Chocolates. Give her a fancy box of chocolates or a syringe full of endorphins – they both produce the same response. Chocolates are powerful. The last time my wife unwrapped a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates, the lights in our bedroom automatically softened, which is odd since we never installed dimmer switches. Be careful when you’re making an in-store decision on which box to purchase. I highly recommend choosing a safe, traditional assortment. Some chocolate makers fill their products with the strangest of combinations. I once bought an expensive “international” box of covered chocolates that contained scrumptious surprises such as camel meat, raw squid, potato and chocolate covered pork egg rolls. To be extra cautious, nonchalantly open an identical box at the retail outlet and bite into a few before you make a final purchase. Dictators and tyrants employ food tasters to protect against assassinations and coup d'états – and Valentine’s Day certainly presents you with the same level of risk.
Non-chocolate candies. Don’t bother, unless the only bedroom activity you enjoy is sleeping.
Flowers. I hate dealing with florists. They’re so smug. I ask for a $30 bouquet; they ask “what kind of flowers?” I respond with “whatever’s in season”; they respond with “we sell a wide variety.” I snipe back “how about an assortment?” They reply, “would you like any roses?” Frustrated, I calm down by perusing the display cooler and noticing through the glass door other pre-assembled, beautiful bouquets waiting for pickup. One arrangement was labeled for “Bert Hooper.” I grabbed his and raced to the checkout. As the salesclerk rang me up at the register, she noticed my open wallet and the picture of my wife. “Mrs. Hooper is stunning.” I thanked her on behalf of my lovely wife and scurried out the door, feeling guiltless and vowing never to return to this particular flower shop.
Lingerie. Show a little sophistication and avoid the skanky stuff like the see-through nightie, the black metallic brassiere with neon yellow tassels and the matching his and hers Velcro underwear. Instead, buy her the nun’s costume with the side slit.
Jewelry. If your wife has hinted about a diamond ring, black pearl necklace or tennis bracelet (has nothing to do with the sport), you’re screwed. That means she has already picked out something that’s on hold for you at the mall’s most expensive store. The gift will cost at least twice as much as your imagination can handle.
(next post: Wrapping up this Topic with Perfume, Cash and Costumes)