and chocolates and sentimental love notes. But in general I think a lot of us are stuck: it’s a holiday about sentimental/romantic love, and the established gifts are things that most guys are not keen on.
When we try to write them a hundred little love notes, or tell them what they mean to us, we’re giving them what WE’D want, not what THEY want—and that’s pretty much the opposite of romantic. (Many of us wouldn’t want the flowers or the chocolates or the hundred little love notes either, but that would be for another post.) I still remember the total failure of the Valentine’s Day symphony tickets I got for my high school boyfriend. “We get to dress up and go listen to romantic classical music with grown-ups!” He probably felt about that the way I would have felt if he’d gotten me a set of socket wrenches.
The goal, I think, is to find guy-romantic: not “Fine, let’s go make out in the car, then,” but something that actually shows some of the romantic spirit. I like to do this by finding something I think Paul would really like to have, and then imposing romance forcefully upon it. One year he had been complaining about his feet being cold and his slippers being worn out, so I researched and found him a pair of expensive down slippers. Here’s how I imposed romance: I got him something HE wanted, not something I would have wanted; it was something that showed I cared about him and his comfort; it was something that showed I was listening to him; it took away a chore he didn’t want; the slippers were red, and red = Valentine’s Day. (Or Christmas. Or bull-fighting. But on February 14th, red = valentines/hearts.)
Another year I made his favorite foods, finicky things I didn’t usually like to make. Here’s how I imposed romance: they were foods he liked, not necessarily my favorites; they took a lot of effort; it showed I was thinking of him and what he would like; I made them heart-shaped/red when possible, and hearts/red = Valentine’s Day.
Another year I got him an old book by an author he likes, and it happened to have the word “Love” irrelevantly in the title so I called that close enough. It took effort to find the book (published about 80 years ago, and I wanted a nice copy); it showed I cared about what he would consider a good present; and yet it had Love in the title so it TIED IN TO THE THEME.
Other years it’s seemed like way too much trouble, and it’s no fun to get a present a guy feels wearily obligated to buy, so I’ve said “Let’s just not do Valentine’s Day,” and then I’ve ordered myself a heart-shaped box of chocolates.
Have you had any luck finding Guy Romance stuff for Valentine’s Day?