Valentine's Day, a Journey

As I pen this piece it is officially birthday number 53 - light applause and please throw money. At any rate, this time of year I always utilize the same old column from years gone by and will do so again, so there. Just in case you haven't noticed, I have been pounding out original material as of late so stop with that poor attitude right this instant.

On the note of said day O birth, I must say that I awakened today with the usual fear, anxiety and racing heart that has been my morning routine ever since the election of our first reality show president. However, I am currently almost at a loss for words - again, stop those thoughts - because I've been showered with love and affection from friends, family and foes on facebook. (Just wanted to keep up with the "F" words in that last sentence.) The outpouring of well wishes resulted in my heart actually warming, if you can fathom that thought. Of course my "real life" family and friends have been delightful as well. (Not that my facebook friends are fake but I think you catch my vibes.) OK finally, I give you my annual Valentine column filled with sharing, caring and nostril flaring.

My funny valentine, sweet comic valentine—Oh, sorry, I got carried away with the tune of the season!

On the note of  Valentine's Day,  women, you are exempt from reading this column and may now release the paper.  This piece goes out to all MEN in the reading area.  

Here is the thing...women love this holiday.  Men could give a rat's rear end about any of it.  Gentlemen, you must save your cabooses and simply follow the steps below in order to make your valentine think that you really dig her and prevent yourselves from sharing Fido's room again.

I now present you hopeless slobs—I mean chaps with: Valentine's Day, a Proper Journey to Safety and Good Health:

Step one: Enter any store that sells greeting cards, head directly to the V.D. section (mind out of gutter please—I mean Valentine's Day) and start looking for sunsets, couples holding hands, hearts floating magically through the air and other visions of pure, blurry, disgusting and distorted love.  

Second step: Lift the card out of the provided slot in order to test for density.  The thicker the better when it comes to greeting cards for women.  There is really no reason to read the interior as long as this step and step one have been followed to a tee.

Third step: Open the card but this is optional as mentioned in the above statement.  If the beautiful sentiment within begins with the words, Wife, True Love, Darling, Angel, The Love of My Life, The only Woman I will Ever Love, Sweetie or any combination thereof, you are good to go, once again without reading any further.

Fourth step: Check for the price.  This is generally located on the back and at the bottom.   Your goal is an expensive card so, anything under $5.00 is out of the question.  (See, they charge extra for the bulky ones with the graphics that almost make one hallucinate due to the beauty of it all.)

Note: None of this should be carried out on the actual day.  Even the night before will find you shoulder to shoulder with a sea of flannel shirts and ball caps all blushing while feverishly turning the pages of the cards in question.  The red and pink aisle is packed to the gills on the 13th and 14th so save the embarrassment, time and energy and shop early for this necessity.  (Yes guys, the day falls on the 14th every year.)

The fifth step is to actually present this card in a tender and loving manner.  Under no circumstances should this be accomplished while your valentine is in curlers, Pink Panther slippers, bathrobe, cigarette dangling from corner of mouth as she whips up an ash filled stir fry for dinner since YOU forgot to make reservations.  The best way to handle the card presentation is on the actual morning of V.D.  This way her day will be off to a shimmering, lightheaded start with air traffic controllers guiding the bluebirds in for safe landings on her shoulders.  Also, you will be saved again by timing.   

If this cannot be carried out on the actual day, then you must present her with the book—I mean card, on that evening during the romantic, flower-filled, delightful, expensive and outrageous dinner at a five star establishment.  Do not go to the fried chicken palace or the golden arch eatery.  If you cannot afford dinner due to the debt acquired from the purchase of the card, at least cook her a gourmet dish at home and—get rid of the kids!

Another tip: The more gifts the better.  Flowers or candy? Forget that.  It is flowers AND candy.  Piece of jewelry or a dinner?—no can do.  Make it both.  Ideally, you should rack up as much debt for Valentine's Day for ONE person as you did during Christmas for the entire family. Use that as your spending chart.  

Yes, you might have to gaze upon flowers, jewelry, stuffed animals, cute nighties and a plethora of crimson and coral for the rest of the month but it will be worth it—just take my word for this.

Feel free to clip the above info from this publication and carry along as a cheat sheet if need be.

*Just a quick note for women: Dash into the store the day after, seize the 50 cent card, wrap up a six pack of beer or other favorite beverage and your holiday shopping is complete.  Not only but  hubby/significant other/mate/lover/other half etc. will be thrilled to the marrow!!