Fier Thy Words

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Forget the Fun and Romance: Valentine’s Day a No-Win Situation for Guys


by Scott Spinelli

And so it comes, and hopefully, so it goes. Another Valentine’s Day spent alone. Sound the violins, cue up the world’s smallest tear. Though, if you don’t mind, I think I’d rather keep the extra money in my pocket this year.

I don’t know why it is, but for some reason, women think that they’re entitled to something on Valentine’s Day. Why is that? At what point did having a birthday or simply being the one that gets showered with “just-because” gifts in exchange for sexual favors not become enough?

Let’s be honest about those “just-because” gifts. Not that they all result in immediate bang for buck, but we can all agree they work at least like a point system. 50 points for flowers, 35 for a card, etc. If you get to 100, who knows what you could exchange it for.

Anyway, I never could quite wrap my mind around Valentine’s Day. Maybe it’s because I’m a miserable cynic who was raised by a man that hated Halloween (his reason largely draws on how much fun other people were having). Maybe it’s because I eat candy every day of the year instead of just on holidays.

Thing is, there are two types of women when it comes to February 14. There’s the type that really do want a celebration thrown in their honor and the type that says they want nothing, but really would love anything more than nothing.

The former wants streamers, balloons, dinner, candy, cards, gifts and roses. A breakfast in bed, a singing telegram delivery and two solid “I Love You’s” from that special guy. Not the kind of “I Love You” that’s said to make her happy, but one that you really mean. Or at least have gotten adept enough at faking.

Cards are easily the biggest copout. What says “I Love You” better than generic writing from strangers on a folded piece of thick paper?

The latter girl is the biggest pain.

“No, no. I don’t want anything special. Just your company, and that’ll do it for me.”

Unquestionably, this is the worst of the two answers. At least with the first, there is a clear level of expectation. With this chick, there’s really no way you can win. If you’re a literalist, you don’t care enough about her special day. If you get her too much, you overdid it. Not all of us are acrobats.

The interesting thing, as far as I’m concerned, is how utterly simply V-Day is for men. On my end, there are only a few things I would like to make me happy. Sour Patch Kids, sports on television and maybe something else that can’t be said in these pages. For most men, I’d venture safely, that would largely be the case. Change Sour Patch Kids to Mike and Ike, and that’s the extent of the variation.

When I want to think of fond Valentine’s Days of yore, I go back to elementary school. The days when everyone had someone, and all you could think about all day was getting that Foghorn Leghorn Looney Tunes’ card from the cute, pig-tailed girl in the front of class.

“I say, I say, I say, won’t you be my Valentine, boy?”

Or, maybe a Tweety Bird, “I wuv you” sufficed, but nonetheless, there was nothing better than that.

Outside of class, I always had one Valentine, my mom. God that sounds corny, doesn’t it?

Every year, my dad would give me one of those talks, begging me not to forget my mother.

“Yeah, but aren’t you married to her? That’s why there’s Mother’s Day.”

As I saw it, my mom (actually, all of them for that matter) really hit the triple jackpot. Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and birthday. So what if they have to deal with human birth, incompetent and lazy husbands and being right about everything, all the time.

If you’re curious, I did get one gift for Valentine’s Day this year. Sadly, it was from a male friend of mine, that, as salt on the proverbial wound, happens to have a girlfriend. Funny, yes. A painful reminder, also, yes.

Despite my cynicism, I recognize the aspect of Valentine’s Day that doesn’t have to do with Hallmark. Love for that special someone and, as it stands, significant amounts of gifts for that person, too.

I guess I can afford a few extra Sour Patch bags after all. Nothing says “I Love Me” and gluttony like a self-purchased, 5 lbs. bag of candy from the bookstore.

Scott Spinelli’s columns appear every Thursday in The Daily Orange. He would like to say Happy Valentine’s Day to his mom. He can be reached at


February 14, 2008 - Posted by | Spinelli

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